Guys, I am almost 30. Huge emphasis on the almost part. Although I am feeling ok about my almost 30-year-old life I certainly face all the same feelings that anyone does while hitting an apparent “milestone” in their life. Anxious feelings of goals and ambition are starting to creep in. Looking back over my 20s I have so many memories of wild nights, growth, change, fun, new friends, love, and laughter, among other things. That’s what your 20s are all about am I right? Figuring your shit out in a way that will leave you better equipped to deal with the next chapter. I am so happy that my 20s were a decade where I discovered a love for reading that has helped me through tough times, lead me to mindfulness, growth, and greater perspective. It makes me proud to be where I am today and excited to go into the next leg of the race of life. Reading helps redefine you, connect with the world, and helps your brain get the exercise it needs to grow new brain muscles. (Ok I may have made that part up, but it sounds like a thing.) Reading is truly unique in that it allows you to enter the minds of other’s helping you to better empathize with others in ways you would never even be able to imagine. I could go on about the benefits of reading forever, however, the point of this post is to point you in the direction of some true inspirations. Fun and unique books that you should read in your 20s. These are the books that will inspire you to live outside of your normal, push you to try something new, gain new perspectives and nudge you in the direction to become a happy and intelligent 20 something-year-old human. These are the perfect books to read while in your 20s and they will help lead you to start your 30s as the wildly happy and vibrant person you are aiming to be, whatever that looks like. From adventure to finance, to self-development to educational there is something for everyone. Go get em kids! Harry Potter Eat Pray Love The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life #GIRLBOSS The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The UltraMind Solution: The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind Turning the Mind Into an Ally When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (20th Anniversary Edition) Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship, A Toltec Wisdom Book The Alchemist A Short Guide to a Long Life The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out A Thousand Splendid Suns Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail The Diary of a Young Girl How to Win Friends and Influence People The Art of War The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” The Year of Magical Thinking The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now For more reading inspiration or recommendations check out these posts.
To simplify my life is something that I have been striving for lately. A life with less clutter in my mind, body, and surroundings. I find myself at peace and full of my most fulfilling happiness when I am simplifying my life. Living in calm moments and caring for myself. As an overachiever, I keep myself pretty mentally stimulated and like it that way. Work, books, blogging, social media, emails. You know the drill. I know a lot of people can relate. We all have our own busy schedules. This life can get a little crazy and run away from us sometimes, which leads to stress and feeling overwhelmed before we are even aware of it happening. Let’s be honest, this happens more than we would like to admit. However, there is a solution! A holy grail of possibility that will save us from ourselves. And it’s really quite simple. We just need to simplify things a little bit! The benefits of simplifying your life are huge. You will reduce stress, gain confidence, enjoy a healthier wellbeing and enjoy a deeper sense of gratitude for the simple beauty of your complex and unique life. It is important now more than ever to take a little time to change our thoughts, habits, and lifestyle. To become better more full humans for ourselves, our loved ones and the world. Seriously, simplifying your life is the best way to amplify it, turn up the volume on what you love and reduce the white noise of what you don’t. 1. Make a list of the most important things in your life Write down the top five most important things in your life in no particular order. Use this as a mindful reference. When life gets overwhelming or you feel stressed revert back to your list, mentally. “Is the thing that I am spending time and energy on one of my top 5?” This is a simple exercise that can do wonders for defusing your stress levels. 2. Make time for your mental health Taking time to practice mental health by reading, yoga, meditation, therapy or simply chatting with a friend is a good way to stimulate your mind and boost your overall wellbeing. 3. Get a planner Keeping track of appointments, deadlines, events, and occasions is a great way to prioritize your time. Causing less stress because of procrastination or forgetfulness. Don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself. 4. 10-minute de-clutter each day De-Cluttering a little each day has helped me not only have to do less on the weekend when I do most of my cleaning. I enjoy my home all week long due to it being clear and clutter free. 5. No social media for an hour before bed or when you wake up Give yourself time to gently enter or end your day without the onslaught of news, headlines, and ads. 6. One garbage bag of junk A quick way to simplify things in your home is to commit yourself to donating or trashing one bag of stuff. See my blog post 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life for some inspiration. Check out my post on 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life to help get you into the downsizing spirit. 7. Ask for help Maybe this means asking for a little extra help at work, or getting help to clean your house, or putting your kids in daycare once a week. Don’t feel guilty getting a little help can help you simplify in so many helpful ways. 8. Give yourself a day Make time for some self-care at least once a week. Check out my post 12 Winter Self Care Activities to help inspire you during these cold wintry months. 9. Clear your workspace when finished Clear your workspace when you are finished so when you start your next project you are ready with a fresh clean slate. 10. Spend more time in Nature There is no better way to simplify your life than to connect with something greater than you, which for me in nature. Whether it be a short walk in the park or a camping trip, being out in nature is a perfect way to reconnect with our primal natural selves. 11. Simplify with a morning routine Being productive first thing in the morning can shape a beautiful day ahead. Check out my own Morning Routine for some direction in helping you create your own. 12. Properly unwind before bed Read a book, meditate, turn down the lights, don’t use your phone, have a cup of tea. A good nights sleep is the most effective way to rejuvenate yourself. 13. Read motivating material Wheather it is through blogs, news articles or books. Consuming motivational and positive material is a great way to keep you grounded and connected to simplicity. 14. A little physical activity each day If you find your workout routine too daunting and stressful, simplify it a little bit by taking a walk around the block or doing a 5-minute stretch instead. Eit, er way make it a priority to get moving a little each and every day. 15. Meditate Buddhist’s have known this for thousands of years and now the scientific world is backing it up. Try incorporating just ten minutes of mindful breathing into your day and slowly establish a deeper connection to your truest self and your thoughts. 16. Do your least favorite tasks first At work, with chores, at the gym. Get the most daunting tasks out of the way first and then it will occupy no space in your mind while you are doing the activities you want to be doing. 17. Watch less TV Try spending that extra time on something more productive or a new healthy habit or a fun hobby. 