5 Benefits of Minimalism

There’s no doubt that minimalism has been a huge topic in 2016, and 2017 seems to be another year of the minimalism trend. Hopefully, this doesn’t remain a “trend,” but more of a conscious way of living for others. For me, since I’ve adopted more minimalist concepts into my life, I’ve noticed benefits that outweigh unnecessary shopping trips, etc. Make sure to leave a comment if you want to know my secrets on how I stopped unnecessary shopping!

Today I’m sharing five benefits of minimalism. Granted, there are many more than five, but these benefits are what I call, “undeniable benefits.” No matter how much you incorporate minimalism into your life, you are guaranteed to feel these benefits!

1| More Time

Let me break it down for you. The less you own in your home, the less you have to clean. The less you have to clean, the more time you have. See how that works? It’s not complicated! Instead of dusting off five extra pieces of furniture that you don’t use or love, you could sell those items, free up more space, and free up your time! Plus if you’re selling your items that you don’t love, you can make a little money through the process.

2| I Appreciate What I Own (Even More)

Before I decided to take on this lifestyle, I had so many things that I didn’t love in my life (mostly clothing). Because of this, I didn’t appreciate the possessions I owned. Now that I decluttered my home, and drastically downsized my closet, I have a deeper appreciation for all the items in my own. Everything I own, I love. That has helped me so much in this journey.

3| More Money

With pursuing minimalism means that you become a more conscious shopper. I haven’t purchased anything that’s non-essential for the last few months, and that has been a wonderful feeling for my wallet. You won’t believe how much money you save by cutting back on what you own because then you’re more aware of your shopping habits. This means more money for travel, or saving of a different purchase!

4| Your Home Is Precious

Be a ruthless editor of what you bring into your home. The less you own the less than owns you. When you decide to take on this lifestyle, your home becomes a personal sanctuary. It becomes your peaceful place. It is a place that you find the most joy because there’s no clutter or excess items to distract you. It is only filled with items you love. That is how every home should feel, but that isn’t always the case until you decide to pursue minimalism,

5| Strong Focus 

Without clutter and items distracting you, you have more time and energy to focus on what you truly want to accomplish with your life. You have more clarity in your life to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” “What brings me the most bliss?” With less stuff, you have more space in your mind for achieving all your #GirlBoss Goals! Minimalism helps your clarity and helps you remove any mental clutter in your mind that could be affecting you from accomplishing what you truly wish to do.

What are other benefits of minimalism have you noticed in your lifestyle? What benefits have I missed? Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: March 2017

Who else is so excited for the new month?!

Can we have a moment, y’all? I’m in denial about how quickly this year has passed by so far. 2017 has been beautiful so far, so part of me wants it to slow down a little. But I will say I’m ready for a new month and a new list of goals to accomplish.

Catch up on February’s edition of “5 Things to Be Happy About!”  

Now we can move onto a little gratitude and happiness for March. Make sure to leave a comment below letting me know what you’re excited about for the month. Let’s share a little gratitude and happiness in the blogging community!

1| First Day of Spring 

Last month I talked about how I was excited to skip through February so we can get into spring. You have no idea how excited I am to know that spring is around the corner. Spring is a sure sign that warmer weather and lighter days are ahead. It also means I get to finally change up my wardrobe after wearing winter coats and boots for months on end.

2| Lighter Days

You all know that Christmas is my favorite time of year. But once the holidays are over, I’m ready to jump in spring head on and get a little more sunshine and warmer weather in my life. Living in Pennsylvania can be difficult because it can snow until May. I’m definitely looking forward to more sun as the days grow a little longer.

3| Flowers

I’m all about fresh flowers and brining the beauty of nature indoors. March is when I can go crazy with buying new plants for my office, my home and treat myself to more flowers. Because life is too short to have a home without flowers, amiright? So make sure to #treatyoself to some fresh blooms this month because you deserve it (and it will bring a smile to your face every morning).

4| Spring Cleaning

Raise your hand if spring cleaning and decluttering makes you so happy you can’t stand it! (Oh, just me? Okay.) Anyway, I’m ready to go through my spring and summer clothes and declutter more as a new season begins. I’m also ready for a deep clean in our home to freshen everything in a new season. Do you have any spring cleaning checklists that you love? Make sure to send some my way!

