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5 Ways to Practice Minimalism [That Doesn’t Involve Decluttering]

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on October 16, 2017

I know what you’re thinking…

You think that minimalism is ALL about decluttering. Decluttering your closets, decluttering your kitchen, decluttering your basement. It’s all about getting rid of things you don’t use. I’m here to drop a major truth bomb.

Minimalism isn’t ONLY about decluttering.

Sure, is it a huge focus that you see all over Pinterest and YouTube? Yes, it definitely is. But I want people to understand that there are so many other ways to practice this lifestyle that doesn’t involve you going through your entire house and purging every other day. Although I definitely believe decluttering is extremely helpful in this process, it isn’t the only component of living more minimally. So, I’m here to share five other ways you can practice living a minimalist lifestyle, that has nothing to do with decluttering.

1| Focus on your buying habits.

You can declutter all you want, but if you’re going right back to the store—then you’re not doing yourself any good. The purpose of minimalism is that you’re removing the non-essential to make more room for what is essential. It’s about only having what you need rather than a new trend you may want temporarily. This could be a long post by itself, but you can also focus on shopping consciously at second-hand shops and thrifting for items to help with budgeting and ethical shopping. P.S. Have you checked out the true cost? It’s absolutely life-changing.

2| Go green + DIY.

Another area where you can simplify and minimize your life is with cleaning and beauty products. I’ve been focusing on streamlining my beauty routine and researching more on DIY scrubs, and natural products for my skin like coconut oil and homemade coffee scrubs. You can also clean a lot of of your home using vinegar and essential oils. There are tons of bloggers out there who are helpful should you decide to learn more about natural, green products for cleaning and beauty.

3| Rethink your food.

I have to give my brother and sister a shoutout here because I admire how they garden. They grow their own vegetables, fruit and herbs—and you can tell they enjoy the process and work behind it. Minimalism deals with consumption, which includes the food you eat. I’ve been trying hard to stay away from processed foods and enjoy a mix of fruits, vegetables, and protein. When we move into our home, I hope to do a little more with planting herbs and gardening in hopes that it will help me choose more plants and healthy, whole foods rather than snacks and junk food.

4| Practice what you preach. 

If you’re practicing minimalism, how do you show others? When the holidays roll around, are you giving nieces and nephews more clothes they don’t need, and toys they may only use for a short time? If yes, you’re not being faithful in your practices. Although not everyone practices this lifestyle, it’s important to remember that practicing what you preach is essential. If people see you giving unnecessary things, people will give YOU unnecessary things YOU don’t need or want. You’re only hurting yourself in the long run. Instead, give your niece and nephew day passes to the local zoo, aquarium, museum, or park they love. Give your sibling a date night with their spouse to a trampoline park or a new brewery. Give experiences or things they need or are useful.

5|  How are your goals?

Let’s say you’ve been working on this how minimalism business for awhile now, and you’ve purged your entire house from top to bottom. You went from spending an hour every day cleaning to two hours a week cleaning. You now have TONS of time on your hands because you aren’t cleaning and cooking for hours every single day. So what are you spending your time on? If you’re filling up your time with Netflix and social media—stop immediately. Get our your vision board and see what you want to accomplish. Now, make more time to actually work on those goals. Minimalism is about making time and space for the goals and life you want to live. Now, go do it.

You all know I love a good decluttering session, but there are other aspects of minimalism that will bring bliss to your life. Once you’re done decluttering, look to some of the other examples above like growing your own food, focusing on your goals and dreams, and overhauling your shopping habits.

What area of minimalism do you think would be the easiest and hardest for your to apply to your life? What area of minimalism do you think you’ll tackle next? Or, are you still working on the decluttering stages of your journey? 

Ki Signature

 

 

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What REALLY Happens in a Blogging Rut + How to Get Out

Posted in Lifestyle
on October 9, 2017

Unfortunately, as I’m writing this—I find myself in a blogging rut.

In short, it feels horrible. It feels like the most sour form of failure as a creative individual, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. However, life happens; and it’s inevitable that these ruts will come and go throughout our blogging careers. Even the word, blogging rut, you can tell it’s not positive. Sometimes, I think we find ourselves trying to downplay a not-so-good situation to make it seem like we’re not struggling. I always ask myself why we do this, but then I remember the hard truth:

We don’t want to be vulnerable and it’s hard to admit when we’re struggling. 

So here I am…being vulnerable and admitting that I’m struggling. To be honest, this doesn’t just apply to blogging—it can apply to any aspect of your life. But, today I’m focusing on blogging because I know there are many bloggers out there who can relate to this. Today I’m sharing what a blogging rut has looked like for me in hopes that if you find yourself in a similar position, you realize you’re not alone and it will get better. Make sure to leave a comment if you have ever been in a blogging rut and how you were able to overcome it.