18. Make a budget & pay off debt Debt complicates life in so many ways. Developing a plan and budget may seem like work but in reality, it will save you time, stress and funds in the future. Ridding yourself of debt is one of the most effective ways to simplify your life. 19. Downsize or reduce When you have less material things you have less you need to worry about replacing or spending money on. Downsizing is a wonderful way to simplify your life and reducing can help you cut stress and worry. 20. Say no more often This could mean saying no to a social engagement, to a project at work, to baking cookies for a potluck. Say no every once and a while you cant do everything. 21. Eliminate toxic people from your life If you have someone in your life who does not add to it in a positive way you need to eliminate them and their drama. Life is too short to deal with toxic people indefinitely. 22. Take a Timeout When in the middle of a stressful situation of any kind take a time out if possible. Whether it be an argument, an assignment or a decision. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed then switch to a completely different task and take a break. Return to the task with a clearer head and new perspective. 23. Make home your sanctuary Take practical coziness into account when decorating your home. Being in style is important, however, having a place you can return to and the end of a long hard day in order to properly unwind and relax is also important. This may simply mean a fuzzy blanket and warmer lighting. Or it could mean a paint job or new photos on the wall. Whatever you decide, just be sure to make the changes you need to make your home sweet home calm and relaxing. Check out my Hygge checklist to help get you inspired! 24. Gather consistently with smaller groups Having a small close group of friends and family that you are close with is such an important part of our wellbeing and happiness. Simplify things a bit by gathering for lunch, playing games or watching a movie with your close and intimate friends more often, rather than making all social engagements large get-togethers, parties, and events. 25. Pick up a hobby Crafting, baking, blogging or reading. Research shows that engaging in our hobbies makes us happier and can possibly help us live a little longer. Find what inspires you and invest a little time into it. Its your life after all. 26. Always value your time and others Valuing your time means spending it with the most important people, and doing the things that you love. Simply put if you don’t value your own time how will anyone else? 27. Reduce how much news your consume Check in on the happenings of the world no more than once daily. This could mean changing your Facebook feed, reducing tv time or steering topics of conversation with your friends and family away from current politics from time to time. 28. Reduce hypotheticals Dealing with facts in stressful moments will help reduce anxiety, anger and even resentments towards people. If you want answers to something try to gather the facts don’t assume on hypotheticals. 29. Drive slower or leave earlier If you are the type of person who is always late then you may be familiar with the stress-induced time spent in your car trying to get to meetings, work or events. Leaving 5 minutes earlier will help you to drive more slowly and take your time. That way if there are delays you have a little wiggle room. 30. Don’t invest in your expectations Stress and disappointment is a direct result of having expectations that did not work out. Whether it be the raise you were hoping for, assuming your partner took out the trash or expecting to lose 10 pounds in one week. goals and expectations are different beasts. Hope for a result, communicate your want for the result and work towards the result but don’t expect it to always work out that way.
One of my most favorite things about owning a hard copy of a book is the unchanged craftsmanship that goes into the creation of this timeless form of entertainment. Whether it be the artwork, the colors, the graphics or the words. A beautiful book is something to be cherished and revisited time and time again. Beautiful books make their way to our bookshelves, coffee tables, kitchens, and hearts. I wanted to share my own personal favorite beautiful books with you all. These are the books that will forever hold a special place in my heart and remain a staple part of my home for years to come. I hope you find a little inspiration and wonder from my own favorites and that these books motivate you to take a deeper look at your own beautiful books. Harry Potter: Illustrated Edition I can not be the only person who would put Harry Potter as their favorite story of all time. I have read the original books at least three times and if there was some kind of apocalyptic world meltdown where I could save one part of humanity forever it would be HP. In which case, future generations post-apocalypse would probably grow up thinking Harry was a god or something, but I’m cool with that. So when these magically illustrated versions of the books began to come out, of course, I had to add them to my collection. I love the images in these books, the illustrator Jim Kay has done an amazing job of capturing the mood of each chapter and the character that we all love so much. I confess that I have imagined myself nestled up with my hypothetical unborn children reading them the Harry Potter books and now with these beautifully illustrated versions I feel I have a better excuse to keep on buying them. Do it for the children people! Oh She Glows Every Day This is the first and only cookbook I have ever purchased and I am so happy I did. This is a beautiful book for your kitchen table. The recipes found in this book are all vegan and beautiful once made, although some of them do take some time. The photos in this cookbook really bring the recipes to life and inspire me to eat better and to cook outside of my comfort zone. And if nothing else, it looks so pretty! Shakespeare and Company I bought this book while at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France which may be why I love it so much. It is a thin book all about the most amazing bookstore I have ever seen. I purchased the book to remember the magic I felt while browsing the winding nooks and crannies of this old Parisian bookstore. Each corner of the store has a story to tell. An old desk where Ernest Hemingway slaved away writing his next masterpiece. An old musty couch with paper laid haphazardly about where Scott Fitzgerald would sleep until his artistic ambitions drove him mad. This book brings me back to that wonderful place and keeps it alive in me. Just picking it up makes me feel like I am back there and inspires me to travel, read and to write. Love Poems Poetry has never been my thing, however, while browsing in the above-mentioned bookstore this bright and romantic book popped out at me. I mean where better to buy a book of poems than in the most romantic city in the world? This is a sweet little book filled with modern poetry that is easy to follow and is relatable. I love reading a poem or two while drinking a glass of wine in the bath. Oh, the romance. The Alchemist This is one of my favorite books of all time. It is such an inspirational story filled with hidden life wisdom and wonder. It doesn’t hurt that the book itself is very pretty. The cover is colorful and inviting and the pages are this unique texture making you feel like you are reading a book that has traveled a long mysterious distance to get to you. There are also little images inside the book that add a little extra charm. This is a beautiful book that I will certainly revisit time and time again. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well This is my most recent beautiful book and my main inspiration for writing this post. This is an easy and fun read. You can literally pick up this book, skim any page and feel cozy and inspired. I will be keeping this book on my coffee table all winter long. Whenever I feel the dark cold winter days are dragging on I will pick it up and embrace Hygge all over again. If you would like to embrace Hygge check out my post on mastering the art of Hygge. There you have it! Some of my favorite most beautiful books. What are some of your favorite beautiful books? Check out my book recommendations here.
