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!

 

Rain, rain, go away.

Hello and happy Tuesday! It is POURING in Boston. Hope everyone is staying dry!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately – mostly because I continuously get the feeling of being “stuck” in my current situation. Fact of the matter is, I am not “stuck,” I am just bored. Bored with work, unfulfilled and still have yet to find a career that I’d like to grow into. I have SO many different interests and I am beginning to realize that I have never allowed myself to hone in on what I truly ENJOY doing.

There does not seem to be ONE thing that I like more than everything else, but no matter what, I always come back to the conclusion – that I would really enjoy a job where I was HELPING people directly on the regular. What I am doing now does not cut it. Scheduling meetings is fine, but not fulfilling. Filing is fine, but not fulfilling. Etc. This career path holds no true meaning for me, but it is “fine.” But the more I think about it, the more I realize that simply doing “fine,” is not how I want to live my life.

I’ve known this for a while, but I always scare myself out of making any significant change because of money, usually. Everything is just SO expensive, especially in this area. It’s insane. I’ve constantly allowed my need for financial stability to outweigh my desire to find a career that I am truly passionate about. Well, I am all done with that way of thinking. From this point forward, I am going full out. Pay cuts will be eminent, but  quality of life is so much more important to me than money. I just need to stop letting myself get distracted from that point.  It’s not worth the stress.

I am in a position now where I am single, (luckily) do not have to pay rent for at least a few more months and have all of my loans in good standing. The time is now.

#Goals

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday!

A quick update: I’ve put my notice in for my overnight shifts. My last one will be August 25th. I took on too much and I am realizing that. I am upset with myself, but also need to be realistic. I can’t work 7 days a week. It’s just not something I can swing anymore. This is for my own sanity.

That being said, and since I am truly doing my best to work on myself and accomplishing my own personal goals, I’ve been thinking a lot about traveling; 2019 and 2020 are going to be full of adventures with friends & solo excursions, that is the goal. As a gift to myself, I am attempting to pay off my credit card and a solid chunk of my remaining car payments as well, before Christmas/New Years this year. Money may be tight up until then, but getting that debt off of my shoulders will absolutely help in the long run and it will give me the opportunity to really save for these vacations.

On the bucket list for 2019:

  • Northern California to visit friends at/near Yosemite
  • Southern California to visit family
  • Jamaica, with friends
  • New Orleans with friends
  • CAMPING ANYWHERE.

On the bucket list for 2020:

  • Ireland with friends, to celebrate our 30th birthdays!
  • Germany and/or Holland to visit friends
  • CAMPING. I love it and I just don’t do it enough

We’ll have to see how this all plays out, but these goals are absolutely do-able and I intend to pursue them while I can. Let the adventure(s) begin!

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!

Re-focusing on myself

So, it’s been almost 3 weeks of moping around and being sad about this break-up – these feeling aren’t going to go away any time soon, however, I am coming just enough out of this slump to realize that I can’t let my emotions keep me from taking care of myself.

I cancelled my gym membership and finally signed up to join a Zumba studio, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I graduated from college and no longer had dance club during the week! I don’t know what kept me from doing it before, but what better time than now to get back into the hobbies I’ve wanted to pursue in years past?

Additionally, I’ve made more moves toward my career change and am hoping this week’s interview went well! Cross your fingers for me., please!

The one goal I have at this point is to focus on MYSELF. It’s been years since I’ve actually done that and I am beginning to realize how much of myself has been lost in that time frame. It is so strange to seemingly have SO MUCH free time now, to fill up with things that I enjoy. It’s a really refreshing realization.

I should be back next week with my “What’s in my wardrobe?” post, which I’ve been meaning to write. Looks like I may actually have some time to do that over the next week or so, so keep an eye out for that one!

That’s all for now, enjoy 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!

“Retail Therapy”

Okay, okay, guilty as charged. I went shopping a few times over the last week to try and make myself feel better . Post break-up therapy, if you will.

Not for nothing, the task of shopping itself didn’t really help anything…HOWEVER, the pieces that I wound up buying? They make me feel like a million bucks! I am beginning to realize that many of the clothes I wound up keeping in my wardrobe before were sub-par, at best. I bought them because I thought they were things that I should wear to work, but hardly any of them really made me FEEL good about myself when I put them on, you know? The whole point of this simplified life/closet thing I am doing is quality over quantity and to keep only the pieces that make me feel GOOD!

I am happy to report that I was able to keep myself from going crazy on impulse buys (a thing that has proven to be incredibly difficult for me in the past) and really did my best to buy pieces that really reflected MY personal style, which is a thing that I have ignored for many years and am finally beginning to rediscover.

I haven’t worn EVERYTHING yet, because this is a short work week for me (I am going away Thursday through Saturday), so below are just two pictures, for now.

img_20180712_160940_1139178613708551416930.jpg
This Calvin Klein dress is fabulous and it was on sale at Marshall’s ($40)! It’s compliments my figure AND it’s super comfortable. It will be great for work, weddings or any other special events that require me to dress up. Big win.
20180716_0634361460801309492072177.jpg
This black and floral print tank blouse ($15) from Old Navy is super cute and, paired with two other pieces that I already own, created a great work look! (It also goes well with all of my work pants/skirts and cardigans.)

In total, I purchased 6 new items and, to make room for the new stuff, I got rid of 4 old items, all of which were torn, faded or stretched out. Those items were: 1 pair of olive green work pants with some weird, sort-of visible oil stain on the front, 1 stretched out, super casual LBD, 1 black & white striped cardigan that was just too big for me, but I had been holding on to for some reason and another casual dress that I was “keeping just in case.” (TBH, not sure what I was keeping it “in case” of, so it’s been donated, along with everything else).

Alongside the 2 pieces pictured above, I purchased the following:

  • A light blue and white striped maxi dress from Target. $34. I have never owned one of these before. It looks really great, too! Which surprised me, since I am so darn short. It can be dressed up or down and can also work well for a beach day! Hooray  for versatility! 
  • A short-sleeved, white, collared button-up shirt for work. It is a loose fit and will pair really well with both the black and the grey, pixie-style work pants from Old Navy, that I have owned for MONTHS and/or any of my jeans/shorts.
  • A pair of black skinny jeans from Target for $24 + a pair of ankle length, straight leg blue jeans from Old Navy for $34. These two pairs of jeans will replace the two ratty pairs I’ve been wearing down for YEARS. Both of those pairs had slowly succumbed to the dreaded inner-thigh wear & tear and had to be replaced. I’m sad to see them go, but they had a good run!

I am pretty impressed with myself because none of these items broke the bank and I also shopped around before purchasing anything. I actually tried everything on, which I have been guilty of avoiding in years past (why? no idea. I just did), and I m really happy with the results.

There’s no motivation quite like post-break-up motivation; that’s the undeniable truth. This whole thing has provided me the opportunity to begin rediscovering myself and MY style and I look forward to seeing how that all plays out. The goal is to re-focus on self-love, self-care and self-confidence. Baby steps.

That’s all for now! Enjoy your day!