What REALLY Happens in a Blogging Rut: 

1| You don’t love the content you’re creating

For whatever reason, you begin your rut judging the content you’re creating. Maybe you don’t LOVE the way you ended the post, or thought you should have shared more details in the beginning. Whatever it may be, you attack your own creativity and work to the point where you begin to comparing yourself to others.

2| The comparison game strikes HARD

This blogger had her post repinned 2,000 times and you can’t even get more than 10 repins on something you worked SO HARD on. A blogger wrote something similar to a post you shared months ago, but you think she wrote it so much better. Now you’re questioning if you should remove that post you loved because you know you can’t compete with the other blogger’s work. This terrible trap leads you into questioning your work as a creative altogether.

3| You question your creativity and ability

Now you’re so upset with all of your work. You claim that your blog posts aren’t even worthy of sharing on social media because you think they aren’t good enough and they won’t be good enough to share. You question your writing abilities and if you should even have a blog altogether. Just when you think you couldn’t feel any more defeated, a terrible addition comes into play…

4| Overthinking becomes your middle name

Even when you’re excited about upcoming posts you may have written, you now overthink them. You overthink the title of your blog and think it should change because maybe it’ll get more clicks on Pinterest. You rewrite your Instagram caption for what feels like the 100th time just to seek engagement on something you created. You search Pinterest for blogging tips, and how to improve, and how you can be better. Overthinking is the beginning and ending of your day, every day. And yes, most of it is related to blogging. This continues until exhaustion kicks in, and you lose motivation.

5| You lose motivation

Your mind is trapped in a vicious cycle of comparison, doubting your talents, and overthinking every single detail. You’re exhausted. You’re upset. You feel so lost and confused. Your mind can’t possibly sort this out enough to write a blog post, so you lose your motivation to create anything at all. It’s terrible because you want to write and create something, but you don’t want to go at war with yourself again over your work. So you don’t. You don’t write for bit until the rut has passed.


Being in a blogging rut is so difficult because it begins so innocently and then turns into something you wouldn’t wish on any other creative. When I’m in a rut with writing, I always can rely on the following tips to help work through them.

How to get out of a Blogging Rut:

1| Admit it 

Yes, you’re in a rut. Yes, you will get out of it.

2| Cut the comparison

You’re absolutely right when you say you’re not like those other bloggers you’re comparing yourself to because you are your own creative. Your writing is unique and wonderful and should be shared with the world.

3| Remind yourself you’re worthy

You matter. Your work matters. Your work is worthy of sharing with the world. Please remind yourself of this repeatedly even if you’re not in a rut simply because it’s true.

4| Take a break to focus on self care

Give yourself a weekend away from social media, your blog, and the online world. If you don’t know where to begin, try a self care challenge to try different things that will work for you.

5| Get back at it

After your break, pick up your laptop and create a space that’s welcoming and calming to work in. And write. Write as much as you can for as long as you can.


I hope this post was something that you can relate to regardless of whatever rut you may find yourself in right now. Being in a rut isn’t fun, but it will pass.

Have you ever been in a blogging rut? What did you do to get out of it? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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10 Questions to Help Declutter Your Closet

Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle
on October 4, 2017

Are you ready to tackle your closet?

Don’t be overwhelmed. You got this, girl! Today I’m sharing some of the questions I ask myself when I’m decluttering my closet and what I find to be the most helpful. All it will take is a little time and patience to work through your closet and ask yourself the following questions.

1| Do I need it?

Be real with yourself! If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. It’s seems simple to say, “Of course I need this.” But dig deeper. Why do you need it? Are there other reasons why you want to keep it? Do you truly need it? Be honest about your answers. Then decide if you need it.

2| Do I love it?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept something even when I don’t truly love the item. This is no bueno and you shouldn’t do this. Make sure you’re only keeping items you truly love and that bring you happiness to wear. You’ll love getting dressed when you have a closet of clothes you love.

3| Does it look good on me?

We all that one top that doesn’t fit right or a dress that doesn’t flatter our figure. But you don’t want to donate/sell it because you feel like you’re wasting the item. Remove the idea of waste from your mind. If you’re keeping an item in your closet and not wearing it—you’re wasting it. So, grab your BFF, husband, or mom and get a second opinion from someone else who won’t steer you wrong.

4| Does it fit my style?

Y’all, I know you have some clothes that don’t reflect your personal style lying around in your closet. And you know you’re not going to wear them anymore because your personal style has changed drastically since high school. This was also me. I held onto clothes I LOVED in high school but they simply weren’t my style anymore. “But I LOVED it back then,” I told myself. Well, you don’t now and you won’t wear it. So get rid of it.