People have been cozying up to the Danish concept of Hygge for centuries. Although I’m a little late to the party after I read the book The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well for myself I have caught the Hygge fever. If you are not familiar with this little book or the concept of Hygge allow me to briefly and undoubtedly unjustly introduce you. Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates into English as cozy, homy or comfy. But it is more than just that, it is a feeling, a state of mind, a lifestyle, an experience. As with many other words in other languages often it is difficult to formulate an exact translation. For me, Hygge is about the simple life. It’s about self-care and reflection, enjoying simple moments with close friends in intimate settings. It’s about warm drinks, fuzzy blankets and stormy nights. I was pleasantly surprised as I learned more about Hygge to discover that this was something that I had been embracing and striving for my whole life. I feel like through reading this book I have finally gotten the permission to be my authentically true self, by not just one author but a whole country. Why wasn’t I born in Denmark? Here on this side of the globe society often makes me feel that through my introverted and reflective nature I am somehow missing out on life. Like staying home with a book over going to a large event is somehow a cop-out. It is nice to know that there is a nation out there that shares my oddness to the western world and I think that the concepts of Hygge are what so many of us need. Not just introverts but all of us. There is so much to be gained in the simplicity of life. After all, isn’t that where all the true magic of our everyday life comes from? Simple moments spent with friends, a candle flickering and filling a room with a warm glow, the crackle of a fire on a cold dry evening. If you have not read The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well yet then I hope you feel inspired to pick up a copy and read it through. It is a light and cozy read that will put you perfectly at ease. If you are interested in embracing this lifestyle a little more then check out this checklist I have created that will give you all the inspiration you need to embrace Hygge in your home and your life. All the links I have provided are through Amazon but you can get most of these items anywhere! 1. Plush Velvet Throw The Danish art of living well is all about comfort so no home would be complete without a fuzzy comfy throw to add to your armchair, bed or couch. Or if you are like me you will just wrap it around your shoulders and walk around the house with this bad boy on like a comfy superhero. 2. Oversized Blanket Scarf Wrap Adding layers and mixing soft fabrics adds Hygge to every outfit which is why the bigger and bulkier the scarf the better! The Danish wear scarves almsot every day, every season so can you really have too many scarves? 3. Morning Coffee Mug No kitchen would be complete without a feel-good collection of large mugs. Having mugs that reflect your personality, mood or remind you of a trip or special person is a great way to enjoy a memory every time you fill it up with your favorite hot beverage. Hygge is a feeling after all. 4. Succulent Plants Mini Cactus – Geometric Plant Holder Vase Bringing green things into your home is something that the Danish love. Striking a balance between nature and the busy lives of the twenty-first century. Living in Canada I can really relate to the impact that having green beautiful living things inside my home has had on me during the cold dark depressing months. Plants uplift our mood, add a natural energy and are beautiful to look at all year round. 5. Natural Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp Lighting is crucial to mastering Hygge in your home. No matter what kind of light fixture you decide it must have a few essential elements. It must be beautiful and the lighting warm and timeless. This is why I went with the Himalayan salt lamp in my home, it gives off good vibes and warm light. It is also affordable without being “cheap.” 6. Jumanji Board Game in Wooden Case Exclusive Hygge is actually a very social lifestyle. However, it may be slightly different than what we are used to on this side of the world. Being social in a Hygge way means gathering in your now comfy and cozy home with your friends, listening to some music, eating yummy treats and playing fun games together. You don’t need to go to fancy restaurants or events to enjoy a weekend with good people, playing good games together. 7. Electric Stove, Matte Black In order to bring your Hygge home game to the next level, you need something that is the ultimate cozy and warm accessory. A fireplace!Apparently, the Dutch have more fireplaces per capita than anywhere else in Europe. However, if you are like me and live in an apartment implementing a woodburning fireplace may not be an easy task. But that doesn’t mean you cant bring the comfort inside in other ways. I have an electric fireplace that does the job almost as good and they are more affordable than you may first think. 9. Long Sleeve Sweater Stretchy Cable Knit Outwear The clothing you choose needs to reflect the inner calm and comfort of the Hygge lifestyle. For me that always means sweaters! Lots of sweaters and the bigger the better! 10. Cable Booties/Socks No cup of tea and a good book would be complete without a warm and fuzzy pair of socks. I wear mine every single day and nothing makes me feel more at ease than a stylish and soft pair of booties. 11. Entertaining Round Pillar Unscented Candle To the dutch candles are probably the most important part of Hygge in the home. There is a certain feeling that comes from the magic of a flickering candle. It brings us back to our roots and more simple times. But hey having too many scented candles burning at once can lead to a headache, so invest in lots of unscented ones just like the Dutch do. They know best. 12. Women’s Nirvana Robe Picture this… you just got out of a warm, bubbly candle lit Hygge bath and you slip into a fuzzy long robe for the evening. Can it get anymore Hygge than that? 13. Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker The Dutch are all about coffee. And good coffee, the real stuff. Incorporating Hygge into your life means taking longer to do the simple things and finding the joy in those rituals or routines. Like making a great cup of hot coffee. Taking the time to make it exactly how you want it and holding the steamy cup in your hands and taking a big whiff and a slow sip. That my friends is Hygge. 14. World Collection Organic Tea Not to worry noncoffee drinkers any warm beverage will give you that Hygge feeling. Tea has so many health benefits not to mention it is super cozy. May I suggest trying a multi-pack to find the perfect tea for you! 15.Globe String Lights No, properly Hygge lit room is complete without some string lights. Place these fairy lights around your bed, throughout your kitchen or your living room to add a bit of magic to your space. Having lights up throughout Christmas is my favorite part of winter, but now I can enjoy these magical lights all year round guilt free thanks to Hygge. 16. EXTRA LARGE LUSH & SOFT ALPACA FAUX FUR BEAN BAG Having Hygge in your home can mean something as simple as having a warm cozy and soft place to bundle up in your house with a warm beverage and a book. Light a candle and cuddle up in the chair of your choice, just remember to be close to a window of some kind. why? Because the Danish said so.
Well, another year of reading has come and gone and although I did not reach my 2017 reading goal I still managed to read some amazing tales. In this post, I will share what some of my favorite books of 2017 were, and I will share with you what my reading goals are for 2018. Because it’s always a good idea to have a game plan. I had a pretty ambitious reading goal in 2017 of 35 books. I thought this was pretty manageable seeing how I read 30 in 2016. However, I ended up spending much more time writing this year than reading so I was unable to stick to that goal. Oh well. Check out some of my fav’s here if you are looking for a good read! The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times Pema Chodron’s approach to sharing ancient Buddhist wisdom is very direct and easy to absorb. This makes her lovable to both beginners and the experienced. She was twice divorced and is an American. Making her relatable and inspiring in her writings. This is a beautiful book for those who are dealing with a fear of any kind. Fear in relationships, fear in practice, fear of the future, you name it we all have it. In this book, Pema teaches a totally different approach to dealing with the difficulties that this emotion can have on us. Each chapter you read is filled with dozens of thoughts and opinions that will widen your perspective and help you embrace all emotions in your life even the scary ones. A perfect reference to gain inspiration and begin practice with the right mentality. The Rome Affair How romantic is Rome? This book was an inspirational one for me as I plan on visiting Italy next year. I loved this book and it was certainly not what I expected. This book is all about a young lady who moves to Rome completely on her own (how amazing?). After learning a little bit about her life and falling in love with her spirit we are introduced to another inspirational woman. An American Roman aristocrat socialite woman in her 70s: the complete opposite of our main character. How their two stories intertwine is filled with delightful twists and turns. Discovering the untold secrets of a woman’s heart, a generation, and class that many never get to see into brings us to a surprise ending that I certainly wasn’t excepting. The Girl on the Train A few years ago it seemed that everyone was flying through this page-turner. Except me. I was dragging my feet on reading it, for reasons unknown. However, I did finally commit in September of 2017 and… woah! I can finally understand what all the fuss is about. This is a sweat-inducing, heart thumping twister of a tale. #GIRLBOSS I listened to this as an audiobook at the beginning of the summer. I honestly was not expecting much but this read quickly became a huge source of motivation for me and shaped my summer in surprising ways. It was this book that inspired me to switch my blog to self-hosted, start working with brands and also write my very first e-book. – Getting your Blog Brand Ready – A Beginners Guide to Working with Brands Written about the life of savvy business women Sophia Amoruso. #Girlboss is a book that will leave you feeling motivated, creative and inspired. Definitely worth checking out. Big Little Lies Featuring school children, married life, and parenthood with a twist. Follow along with the stories of three beautiful ladies as the secrets and dramas of their lives unfold to us and each other. It includes abuse, secrets, plots, and MURDER! This is a great read that is a little scary and very addicting. Perfect to get you in the cuddle up, hug your children and hide kind of mood. Adventures of the Soul: Journeys Through the Physical and Spiritual Dimensions Adventures of the soul is a great read for the curious earth dweller. If you have ever wondered where we come from and where we go when we are not in this earthly realm then this is a perfectly ghostly and educational read for you. James Van Praagh has been a medium researching the spirit world for over 30 years. Discover the unique makeup of the human soul, where it goes and get in touch with the mysteries of the unknown. 2018 Reading Challenge For 2018 I am committing to reading 30 books. An ambitious but perhaps slightly more realistic goal for me. I already have quite a few books waiting to be read and have been toying with the idea of re-reading The Harry Potter books. But really who knows where this year in books will take me! I urge you to sign up for goodreads and make your own reading goal for 2018. Whether it be 10 or 52 books! If you would like to follow along with me in 2018 please just add me as a friend on Goodreads and stay tuned because there are more book reviews coming your way. Happy reading! Amazon.ca Widgets
