THANK GOD IT’S WEDNESDAY

Hey. What’s up? Hello. I keep taking unintentional hiatuses. Sorry. These last few weeks have been slightly insane. I can’t complain, but I am going to say that I need way more sleep than I have been getting.

Where do I even begin? How many days has it been? Oh, right! I went to the Cape for an overnight last week! It was fun, but very humid! It was great to see my family and get some beach time in! I packed super light, because I was there for less than 24 hours, but I promised you an itemized list, so here it is!

 

 

  • 1 maxi dress for our annual family dinner (which doubled as a beach cover up for the following day)
  • 1 pair of shorts + a tank top to sleep in
  • 1 pair of “fancy” sandals to wear to the family dinner (which doubled as beach shoes for the following day)
  • 1 pair of jeans + 1 tank top + boat shoes which I wore during my travel time down and drive back (outfit pictured above)
  • 1 (very) small over the shoulder bag to accessorize my dinner outfit & hold my money, card & phone
  • Necessary undergarments (duh) x3
  • 1 Hoodie because this is New England and you just never friggen know
  • Beach towel
  • Baseball hat
  • Bathing suit
  • Phone charger
  • A book to read at the beach
  • minimal make-up & personal hygiene/hair care items (cover-up, sunscreen, mascara, foundation, toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste, face wash and 2-in-1 shampoo, hair straightener, comb and deodorant

The Cape is ALWAYS beautiful and I wish I could have spent more time down there, but I am glad I got to go. Here’s some pictures!

 


What else? OH YEAH! I went to the Alkaline Trio show in Boston on Saturday. I have been DYING to see them play! They have remained one of my favorite bands for many years. Here’s a video!

In other news, I’ve also been going to zumba four times a week and I LOVE IT! Finally finding a way to work out that I can get excited about makes me very excited about my fitness goals! I used to dread the gym, but going to the zumba studio instead has really changed that for me! I get to shake my butt to get back in shape; I am living the dream! haha!

I think that is all for now. I have my last “big” vacation coming up on Thursday of next week! That day can’t arrive soon enough! Very much looking forward to spending 5 days on the beach in Maine! I’ll do a “what I packed” update and all of that for that trip as well! Until then, enjoy the rest of your week/weekend!

 

What’s in my wardrobe?

So, I’ve been slacking on getting this post up, but I put in some work today! I did another de-cluttering purge this morning and wound up with a whole other box full of clothing, bags and shoes to donate.

Let’s get down to it! What’s in my wardrobe? WELL, a lot more than I realized originally, TBH, but that’s beside the point. Let’s start with all of the photos that I took today (almost everything is pictured somewhere below, but I am definitely missing a few things #sorrynotsorry).

Before: To start this whole process, I emptied my closet & all of my drawers entirely and threw everything on my bed.

During: I created 2 piles – “KEEP” & “DONATE” – pretty cut and dry. I folded (or hung up) each piece as I went through everything one by one, to 1. create less work for myself later on & 2. to avoid wrinkles to the best of my ability. Additionally, I jotted down a total tally for each group of items (sweatshirts, pants, jeans, etc.), so I’d know what I had left at the end of the process. I like lists. There, I said it. I like them and I’m not ashamed!

After: Once all of the folding, sorting and decision-making was through, I put everything that I wanted to keep back in its place & packed all of the donations into a box. I felt very zen after that part was over. Organizing makes me feel like I have my sh*t together. Haha!

This is my year-round wardrobe. I haven’t gotten to a point yet where I’ve been able to create seasonal capsules, solely because I live in New England, where the weather can be 90 degrees and humid one day and back down to 40 degrees and rainy the next, (or f*cking snowing.) We New Englandaahs  just never know what’s in store for us next and that is a reality that I’ve come to accept. That being said…

THE LIST: 

Business-Casual Slacks: 1 black, 1 gray
Jeans: 2 dark wash, 1 black, 1 black distressed, 1 light wash distressed
Shorts: 1 black, 1 lighter-wash and 1 Bermuda-style
T-shirts
: 1 gray, 1 black, 1 white, 2 graphic, 2 striped
Long-sleeved Casual: 1 black, 1 gray
Crop-tops: red & white striped
Button-ups: 1 long-sleeved chambray, 1 flannel & 1 white collared button-up
Sweatshirts: 1 cropped, 3 hoodies, 1 zip-up, 1 pull-over
Over-sized Sweaters: 1 colored, 2 neutral
Vests: 1 olive green utility, 1 black w/ brown trim zip-up
Cardigans: 1 black, 1 red, 1 yellow
Camis: 1 black, 1 grey, 1 white, 1 white w/ lacy print
Dressy Tanks: 1 yellow, 1 black, 1 navy/white striped
Suits
: 1 black suit
Skirts: 1 yellow pleated (knee length) & 1 black pencil skirt
LBD(s): 1 dressy (tank) & 1 casual (long-sleeved, knee-length)
Other Dresses: 1 black & white striped, 1 short-sleeved maxi