5| Wardrobe Change

I’m all about making my needs few and focusing on my more minimalist lifestyle, but with spring comes a change in my wardrobe. I can start putting away bulky sweaters in exchange for light fabrics in pastel colors. My wardrobe and style will get a mini makeover this month as I edit my clothes and bring in new, staple pieces I’ve been looking for. Leave a comment below telling me what your spring wardrobe essentials are. I would love to know!

What are you looking forward to now that it’s March!? Do you have any exciting blog plans for the month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

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7 Tips For A Productive Day Off

 

I know what you’re thinking…

You don’t want to have a productive day off because you want to binge watch Netflix and take an unnecessary trip to Target.

Girl, same (preach hands emoji). Unfortunately, we can’t always let a day off go to waste. Now, I’m not saying you should be working hard on your day off because after working 40+ hours during the week, you deserve a day to relax. I’m not disputing that. But, if you have felt overwhelmed by life recently, a productive day off could help you tremendously! How, you ask?

1| A productive means you can work ahead of your schedule, so that there’s less stress for the upcoming weeks.

2| It means more time to enjoy time with your loved ones.

3| You’ll feel good about getting work done that you would have otherwise put off for a later date.


So, here I am. On my day off from work thinking that, yes, there are times where I let my days off completely go to waste. But sometimes I feel guilty at the end of the day because I think, “Wow, I could have done X, Y and Z and not have to worry about it next week/this weekend.”

Instead, I decided to watch YouTube videos and go to Target.

Now, I’ve learned to use my days off to my advantage so that I can enjoy part of the day, but I can also get things done. For me, it’s all about balance. Yes, you should enjoy your day off, but being productive will help you, too!

So here are my tips on how to be productive on your day off:

1| Plan Ahead

The night before your day off, write down a to-do list like you would for your work day. Keep your priorities in check. What are the three largest tasks you need to accomplish for the day? Outline what you want the day to look like, so that you get the most work done in the shortest amount of time.

2| Treat Your Morning Like A Half Day

The biggest mistake we make on our days off is that we don’t get moving until three hours later than we would on a normal day. Keep your alarm set for a reasonable time so that you can get up, get ready to take on the morning. I find that once I’m in my routine, I can get things done before 11 or noon.

3| Organize Your Day In Increments

Plan out your day based on what makes the most sense for you and your lifestyle. On this particular day off, I knew I wanted to work on my blog. I blocked off three hours for this. Then I would take an hour to watch YouTube videos, tidy, read, etc. Then I would block off another two hours for more work if needed followed by another hour of relaxing time. I set timers for this so that I stay true to what I want to accomplish during the day.

4| Treat Yourself To Self Care

Don’t forget about self care. I break up my day so that there are equal components of productive work, and time to relax as well. I think that this helps you focus on each part of the day so you don’t feel overwhelmed with all the tasks you need to accomplish.

5| Run Errands/Appointments After Lunch

If you know you need to go to Target, the bank, grocery shopping, and the doctors all in one day, block off a sufficient amount of time after lunch to accomplish this. Doing this after lunch will force you to have a more productive morning and get through your work because now you have motivation to get done before lunch. When you know you have errands in the afternoon, you’ll be more likely to work effectively early on.

6| Think Rationally

If you’re the type of person who simply has too much to do on their day off, take a step back and think rationally. Ask yourself, “Is there one or two tasks I can do another time?” Being honest and logical will help you determine what is most important for that day, so that you can also enjoy your time off as well. Remember that the goal is to balance productivity and relaxation. 

7| Relax

If you had a productive day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. working on blogging, cleaning, errands and more—good for you! Now, it’s time to take the rest of the day to focus on you. Have a pamper session, read a book, watch reality TV, and enjoy the rest of your day off for yourself. You work so hard every day, and you definitely deserve a little TLC. It’s okay to have a lazy afternoon and evening, especially when you accomplished so much on your day off!

How do you spend your day off? What other tips would you add to this list? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 4

I have been looking forward to this week in particular. Although I have done an initial declutter and organization of my digital life a few months ago, I know that it’s a good time to sort through everything again.

If you’re stopping by here for the first time, make sure you go back and check out the other posts from this month’s challenge.

1| 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 1 Review & week 2 Challenges

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 2 Review and week 3 Challenges

Also be sure to catch up on Erin’s posts from the month so far:

1| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 1

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 2

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 3

If you want to review all the challenges from the 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge, check out the list below!


Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.

