Cleaning out my Mom’s closet!

Hello, happy Monday; give me all the coffee! Also, I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT IT IS ALREADY OCTOBER!

So, this weekend was pretty solid. I spent some much needed girl time with my best fraaand since age 6, I went on a great date, had a lot of great conversations and ate a lot of delicious food! Additionally, on Sunday, I (finally!) got my mom to go through the first round of cleaning out her closet! My mom is a beautiful lady, who always tends to wear things that are super worn and too big on her; we started to remedy that issue yesterday. Never have I ever seen SO many clothes. We made a pretty good dent, but we still have 2 dressers and another small closet to go. Progress photos below!

BEFORE! (YIKES!)

AFTER!!!!! (YAY!)

After that whole process was complete, we wound up with 3 huge bags full of clothing, (which we donated to the Lawrence Crisis Center) and a whole box full of name-brand clothing that we will be trying to sell to second-hand stores for some extra cash.

I love to help people de-clutter, but I also need to remember that not everyone is as comfortable as I am with going down to just basics. It’s going to be a different process for everyone that I assist/that goes through the process themselves. Everyone has a different definition of “just enough,” so, not only was this a learning experience for her, but it was for me as well.

Fall is here!

Good morning and happy* Monday everyone!

*Okay, honestly, I always have mixed feelings about Mondays, but they’re not the worst thing in the world – it just feels like it sometimes.

This weekend was eventful and very productive. I changed out all of my Summer clothing for Fall/Winter items yesterday. The process was long, as I did not realize how many fall items I had, but that’s what happens when you put stuff away for half of the year, I guess. Great news is, I was able to get together another box of clothing to donate! Additionally, some of the items were name-brand and in great condition, so I’ll be able to sell those items to a consignment store and make some cash, which I intend to use to replace my more-than-worn winter boots from last year. Here’s some photos of the process! (If you follow me on Instagram (@lindsliveswithless), you may have already seen these!)

BEFORE:

AFTER! 

It look like a whole heck of a lot, and that is because I recently had to buy a bunch of new work clothes because…I AM DOWN 10 LBS! (Before & after pictures below!) Zumba is really paying off! (And it is so much fun!!) I am very grateful to have finally found a type of exercise that I actually enjoy doing. The search was long! Trust me! haha!screenshot_20180924-093042_instagram1699404042940257288.jpg

Exciting, but more expensive than I’d like! haha! But let’s lay this out – so, in my newly organized closet, pictured above, the left side is all interview/suit & tie items. After that is my shoe rack and in the middle are all of my dresses, blouses and cardigans. the storage next to that is all of the sweaters and casual wear that did not need to be hung up. And, LAST but not least, since I do live in New England, the right side is strictly jackets and outerwear. The other two pictures are all undergarments + workout & pajama items.

For those interested in an itemized list of my closet items, what I have there is as follows:

Jackets: 1 denim, 1 black denim, 1 motorcycle, 1 wool coat

Smart Business Items: 1 black pencil skirt, 1 pleated skirt, 3 pairs of black slacks & 2 suit jackets (1 plaid, 1 black)

Dresses: 1 black & white striped, 1 long-sleeved t-shirt, 1 short-sleeved t-shirt with neck line detail and 1 plaid

Blouses: 1 leopard print, 1 maroon, 1 dressy tank and 1 black

Cardigans: 1 black, 2 yellow (gifted one, had already bought another, but I wear them often, so I’ve kept both)

Shoes: 1 pair each of – black booties, Toms, Vans, workout sneakers, leopard flats, low-heeled black pumps and (not pictured) nude flats (which I keep at work)

Aside from that, there are a few comfy sweaters (that can be dressed up or down), 2 vests, 3 camis, 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of jeans and some scarves for the colder days.

In other news, I am proud to announce that my love for de-cluttering may be starting to rub off on my mom! She did a kick ass job de-cluttering her kitchen this weekend and we are going to get her closet done this coming weekend! I am so excited!

ALSO, I have an interview this week and I am crossing my fingers! Please, wish me luck!

I think that is all for now. Hope everyone has a great 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!

I FORGOT MY FOOD AT HOME, an #SLDMchallenge update!