Bags/Hats/Accessories: 1 reversible belt (1 side black & 1 side brown) + Bags: swimsuit bag, beach bag, “fancy” work bag, casual tote, small leather over-the-shoulder bag, waterproof backpack, runner’s wallet, carry-on suitcase + 5 pairs of earrings & 4 necklaces (not pictured) + Hats: 1 beanie, 1 scally cap, 2 baseball caps

Shoes: 10 pairs – pictured above – 1 casual sandal, 1 dress sandal, toms, colored flats, running shoes, fashion sneakers, black heels, boat shoes, all-weather boots and black heeled booties + one pair of nude flats that I keep under my desk at work (not pictured)

Workout Clothes: Too many t-shirts, not enough pants (LOL – Guess I’ll have to tackle that next)

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. For a chick living in New England, I’d say less than 50 pieces of clothing (give or take outer layers & workout clothes not listed) for the whole year isn’t too shabby! This means that over the last few months, I have managed to donate OVER HALF of my stuff. Before I started this process, I had 125+ items sitting in miscellaneous draws and closets, many of which I never even wore or thought about. This is HUGE for me! And what a great feeling it is to rid myself of the excess!

As things wear out & I have to replace them, I intend to narrow my collection of clothing and accessories down even more! Investing in quality over quantity is the over-all goal. The end goal is to get myself down to a 35-piece wardrobe, inclusive of shoes & outer-layers, that can been worn interchangeably, year-round. I’ll be giving myself some time to work on that. I am not planning on replacing anything or buying anything else until these items get too worn out to be socially acceptable. Three exceptions to this rule include: 1. if I need to buy any bridesmaid dresses (highly likely); 2. if/when I achieve the weight loss goals that I am gunning for and these items become too big for me; 3. if I end up being selected to move forward with one of the jobs I’ve applied for, I’ll have to buy another suit. Life happens & we all have to adjust accordingly! 🙂

I am SO excited to see where this journey is going to take me. I already feel like so much stress has been lifted! So far, this has helped simplify my morning routine, which has allowed me to actually enjoy commuting into Boston, and boosted my self-confidence, because I have only kept pieces that make me FEEL GOOD. It’s been pretty eye-opening, that’s for sure.

That’s all for now! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Traveling more, with less.

Good morning everyone! I am currently on my way to New Jersey. I’ve never been and I am looking forward to it!

My trusty little carry on bag and I are on the Amtrak now and ready for 2 days of concerts and the Asbury Park boardwalk. Bring it on!

I only packed essentials this time around, just like I tried to do for my last weekend get away to NY.

Here’s the list of stuff I’ve brought along for the trip:

2 plain tank tops

1 fancy tank top (concert attire)

2 pair of jeans(1 I’m wearing now + 1 backup)

1 pair of shorts

Bathing suit

Beach towel

Flip flops

Sneakers

1 bra

1 bralette

3 pairs of underwear

3 pairs of socks

Sweatshirt

Lint roller

Phone charger

Chambray button up (which I’m using as my beach cover-up)

Travel-sized shower things + travel sized hair spray & make-up wipes

Sunscreen (!!!!)

1 pair of sun glasses

Hair brush

Toothbrush/toothpaste

Basic make-up (cover up, foundation, mascara, lipstick)

Aside from my book and my headphones and phone, that’s it!

Packing less has made the entire travel process so much less stressful and my carry is good for any form of travel – trains, planes,automobiles. It’s versatile and it works so well for me!

I am looking forward to roaming about in a new area with my friends! Should be a great time! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Decluttering my closet!

Happy Friday (well…technically, it’s Saturday now…) everyone!

I came home to my package from The Container Store, waiting for me on the porch! Maybe I was a little too excited about that… on second thought… no I wasn’t. I WAS STOKED! (Is this what “adulting” is – getting super jazzed about closet organizer stuff that you got one sale? If so, I don’t hate it.)