Done! This was so therapeutic for me especially going through my personal email, junk email and work email! Needless to say it was a busy and productive evening!

Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!

Yikes. I didn’t realize how difficult this was going to be, but I was able to plan ahead and get everything scheduled on social media for my blog items and for work as well so that I could focus on other projects!

Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.

This was the best day ever.  I didn’t realize how many people I was following that truly don’t inspire me or interest me. I cleared out a lot of unwanted posts from Facebook friends, Twitter followers and more!

Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.

I didn’t realize how much I was slacking off with my desktop folders for blogging recently. After a half hour, everything was organized properly in their folders. My desktop couldn’t be happier!

Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps you don’t use, old notes, contacts, etc.

The amount of notes I had on my phone was insane. I take work notes when I’m walking throughout the day so I don’t forget things. But the amount of unnecessary notes I had was insane. It only took 20 minutes to complete!

Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!

Josh and I spent the evening together after he got out of work, so it was easy to keep our phones away while we had a date night. We went downtown for dinner, drinks and went to a hockey game!

Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

I didn’t have a lot of emails to unsubscribe from, but I still went through and made sure any old emails from bloggers I don’t read, or stores I don’t shop at were deleted and unsubscribed from this day! My inbox is free of clutter.


The fourth week of challenges: Positivity 

  • Feb. 20: No complaint day
  • Feb. 21: Write down 3 great things that happened today
  • Feb. 22: Spend 15 minutes in silence focusing on one positive attribute about yourself
  • Feb. 23: Compliment a stranger
  • Feb. 24: Write a letter to yourself explaining why you are unique
  • Feb. 25: Ask friends to describe you in 3 words, write them down, and repeat it to yourself throughout the day
  • Feb. 26: Write out your challenge wins and treat yourself!

What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week three? What challenges for the fourth week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

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4 Tips For When You Feel Uninspired & Unmotivated

Anyone who works in a creative field has probably gone through this at some point in their career. They love their job, they are excited about it—then out of nowhere, inspiration and motivation to perform that creative task flees from them without warning.

If you have ever found yourself in this scenario, you know how frustrating it can be. You want to blog/draw/create content, but you have lost the inspiration and motivation to do so. This can lead to a negative spiral of self-doubt, confusion and you questioning whether or not you’re meant to be in that field altogether. Trust me, it’s not a place or position anyone wants to be in.

But thats where I was a few weeks back at the end of the year. My full-time job was truly taking a toll of my productivity, inspiration and motivation for blogging altogether. And if you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you know that I truly love this space as my creative outlet. It is something I have always been passionate about and loved having as my creative space.

It’s common to go through periods where you feel uninspired, unmotivated and drained creatively. You feel that you couldn’t possibly come up with something new, and that pressure to consistently push out brand-new, exciting content can be overwhelming.

So how do you move past it? Here are a few tips that have helped me through my creative ruts:

1| Step back and take a break

I took an unexpected break from the blog during the holidays because that’s when I felt more overwhelmed than I should have. I had posts planned, yet I still waited to post them; and allow myself a longer break to get my inspiration and motivation back on track.

2| Don’t force it

I’m all for planning, but don’t schedule time to work on your creative project when you’re not feeling inspired, motivated or creative. You’ll only harm yourself more because you’ll get frustrated and angry even more when you find yourself not able to work on that project. Never force creativity.

3| Carry a journal

You never know when a small spark of inspiration can strike you. Whether it’s a fleeting thought in the car, or on your break at work—make sure your notebook is close by in case an idea hits you out of no where. I’ve found that I come up with the most ideas when I’m least expecting it, so I write everything down immediately so there’s no chance of forgetting.

4| Wait until you have the “Ah-Ha” moment

One of the best decisions I made was deciding not to blog until I had a great ah-ha moment. For me, this was an idea I knew that once iI had it, it would immediately inspire me to sit down and write the post out completely. Once that moment crept up, I blogged five posts in one sitting. I couldn’t have been happier. It removes the pressure to produce content when you’re lacking inspiration and motivation.

Although it can be extremely frustrating to find yourself uninspired and unmotivated to fulfill a creative hobby, it’s important to take a step back, and allow yourself to go through the motions naturally. Don’t force yourself to create content or work on a project right away. You want to make sure that you won’t make yourself even more frustrated in the process.

Have you ever experienced a creative rut leaving you uninspired and unmotivated? How did you overcome it? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

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