Living in a small space has really improved my efficiency when it comes to my closet organization. A few years ago I lived in an apartment with a walk-in closet and easily thoughtt I was in heaven. However, as time went by, each shelf became jammed and overflowed with clothing, coats, shoes, and junk. It was actually a nightmare. Naturally, when I moved into a much smaller apartment with a much, much smaller closet I thought I would never survive. This was it. My Sex in the City dreams of closet glamour was shattered. Little did I know at the time but this was the best thing that could have happened to me. After a few months of jamming all of my clothes anywhere that I could manage, I realized that the clutter and the heaps of clothing were stressing me out. I know, took me long enough, right? I began to hate being in my bedroom, I was having difficulty sleeping in there and I was so overcome with options that even getting ready in the morning was a stressful activity. Thankfully I began to clue in that more stuff was not making me happy. Not one bit. My mindset began to evolve and change and I was better able to reprioritize what mattered most in my life. I began to embrace simplicity and through that my closet benefited. I now clean out my closet at least twice a year and my wardrobe is slowly becoming more of what I want and less of what I don’t. Easy transitional pieces that are good quality and last longer is what I am striving towards and in time as I get there I am better able to be mindful of my buying habits and material needs. In all honesty those first few times I decluttered my closet was hard. I could only manage one or two items. But over time I have become a decluttering and purging machine. Now when I clean out my closet I can get a full garbage bag worth of stuff out of there in an afternoon. A far journey from where I started as a beginner hoarder. My system is fast and efficient which is why I thought I would share it with you all. I urge you to take a Sunday afternoon to try out these tips and begin a new fulfilling journey of simplifying your closet and life! Take everything out: You are probably going to hate me for this but you need to take it all out. Everything. Emptying your closet and laying it on your bed has two main purposes. The first being you get to see how much clothing you actually have. Which if you are anything like how I used to be will be a little shocking. The second is having all of your clothing out on display will allow you to touch and connect with your items before returning it to your closet. A tool that works better then you may think. Organize: Once you have everything out of your closet and your bedroom is a complete mess its time to make some piles. Try to use your gut reaction or the questions below to help you create the piles you need. Keep: Items to place here include items you love, wear often or are less than a year old. Seasonal Storage: Depending on the season; store away dresses in winter or sweaters in summer. My seasonal storage consists of bins placed under my bed. Maybe: In between the keep and the trash pile items can go in here… for now. Donate: Items that can be donated to charity or to friends. Trash: Underwear, mismatched socks, unsavable stained clothes. These items cannot be saved or are just not worth saving, its better to part ways. Questions for Contemplation: Have I worn this in the past year? If you have not worn an article in a long time but are hanging onto it in the hopes that you will one day then chances are you will never wear it. It might be better to give it to someone who will get better use out of it. Does this article do what its intended to do? Sweaters are meant to be cozy, blazers fashionable, jeans to fit right. Be honest with yourself here. Did you buy this hoping it would do something for you but it’s failing miserably? Face it, if you bought beautiful expensive, stylish jeans but every time you wear them they make you feel uncomfortable and unconfident then it is failing you. Let go of it so it doesn’t remain a constant reminder of insecurity for you. Again this article may be better suited for someone else. Can I style this more than 3 ways? Styling something three ways is kind of a golden rule. Keeping items that are transitional can help you minimize and better utilize what you do keep in your closet. Is there someone else who can better benefit from this? If you have friends that share your taste then why not give them a gift of a new article of clothing? Your clothes may move onto a home where they are better loved and used. Additionally, if you have items that can be donated to a charity that you know will be utilized like a coat or shoes, don’t wait around, donate them! Rehang & Reorganize By the time you get to this step you should have a better idea of what you want to keep, donate, trash and a little maybe pile also. Start with your keep pile and begin to rehang your clothing, keeping items in groups. Grouping your clothing together in your closet will help you easily find and see what you need going forward. Oh and help you dress faster in the morning. Before hanging each item from your keep pile, hold it and examine it asking yourself the questions above. You should be able to get rid of a few more articles during this process. Now it’s onto your maybe pile. Ask yourself the same questions, be cutthroat and honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to let it go. However, if you are really not sure about an item you can always place it back in your closet and reexamine it again during your next closet clean up. Keep your eye on those items that barely made it this time, because if they did not get properly used by the next haul then they need to go. Store away your seasonal clothing with a fresh dryer sheet and bring your donated clothes to their new homes. Then Bam! You are done. Lastly, grab your calendar and commit to another closet freshen up in 6 months time. Attachment leads to a lot of pain and suffering in our lives and society. Having items in your home that take up minimal space and that you love and use will bring you so much more happiness. But hey, you can start small. After a little practice, you will get better at letting go and you might even learn to like it. If you are feeling in the mood to do more decluttering then check out my post 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life.