ANYWAY, I clean my closet out often, but SOMEHOW, a huge mess always manages to recreate itself within a couple of days. Maybe I just suck at not throwing things on the floor, but that is a reality that I have learned to accept; it is a reality that looks a lot like this:

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SO, I decided to try something new…

TAAA DAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

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That right there, lovely readers – believe it or not, is 3/4 of my year-round wardrobe! I need to do laundry, so some stuff is missing, but CHECK THIS SH*T OUT!

I. AM. ELATED. Weird? Maybe to you, BUT am I ashamed that this brings me so much joy? HELL-TO-THE-NO. Clean(er) house, clear(er) mind. I’d say my Friday was pretty  productive!

I think that my next update will be a “What’s in my wardrobe?” post. I am super curious to see how many items I actually have. I have done A LOT of decluttering and donating over the last few months, so I would like to see where I am at. Please let me know if you guys would be interested in reading something like that (TBH, I’ll probably do it either way, but…) it would be nice to get some feedback!

That’s all for now! Have a lovely night!

I haven’t gone grocery shopping in 2 weeks!

Good morning, happy Friday & happy heatwave, to anyone in the Massachusetts/New England area right now. I feel like I’m melting.

Fun fact: for the last 2 days for sure, I’ve basically been living off of smoothie bowls, which I’ve recently become a huge fan of and can’t figure out why I never made them before, because they are SO simple AND they are a great way to use up leftover ingredients! Plus, they look pretty AF and keep me cool – which is super important, especially on gross, humid days, because I have MS and need to keep my core temperature down. (Not to mention all of the super foods that you can stack on top of these bad boys!)

Anyway, as you may have noticed from the title of this post, it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve had to do any grocery shopping. I have literally been living off of leftovers and free food from work for 2 weeks. I usually only spend about $50/week on groceries, but even still, that means I have saved myself about $100 AND I still have more than enough food left to get me through next week! (Though, I am starting to run low on almond milk – so I’ll probably have to pick some up). Pretty crazy, the amount of stuff that I had in my freezer and pantry. There is literally no excuse, aside from pure laziness, that has kept me from using up all of the stuff I’ve apparently been stockpiling. really made me reconsider my spending habits even further. (I was spending WAAAYYYY more than necessary. It actually kind of makes me sick to think about, TBH)

Also, I’m not staring at my cabinets/fridge right now because I’m at work, but from memory, as of last night, here’s a list of what I STILL have left (not counting basics like nutritional yeast, spices, flour, oil, etc. because I am not running short on any of that):

  • 8 oz quinoa
  • 16 oz green lentils
  • 1 liter of almond milk
  • 8 oz jar of almond butter
  • 1/2 bag of sliced almonds
  • 1/2 bag of chia seeds
  • 1/2 a (giant) bag of frozen berries & chopped kale (mixed)
  • < 1/4 bag frozen spinach
  • < 1/4 bag of PB powder
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • < 8 oz of cacao nibs
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 jar pre-made Arrabiata sauce
  • < 1/4 bag each of frozen peppers & onions
  • 1 bag each of steamer-bag broccoli and asparagas
  • 1 lb of penne
  • 1/2 a (giant) bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (mixed)
  • 1/4 loaf of whole grain bread
  • 1 bag chocolate plant-based protein powder
  • 2 sandwich-sized bags full of chopped, frozen bananas
  • 3 fresh bananas
  • 10 oz steel cut oats
  • 2 lbs of frozen haddock
  • 1/2 bag frozen strawberries
  • 6-8 granola bars
  • < 8 oz coconut oil
  • < 5 oz canola oil
  • (2) 15 oz cans of Chickpeas
  • 16 oz brown rice
  • 1 lb of chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans
  • 16+ oz veggie broth
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 12 oz frozen, quinoa salad (from the grad party in NY last weekend)
  • a bunch of condiments
  • 16+ single serving packages of Hummus
  • 3 bottles of kombucha
  • 20 green tea bags
  • 4 oz Matcha latte mix (powdered)
  • 6 oz ground coffee

That’s all that I can remember right now, but DAMN, talk about excess stuff. I have quite a few recipes in mind that I intend to whip up over the next week, to use up all of that stuff. I’m not going to go shopping again until I use the majority of that because honestly, it’s just not necessary. I’ll post updates on that process as it happens. Who knows, maybe it’ll spark some inspo for all of you to try something similar!

