Re-vamp, coming at you!

Happy February 1st, y’all! I am working on re-vamping this site. I’ve trailed off for a bit, but I am working on getting back into posting all of my #SLDMChallenge updates and all of my efforts to simplify my possessions/my life in general. It has been a crazy year already, and we’re only into month #2! 2019 is going to be awesome, I can feel it!

I am working on refocusing on the QUALITY of my life/the things in my life, rather than the quantity. It is a process and my motivation to do so has seemed to come in waves. If you scroll down on the blog page a bit, you’ll notice that, right after a HUGE break-up in July, I started cleaning out my closet pretty much once a month. I am not sure what I was trying to accomplish with that, but whatever the goal was then, I seem to have lost sight of it. I am trying to understand what created that urge in the first place, but also why the urge to simplify has seemed to vacate since.

I feel like I was trying to let go of all of the “negative” things in my life, which would makes sense; trying to start fresh, etc. Though I have begun to work through that whole situation in a much more positive way, my efforts have also begun to bring some personal questions to light. For example: What is truly important to me? Why do I impulsively do things when I am upset? How have I changed since July? Have I actually begun to truly rediscover myself? — Loaded questions, for sure & only time will tell with all of that.

Thus far though, I have learned that some of the personal goals I am looking to pursue include acquiring better quality clothing, getting into the habit of buying/eating better quality food and traveling to more places. Additionally, I have learned that I am FINALLY in the field that I want to be in and that is a part of my life that I was missing out on for a long time.

Long story longer, 2019 is the year that I am going to begin truly pursuing the things that I want to accomplish. To clarify, I am not saying that I am not accomplished at this point in my life, what I am saying is that I have accomplished a lot of things that do not hold any weight for me, realistically. It is really interesting to reflect and recognize how vastly different my current goals are, from my goals 5 years ago. I have a lot of work left to do, but I am excited to “get to gettin’,” if you will.

Stay tuned!

 

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!

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!