In Newfoundland, it always seems to be that when there is a gathering of some kind the tea is poured. During some of the happiest and saddest times in my life, there has been a kettle bubbling in the corner and a gathering of comfort and conversation around a steamy cup. For me, a cup of tea represents that comfort and the hominess always put me at ease and opens me up. Which is why I chose tea talks as my way of sharing a little bit of myself with you all. I hope this is a place we can gather regularly, where I can share with you the current happenings in my life and my blog. I want these tea talks to be a place to share, plan, rant and learn a little bit about each other. I mean why not? I hope you enjoy! What I am drinking: Green Tea Currently reading: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking. This is the perfect cozy winter read for me right now. Reading it is helping me feel re-inspired to do some of the things that I already love, such as cuddling up with the mentioned book and drinking the above-mentioned tea. There really is so much that we can learn from the Dutch and from Hygge. I will be writing a review of this book on the blog soon, so stay tuned! Current favorite thing: Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream As you may know from my blog I am a fan of all natural skin care, and to be honest I feel like I have tried hundreds over this past year. However, no matter where my skincare journeys take me it is always Fresh that remains my one true love. I was in the market for an eye cream and a youth serum of some kind. Although Fresh is slightly more expensive than I would normally go for after months of deliberation I finally headed to Sephora and bought a whole kit of goodies. I regret nothing. Fresh’s products are like the holy grail of natural skin care. They leave my skin looking noticeably “refreshed” every bloody time. Each product takes you on a little adventure, through a rose garden or a lotus pond, each scent is like a new experience for the senses. My skin soaks it up and it brings me so much joy. Of all the skin care products I have tried and tested Fresh remains my favorite. I find myself trying to come up with reasons to wash my face just so I can use it. It’s a little ridiculous. Blogging things: Last month was mind-blowing. Like my mind is actually blown.I never thought in a million years that anyone would ever want to read what I write. Seriously not even my Mom. To be honest, traffic was never really what my blog goals were. I wanted an outlet to share my current interests, try new things, and of course to write. But somewhere along the way stats became a feature I could not ignore and something I decided to share because it is after all because of you! Thanks to your support, shares, and interest other people have found their way to my site causing a massive spike in my stats for last month. Woah! My site saw more views last month than in my entire 2 years of blogging combined. I have always been an advocate for blogging from the heart and hold little expectations. I write what inspires me in a format that I like which is why I am so grateful for January 2018. You can expect consistent posts throughout February centered around good vibes and living a simple and happy life. I hope you enjoy! Goals I am working towards: Currently, my main goal has been reading, I committed to reading 30 books in 2018. A fairly hefty goal for me. However, so far I am pleasantly surprised with myself as I am already 3 books in and it is only the beginning of February. Yay! Reading truly inspires me more than anything else, just being around books makes me happy. I cant be the only one who goes to the bookstore just to visit the books, can I? This is a goal I am feeling pretty passionate about lately and I want to keep the momentum going. Follow me on Goodreads to see what I am reading and to check out my reviews. Also if you have any book recomendations for me just comment below. I hope you enjoyed our first Tea Talk of the year. Feel free to start your own tea talk on your blog and share with me your own updates. Cheers!
Winter can be a wonderfully reflective and solitary time. The world seems to slow down, the days are short and I often feel more sluggish and introverted than usual. Winter is a time for recharging, relaxing and regenerating. Obviously, winter doesn’t stop us from being busy but I can’t be the only person who feels a little more hermitish this time of year. Not that I’m complaining. I like to spend the majority of my leisure time at home stimulating my mind and recharging my batteries. As an introvert, I crave these slow winter days. Regardless of your winter pace, it is the perfect time to show yourself a little extra self-care. To put your comfort and wellbeing first for a change and really take advantage of snowy days and the opportunity for inner recharging. Check out these self-care ideas that are perfect for cozy winter days. 1. Spa Day Winter can be a difficult time for skin care. With days spent outside in the bitter cold or in a stuffy office, your skin could be flakey and dry this time of year. Which is why a spa day is a perfect way to care for yourself. Your skin will thank you and who doesn’t love to feel pampered and relaxed? Grab a face mask, do some deep exfoliation, leave a hair mask in and just enjoy pampering yourself. You are guaranteed to feel rejuvenated and if all goes well you will end up looking refreshed too. 2. Bath and a Book Winter is a great time to amp up your bath game. With some Epsom salts, bath bombs. bubbles and candles you can transform your ordinary bathroom into a winter steamy chalet. Grab a good book and spend as much time as you like warming up and melting away. 3. Wintry Walk with a Warm Beverage If you are lucky enough to live in a snowy winter wonderland then this is a great self-care activity for you to take advantage of. However, regardless of where you live, fresh air and days spent frolicking in the sunshine may be far and few in between this time of year. Grab your favorite hot beverage to help you stay nice and toasty as you reconnect with nature, get some fresh air and physical activity. 4. Sunday Morning Yoga Sundays are the perfect day for self-care. Sundays are also a great day to sleep in, laze around and do nothing at all, which is another useful form of self-care from time to time. Other times it is nice to drag yourself out of bed to do something that is truly beneficial for your overall health and spirit. Why not wake up a little extra early on Sunday morning and go to a yoga class? You will feel spiritually awakened and physically refreshed, which is what self-care is all about. As for the rest of the day, you can always go home and lounge in your yoga gear. 5. Nap & Meditate Sometimes one of the best things you can do to care for yourself is to take a nap. Turn on a guided sleep mediation lay back and let your breath drift you away to a deep sleep. Check out my post on 5 Reasons you Should be Napping to help inspire you. 6. Adult Coloring & your Favorite Movie Adult coloring books are simply the best and I am so glad they are a socially acceptable way to spend your time. Turn on your favorite movie and relax as you create your own adultish masterpiece. This is a wonderful way to unwind and relax. 7. Begin a Gratitude Practice Purchase a regular journal and begin a journaling experience that will improve your wellbeing, confidence, and happiness over time. Every morning when you wake up or evening before bed write three things that you are grateful for. It sounds simple but this is potentially the most powerful practice on this list. 8. Start a New Budget I tend to spend a lot less money during the winter… except on sweaters of course. The start of a new year and less spending combine to be a great time for planning for your future self. And nothing says self-care like budgeting. 