5| Can I pair it with 5 other pieces in my wardrobe?

There’s nothing worse that having a piece of clothing that you can’t ever wear because you have nothing to wear it WITH! AKA, several skirts with awkward colors and patterns that truly didn’t look good (even with neutral tops). Yet, I held onto those skirts for years without wearing them because I felt guilty. So they collected dust before I finally decided that it wasn’t worth keeping them anymore. I know they probably have found a better home now.

6| Do I wear it regularly?

There are some articles out there that can break down how often you wear an item to see if you’re truly getting enough value out of an item based on what you’ve spent and how often you wear it. But, you know if you’re getting the wear and use out of an item. If it’s past its prime, or damaged—toss it. If you wear it a few times a year, note it as a special occasion item. Remember to consider your lifestyle when you’re asking yourself these questions.

7| Am I keeping this out of guilt?

Because you don’t want to get rid of your bridesmaid dress from your cousins wedding from seven years ago even though you’ll never wear it again because it doesn’t fit. Don’t keep something out of guilt. Donate to a good cause like a Prom Dress Drive or a similar charity. Someone will be able to use it and love it. That reason alone should be enough for you to donate it!

8| Have I worn it in the last year?

To keep myself in check on this, I set all my hangers facing the opposite way of how I would hang them. Once I wear something, I make sure to turn the hanger the right way. It works as a check mark saying, yes I wear this piece. After six months or a year, see what items are still facing the opposite way. Do you love these pieces? (I mean…clearly you don’t.) Run through the other questions and see if it’s an item you can donate or give to a friend.

9| Am I saving this “just in case?”

But let’s be real for a minute. Saving it just in case of what? You might find that after three years of not wearing the sweater, you might fall in love with again if you keep holding onto it? It doesn’t work that way, girlfriend. Donate or sell those items, and you won’t have to worry about keeping anything “just in case” ever again. #amiright

10| Why do I feel like I can’t get rid of it?

Sometimes, I’ve been stuck after asking myself the above questions. And I find that I always come back to one of the above answers: feeling guilty about getting rid of it, keeping an item “just in case,” etc. You’re only human. This is why I will sometimes default to the 3-month box. I’ll keep a small pile of items I’m not sure about and if I try to go looking for that piece, then I know it’s time to get rid of that item. But make sure you don’t keep adding pieces to that box and not doing anything with them later.

When is the last time you took time to declutter your closet? What questions would you find the most challenging? What other questions would you ask yourself if you were decluttering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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WE BOUGHT A HOUSE + Tips for Buying a Home!

Posted in Lifestyle
on October 2, 2017

About three weeks after Josh proposed, we bought our DREAM HOUSE. It seems rather quick, and believe me when I say that people had a ton of questions. So I’m dishing out all the details on how we purchased our first home, and a few tips if you’re considering purchasing a home as well!

From April to July, Josh and I had been looking every single night on websites for houses. Mostly to get an idea, so that when the time did come to look for a home, we would know what we want. After Josh proposed, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to go see a few houses in person. We visited four houses with a real estate agent to get an idea of the neighborhood we may want to live in, and get an idea of a price range that would work for us.

I kept getting drawn back to a house that was newly on the market. It was a seven-minute commute for me to work and a 10-minute commute for Josh. It was in a central neighborhood that was close to everything we could ever need. Plus, the price was absolutely amazing and affordable for us. I instantly had a gut feeling that we needed to see the house as soon as possible. This happened on a Friday. It turns out that two days later, they were having their first open house. My heart told me to jump on it. I called my mom and dad, and told them that I had a really good feeling about a house, and I wanted them to come down and look at it with us that Sunday because my father is in construction, and would definitely be able to tell us what we needed to know about the roof, and other areas should there be any issues. Of course, they drove down, and we all went to the house.

When I first walked into the house, I didn’t even see the couple’s furniture. Instead, I imagined our furniture without even trying. Every room I walked in, I fell even more in love than the room before. I fell so in love with every aspect of the house, that I wouldn’t even have changed a paint color on the wall. It was the perfect size, and had everything we needed and more. The backyard deck and patio were beautiful, and the kitchen was recently updated. I was simply enamored.

If you thought those weren’t enough signs, there’s more. Josh and I are in love with dogs, and a huge reason for falling in love with the house is because it has a beautiful yard, but it didn’t have a fence. Josh asked if there was anything we should know about putting up a fence in that area since we are interested in getting a dog. The owners told us that the invisible fence was already installed in their yard for a dog. 