So, Monday came and went. I made leftovers into some pretty solid meals (cauliflower rice topped with stir fry veggies + some shredded teriyaki chicken, turkey tacos & fruit salad (not pictured below) 20180618_1834126011394025645494470.jpg…but then I forgot to bring my food into work/to class on Tuesday… because I AM A BRILLIANT INDIVIDUAL. Luckily though, it didn’t screw me up too badly, because I had a bunch of protein bars and stuff in my desk at work, (specifically stockpiled for situations like this). They filled me up for the day, so it worked out. I ate some of the leftovers for dinner, once I got home from class (WHICH I AM NOW DONE WITH FOR SUMMER, BTW!) And that was great, because I didn’t have to cook when I got home.

My work ordered lunch in advance, for a meeting today, so I knew that I didn’t have to bring anything with me for lunch. I got a Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad from Panera. Not the healthiest thing, but at least I hit most of the core food groups? Also, added bonus? I don’t have to cook tonight either, because I still have a whole container of stuff left from meal prep on Monday & I’m not complaining. 🙂

It was a fun challenge, creating dishes from all of my frozen left overs. In the past, I’ve just let them sit in the freezer until they basically became inedible due to freezer burn… so at least I’m working toward changing that shitty habit. Such a waste.

I get to go home and pack for my weekend trip to NY tonight! I’m excited to see how that goes. My new carry-on bag (that I ordered a month ago), came in the mail yesterday, so I am extra stoked! (It’s bright orange and wonderful & half the size of my old luggage bag). Essentials-only packing is not something that I am used to, since my family always used to pack kind of in excess when I was younger… (for good reason though. I was a messy child and some of my favorite outfit accessories included melted ice cream, Cheeto and/or Dorito dust, crayola marker streaks and also mud. Sorry Mom). This may sound kind of minuscule to some, but I am really interested to see how it goes. I’ll update you on that once it’s done. 🙂

Have a good evening!

#SLDMchallenge, Update #3:

Hey, look, it’s Monday again. Isn’t that lovely? >_>

You know, I usually hate Monday’s, but today… not so much. It took me way less time to get ready this morning and I didn’t sleep like garbage. Solid start to the week. No rushing to the bus and no waiting in ridiculous lines for breakfast.

This weekend was productive. On Friday night, I was in the zone. I got home from work and went through all of my stuff again. Literally ALL of the stuff in my room – clothing, shoes, books, trinkets, jewelry, even my make-up. Despite that I cleaned out my closest less than a week ago, I still wound up with a trash bag and a half full of clothing and things to donate. It felt fantastic. Pictures below.

Before:

After:

I made an extra effort to be mindful of my decisions when going through things, as I did not want to put myself in a position where I had cleaned out so much stuff, that I’d have to go out and buy new stuff, because that would have been completely counterproductive. I’ve made that mistake PLENTY of times before, with my other attempts at this whole thing, so I did not want history to repeat itself there. It was a process, but I think that it worked out well. The pieces that I have left now are all pretty interchangeable. I got rid of anything  that I hadn’t worn within the last 6 months and also separated my winter clothing and shoes into their own storage container. Once Fall starts to creep back in, I will be going through that stuff as well.

I’ll be packing for my first of 4 mini-vacas within the next few days. I am going to New York this weekend and I am interested to see how that goes. I had purchased a small, carry-on suitcase a month or so ago, it should be arriving in the mail tomorrow. I didn’t have a carry-on size bag before. Just an over-sized duffel bag, so I am really looking forward to the task of bringing only what I need with me on my trip. I’ll document that when/as it happens.

In other news, old habits die hard. On my way to the beach on Saturday, I did stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee and wake-up wraps (two egg & cheese  wake-up wraps for $2). The iced coffee was good, as always, but the wraps? Yeah, let’s just say that I was immediately reminded that spending money on stuff like that is NOT worth it. How did I ever eat this stuff? And so regularly, too!? Additionally, despite my coffee being very tasty (and that Dunkin’ did have almond milk available), it would have made a lot more sense just to make a cup at home. Rookie mistake.

My spending patterns are not unique. I am recognizing that I spend money on the same types of stuff, over and over again. I look forward to the day where I can break that habit completely. Once again, old habits die hard, but I’m working on it.

Tonight is meal prep night, so I’ll do a post on that as well. I usually do that stuff on Sundays, but I didn’t really grocery shop this weekend. I only purchased 1 pineapple, 6 kiwis and cupcake mix (which I’ll be using to make two dozen cupcakes for the grad party that I’m attending this weekend in NY). I’ve assigned myself the task of using what I already have at home to meal prep for the next 3 days of work. Like I said above, I am going away this weekend and since I am leaving Friday morning, I really didn’t see the point in buying excess things, if I won’t even be home to eat/cook them. I’ll document that too. I’m really interested to see how that goes.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your day!