9. Grab Brunch with a Friend Brunch is a great thing to do any time of year, however, bundling up with friends in a cozy cafe is a wonderful way to spend a winter day. Why not take your best friend on a brunch date and spend a few hours catching up and warming up with a big mug of steamy coffee? 10. Get a Massage I do a lot less physical activity in the winter time. This tends to make me feel rather tense from my sedentary desk job. Getting a massage can be a great way to pamper yourself and also keep those tense winter muscles stretched and limber. 11. Cook or Bake Something Fancy I do a lot more baking and cooking this time of year, and if you enjoy trying new recipes then this can be a very therapeutic self-care activity to be enjoyed by not only yourself but your significant other, co-workers or whoever else you are inclined to share your treats with. 12. Start Meal Prepping If you are looking for an easy way to stick to your health goals? If so then meal prepping might be the key! Every Sunday evening take a few hours to prep your meals and snacks for the week ahead. This will keep you eating well and save you time during the week as all your meals are all ready for you when you need them. Check out my meal prep board on Pinterest for tonnes of ideas. 13. De-Clutter your Home In winter we spend so much time at home why not make home a place of comfort and relaxation by clearing it of unwanted items and clutter? Check out my post 89 Things to Remove from your Home and your Life for a little inspiration to get you started. Amazon.ca Widgets
Minimalism seems to be all the rage lately. There is a certain buzz around the idea of cutting down on consumerism and materialism and for good reasons. It is no secret that we are overindulgent consuming creatures at times. Somewhere along the way in our evolution, we have completely lost track of what we are consuming and why. We have lost the roots of our needs. When we go beyond our basic necessities what impact does overconsumption really have anyway? There are environmental impacts that we can no longer ignore, problems with debt, greed, and selfishness. Over consuming while in the short term may fill a void, in the long term can lead to feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction. Consumerism temporarily fills a void that is unfillable, making over consuming a cycle that cannot be aided through action. Our perspective on need and luxury have been skewed in ways that leave most of us overly attached to the products we have in our lives. Although minimalism in the extreme sense is not for everyone there are small things you can do to reduce the impact that material things have in your life You can reduce the junk, the clutter and help yourself get back on financial track. To help you start you can stop buying crap you don’t need. Seems easy enough and in many ways, it is easier than you may think. Here is a list to help inspire you to make those major or minor changes in your life. I hope this helps you save a buck and become a more mindful consumer. Dish clothes – Use rags instead. New leather – Buy second hand or knock-off leather. Processed foods – Buy local and organic. Fast fashion – Cheaply made fashion that goes out of style as soon as you buy it can be replaced by second-hand clothes or higher quality multi-functional pieces. Plastic bottles – Buy a good reusable bottle for filtered water. Coffee filters – Instead use reusable filters. Ziplock bags – Begin washing and reusing the ziplock bags you do have or using Tupperware. Magazines – You can download e-copies of many of your favorite paper magazines. Plastic utensils – Use your regular utensils for BBQs and picnics as an alternative. Jean shorts – Cut off an old pair of jeans or buy second hand. You can get creative and easily create any style that is currently fashionable. Florescent lightbulbs – Purchase LED or another type of longer lasting bulb. Tacky accessories – If you want to decorate your home spend money on quality meaningful decor. Cheap jewelry – Spend money on good long lasting jewelry instead of cheaply made jewelry that will break quickly. Flowers – Buy seed and grow flowers in your windowsill or garden so you can have flowers all year round Premade rice mix – Buy in bulk plain rice and add spices yourself. This uses less packaging and is also cheaper in the long term. Shaving cream – Use moisturizer or soap instead. All purpose cleaner – Make your own with a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. Toilet bowl cleaner – Make a natural cleaner using vinegar and essential oils. Body wash – Just use soap. Bread – Make your own. Pizza – Make your own at home, it’s fun and easy. BBQ sauce – Homemade sauces are often better or you. Fast food – Eat meals at home as often as possible, prepare meals when you have spare time and freeze for future use. Smoothies – Make your own at home. Shredded cheese – It is cheaper and often fresher to shred cheese yourself. Paper towels – Use reusable rags. Wrapping paper – Get creative and reuse old paper materials. Greeting cards – DIY, this is cheaper and more meaningful. Herbs – You can easily grow these on your windowsill. This way you can have them fresh all year round. Wine – Try making your own. Beer – Buy a kit and try making this yourself. Green onion – By placing the root in the water you can reuse the same green onion for months. CD’s – Download music instead. Lysol wipes – If you would like to use a disinfectant use the Lysol spray and a rag. Chicken broth – Make your own using a chicken carcass. Yoga supplies – You don’t need fancy supplies to practice yoga just your body. Tea bags – Buy loose tea and a steeper for less waste. Disposable rubber gloves – Wash and reuse reusable gloves when you can. Paper plates – This is a major waste. Use and wash reusable plates. Plastic cups Napkins DVD’s – Watch via Netflix or download. Bandaids – Homemade bandaids are equally as efficient Sugar – There is no alternative, it’s just bad for you. Pre-made foods – Ignore all the delicious premade foods in the grocery store and make salads, burgers, and sandwiches yourself. This is fresher and cheaper. Store bought cake – Make your own cakes and desserts. French fries – Make these yourself with a little oil and sea salt. Store bought paintings – These are often cheaply made and end up being thrown out after a while. Invest in something you really love. Pre-made spices – Buy spices in bulk. Aloe – Aloe plants are easy to care for. Breath mints – Bring your toothbrush and paste with you during your day. Bookmarks – Make your own. Coffee to go – Make your own in a reusable mug. Maps – Download a map on your smartphone. Dictionaries – Google! Cookies – If you vow to make these homemade then you will eat less and save money. Boxes of cereal – Buy in bulk. Candy canes – This is a pointless treat that hardly anyone eats. Conditioner – Make your own using household items. Swiffers – Use an old fashion broom. Makeup Brush Cleaners – wash your brushes using a little oil, dish soap and warm water. Dryer sheet – Use tennis balls. Canned Soup – Make large batches and freeze. Books – Head to the library. Deli Meat – Cook chicken and beef and make your own sandwich meats instead. This is cheaper and way healthier. Plastic Tupperware – Switch to longer term more durable glass containers Body Lotions Face washes – The best thing to use can often be just water. Body Creams Body Moisturizer Gravy mixes – Make your own gravy. Instant Mashed Potatoes – Do it the old-fashioned way. Flavored coffee – Use spices and add flavor yourself while you percolate. Pancake mixes – It is just as easy to make your own with flour. Granola – Make your own using oats. Pens – Grab some free ones from businesses instead. Devices – Stop buying the newest hottest thing on the market. Be mindful of your actual needs. For more ideas to help you live a full and simple life check out the post 89 Items to Remove from your Home and your Life.