Although I held my composure, I nearly cried. It was the final piece we needed to hear before knowing this was absolutely meant to be. I was ready to jump immediately, but I knew Josh was going to feel overwhelmed since this was a huge decision to make. I pulled him aside, and we knew we were going to make an offer knowing that this house wouldn’t last long on the market. We didn’t sign anything, but we let them know we were already pre-approved for a home and that we would be good after talking with a lawyer about the contract they had. After going through the bank and getting everything processed, we set a closing date and plan to move in at the end of the month. Although this only took a week or so, we wanted to wait awhile before telling people because of how easily everything went for us. We simply couldn’t believe how everything fell into place without a problem, which only confirmed that this was meant to be.

After going through this experience, I think it’s important to share a few tips I’ve learned along the way:

1| Do your research.

Do your research on everything from what are your non-negotiable items for a home to what is the highest you can truly afford each month. Go to the bank first to get pre-approved for a house even if you think it’s unnecessary. I promise that seeing the full breakdown of taxes to closing costs to your monthly mortgage payment will really help you in the long run. Buying a house is probably the biggest investment you’ll make, and it’s important to know everything.

2| Trust your gut.

I promise that you will know when it’s the right house. You will have an instant gut feeling that won’t go away because you’re so certain about the house you’re looking to buy and make a home. I felt it. Josh felt it. My parents felt it. When all else fails, go with your gut and it will not fail you.

3| Plan accordingly.

I would love to say that you just buy a house and that’s all there is to it, but that’s not how it works. Although Josh and I had a very easy home-buying process, there were still documents to sign with the bank and a lot to review about our closing date, moving, what stays and what goes with the house, figuring out our lease for the townhouse. Everything is affected when you buy a home, so plan accordingly based on the time of year, what may affect your lease or the current home you live in, etc.

I hope you all enjoyed hearing this exciting news for us! It’s unbelievable to see my vision board come to life in a matter of a few months. I’ve crossed off the largest goal on the list, and it hasn’t been three months since putting it together. I can’t wait to begin this new journey with Josh as homeowners, and I can’t wait to see what other goals we achieve in the next few months!

Tell me, what tips do you have for someone buying their first home? Or tips for moving into your first house? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: October

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 27, 2017

Goodbye September + Hello October

I think I say this way more than I should, but I love fall. I love the season so much that I wish it could last a little longer, so we have more time to enjoy it before the holidays roll around. September was another month filled with work, blogging, wedding planning and other fun things. And I’m ready for a new month, with a new gratitude post on what I’m looking forward to.

1| Popcorn + Movies

Doesn’t October put anyone in a movie marathon mood? Whenever this month rolls around, I’m pumped about watching the Halloweentown movies on repeat throughout the month because they are essential during fall. P.S. What’s your favorite Halloween movie? Even on Halloween, Josh and I relax at home and watch movies. (And eat something delicious, duh.) It’s a cozy way to enjoy time together.

2| Fall Bucket List

I think it’s horrible to say I’ve lived in the Northeastern United States, and I’ve never been apple picking. I’ve done a lot of other stereotypical fall things like mastering a corn maze, carving pumpkins, movie marathons, baking and cooking all the fall recipes saved to my Pinterest board, etc. But your girl needs to: go to a football game + tailgate, have a bonfire, go apple picking, and made a homemade apple pie. What are your favorite things to do in the fall? Do you do a fall bucket list each season?

3| Wedding Dress Shopping

I’m surprised to say Josh and I have checked off a lot on our wedding to-do list, which will be wonderful to not worry about planning anything during the holidays. This month, I have two appointments booked to go look at wedding dresses for the first time; and I couldn’t be more excited. Although it’s just under a year away, it’ll be nice to have most of the wedding planning done early, so we can enjoy being engaged and celebrate time together.

4| Fall Drinks

There are so many awesome cocktails and hot drinks you can enjoy during this season, and TBH I want to host parties all-month long so I can have an excuse to make all these delicious drinks. I personally want to try the apple pie cocktail or this sangria that I would have pitches of! Do you have any other drink recipes you want to share—leave a comment letting me know, so I can make more drinks this month.

5| Decluttering + Packing

There will be a post on this coming in the next few weeks giving you all the details.; but let’s just say I’ve been taking my decluttering skills to the next level, and I’m extremely happy about how this experience has helped me see what I truly need and don’t need. Minimalism is refreshing when it comes to realizing how much we own in comparison to what we actually use.

What are you happy about now that it’s October? Are you ready for decorating pumpkins, cider donuts, and all the fall things? Make sure to leave a comment below telling me what you’re excited about this month! 

 

Ki Signature

 

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