Also on the agenda for the weekend (because I may as well do it all at once), de-cluttering the rest of my kitchen! I’m going to go through all of my pots, pans, plates, cups, etc. and just create a donation pile for Goodwill with the excess. I don’t really have a lot of usable space in my kitchen as it is, so it’ll be good to clear out the stuff that I don’t need.

I think that’s it for now. Enjoy the sun while it’s here and spend some time at the beach for me! Enjoy your weekend!

SLDMchallenge & vaca update!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I wanted to provide a little update on my 1st packing less attempt & how that worked out during my trip. I do have to say, despite the whirlwind of a weekend that it was, I did not feel like I had forgotten to pack anything important. No situations arose where I would have needed anything extra – if anything, I’m actually pretty confident that I could have packed even less and that would have worked out just as well. For example, I brought my bathing suit and a beach towel with me, despite the forecast saying it would be rainy and cloudy all weekend. The forecast was right, much to my dismay, so I did not make it to the beach during my trip.

Additionally, I am happy to report that I stuck to my vacation budget! I treated myself to two bottles of wine (to take home) and a bag of donuts from an adorable little farm stand, which I shared with everyone at our first family breakfast of the weekend, but that’s all! I was actually able to lend money to someone else that needed some extra for their hotel room, after paying for mine and still had $20 left over at the end of the trip. I’ll admit, I was VERY tempted to buy a sweatshirt that I saw in Greenport, NY, but after some rationalizing and reminding myself that I still own what I consider to be too many sweatshirts, the urge passed. Old habits die hard, but I am improving!

I spent the weekend enjoying time with my family and taking some photos, rather than going shopping or spending unnecessary amounts of money on “stuff,” which is something that I have very much been guilty of in the past (especially in adorable little port towns with a bunch of unique, nautical-themed gift shops!) Though this accomplishment may seem small to some, it is a big step for me and I am pretty darn proud of myself. 🙂

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the trip to Norfolk County, NY:

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One Woman Wines is a certified sustainable winery, run by, you guessed it, one woman! She sells her wine out of this cute little building, which has two adorable sitting areas on the side with beautiful views of her vineyard. I was so impressed!
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This is Kontokosta Winery. A beautiful, huge venue that overlooks the Long Island Sound. The winery itself was big and open and had this modern/rustic feel to it. A lot of natural materials and plants as decoration, which truly complimented the astounding view.

Norfolk County is such a GORGEOUS place! I am so grateful that I was able to stay present and truly enjoy my surroundings throughout this trip, because I would have missed out on a whole hell of a lot, had I kept to my old habits.

The whole goal of this #SLDMchallenge is for me to make small changes over time, to improve my quality of life and reinstate my ability to enjoy the little things. I already feel like I’m reaping the rewards, tenfold, and it’s a really beautiful thing.

That’s all for now!

Packing less. #SLDMchallenge

img_20180622_225233_961432718485404608278.jpgGood evening all! This weekend has been a bit of a whirlwind, but I’m good to sit down and type this out now, so let’s doooooo this!

Okay, so I’m currently in New York for a family event. I arrived on Friday afternoon and I’m heading back home tomorrow. I was extra excited about this trip because I knew it would be the first chance I’d have to try out packing essentials only.

My little suitcase, pictured next to me above, is a carry-on sized bag from Rockland brand. It’s light weight and super easy to wheel around. A solid purchase. It was on sale (was 120, but got it on Amazon for 45!) and I did not own one prior. The inside of it looks like this:

I did my best to cut out the extra stuff that I always find necessary to bring. This is a family event and required a bit of dressing up for the occasion, but nothing crazy fancy. After checking the weather and all of that fun stuff, the items below are what wound up making the cut:

My Packing List – 3 nights, 2 days:

  • romper
  • baseball cap
  • 1 set workout clothes (sports bra, yoga pants, tank top)
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 1 bralette
  • 1 regular bra
  • 1 cami
  • 1 dressy tank
  • 1 denim button-up
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • sweatshirt
  • casual pair of shoes
  • dressy pair of shoes
  • Denim jacket
  • Bathing suit
  • Beach towel
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, make-up, deodorant, dry shampoo, etc.)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Wallet
  • Book
  • Glasses
  • Notebook + pens
  • Keys

After a bit of coaxing myself into not packing 2 of everything “just in case,” I did it. The end result wasn’t perfect, but I think it was a solid first attempt.

It’s a work in progress, but I look forward to improving the process for myself, all around.

That’s all for now. I’ll post an update about my trip on Monday! It’s been great so far!