Are you dreaming of a sandy shore on a tropical beach? The sun beaming cheerfully as you lay and read a book. No schedule, no obligations, just you, the next chapter and gentle lapping of the waves. Are you dreaming of standing on the side of the grand canyon? Feeling chills travel through your whole body as you stare in awe at the natural beauty of the world that is everyone to see? Are you dreaming of staring into the Mona Lisa’s eyes? Trying to discover the secrets that is hidden in her smile? Or dreaming of sitting in a crowded Parisian cafe watching people holding hands and falling in love as you sip a cappuccino? As a dreamer myself I can easily get lost in thought as I put myself in any of these inspiring places. To me travel is the most wonderful way to live. To learn more about ourselves, our planet, and each other. Traveling is more than just a break from routine, although that is needed too. It is an opportunity to enrich your life and claim for yourself the beauty and wonders of this world we call home. I envy those adventurous nomads out there who travel the world. Some adventurers spending months or even years on the road discovering wonder after wonder. But let’s be real here for a minute. Not all of us can do that, and not all of us want to. There are other things in life that are important too, like family, careers, building a home. For most of us, travel is something to be enjoyed that adds to the richness of our lives but is not our life itself. For many of us, the prospect of traveling can be stressful. Many of us dont want to indulge our fantasies too much becuase the thought of saving for our dream trip might overwhelm us. I get it. I am a young working professional with a modest income too. But that doesnt mean you cant dream. Just because you have a job, a family, or a morgage doesn’t mean you can’t still work towards a travel goal. What if I told you that anyone in the world has within them the power to make their dreams come true? What if I told you with a few simple tricks you can over time realize your dream vacation? I think you see where this post is going. Here are a few tips to help you start turning your travel dreams into your future reality. Remember to think big and start small and you will get there! Outline your dream Think big! Really big. Forget about being realistic and really dream. More than likely you already have an idea in your heart of hearts of where you want to go. That one place in the whole world you would want to see before you die, one place you would go if you won the lottery. That one place is your dream vacation. It might be expensive, foreign and out there. But this is your goal. Go big or go home right? If you want to realize your dreams then you need to have the guts to achieve it. Don’t be afraid. Thinking about going wont send you into bankruptcy. Your first step is to choose your dream vacation and do a little research. Begin with the basics. How much is it to go for a week or two. Plane tickets, accomadations, spending money. This does not need to be an accurate to the dollar outline just a rough idea. Round that number up a little to give you a little breathing room. Remember this is not a set in stone outline, just the general idea to help you get started. but without it, you may as well keep dreaming. From this idea, a great master plan can be born. I promise. Besides this could begin the manifestation of a wonderful reality. Create your budget The most obvious way to begin planning for any big purchase is by creating a budget. However, it still shocks me how many people dont budget. You can not improve if you don’t know where you can improve. For this reason, a basic idea of what your budget is will not be enough. You need to get it on paper, you need to restrict and reward yourself with your finances. You should treat your finances like a business. By creating a budget you can plan, organize and create goals for any situation. Start simple by tracking what you spend each month on rent, transportation, food, bills and misc. Then take a look over your monthly statements of the past and track what you spent on clothes, eating out, memberships and other wants. It might be shocking, and it might be hard, to be honest with yourself. Once you have the numbers you can determine how much you can put away each month for your dream vacation. I would suggest putting this automatically into a separate account each pay period. Simple tips to help you save If you are tight on money or would like to put extra away each month then taking then trying the following tips is a great way for an extra boost. Place any extra money you save into your savings account and start packing. Stop buying coffee and lunches Make a grocery list and budget food spending Cut down on heating costs Downgrade on data phone plans Start thrifting Manifestations Sell things on the internet Ditch the memberships Watch your bank fees Car pool Get second income Find cheap alternatives to regular activities Get a library card Walk or bike to work instead Pack your own lunches Cut cable Stop buying bottled water Buy generic Downsize on gifting Leave your wallet at home Cut your own hair