Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 3

Another week has already come and gone! I feel that these challenges are coming and going so quickly and that February is flying by. It doesn’t help that this month has been very busy at work, which makes the days seem very short.

If this is your first post catching up on my 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge with Erin, stop and go back to the beginning. Read the first post in this challenge series about the collaboration for creating self-care challenges and a review of my first week of the Mental Cleanse Challenge!

Are you caught up to speed? Good, now we can move on to reviewing last week’s challenges and where I struggled!

Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

I knew this would be challenging for me because I’ve done a lot of different workouts. But I decided to go out of my comfort zone and not cheat, so I tried a cardio ab workout I found online.

Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

This isn’t ever an issue for breakfast or dinner, but lunch at the office is filled with social media browsing. Instead, I got my coworkers on board to keep their phones away for lunch.

Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles TLC.

I needed this. I have been going hard on the leg and cardio workouts, so some yoga was exactly what I needed this day. I only did a 15-minute, but it’s better than nothing, right?!

Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

I typically don’t have an issue with this because I love to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and salads to begin with. I had a huge salad for lunch and a veggie pasta for dinner.

Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

I was able to do in this in the office. I was feeling overwhelmed and took the opportunity to calm myself with breathing and relaxing for 10 minutes. Breathing works wonders for stress, friends.

Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes! 

We were happy to see a little warm weather this day, so I took a walk outside for 15 minutes. It’s still winter here in PA, so we didn’t want to go overboard with the outdoors.

Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What was I thinking with this challenge? Not having eggs, cheese or any other animal products was challenging, but achievable. I ate lentil soup, salad, fruit salad, and rice with veggies throughout the day.

How did you do with these challenges? Make sure to share your wins and losses from this week! Don’t be shy, it’s okay if you had a slip-up or two!


The Third Week of Challenges: Digital Cleanse

  • Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.
  • Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!
  • Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.
  • Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.
  • Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps, old notes, contacts, etc.
  • Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!
  • Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

How have you been loving the challenges so far? What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week two? What challenges for the third week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 1

 

Remember in 2016 when I said I really wanted to collaborate with other bloggers on posts? After months of not reaching this goal, I opened up about how my anxiety was getting in the way of my desire to work and collaborate with bloggers.

At the end of 2016, I decided that I wanted to overcome this side of my anxiety. I wanted to say yes to more opportunities and take more risks on my blog. It was shortly after that Erin from, “A Welder’s Wife” reached out over Twitter to talk about a collaborative challenge for February.

Y’all,  I was so excited. I said yes without overthinking things; and I kept reminding myself that it was going to be an amazing opportunity. So, we came up with 30 different challenges categorized in a four different themes set out for each week. This will be unique compared to the decluttering posts and challenges you may have participated in on the blog. These challenges will help you achieve mental balance and clarity in the new year. Below are a list of the challenges beginning today.

 

This challenge is perfect for you if you are:

1| Looking to cleanse your mind.

2| Focus on calmness and self care.

3| Enjoy the simple moments in life.

4| Explore new mental-based challenges every day.

 

Every Monday throughout the month, Erin and I will be posting and discussing the challenges and achievements from the previous week; and talking about the new set of challenges for that current week. Needless to say, I’m excited to see where this month of challenges will take me! Make sure to follow along as I share my posts and content on Instagram (@kiaracatanzaro) and Twitter (@BlissBrunette). You can also check out Erin’s Instagram and Twitter.

So, if you’re interested in trying to create a little extra bliss for the month of February, I hope you’ll take on these challenges; and join Erin and me as we go through this journey ourselves. Be sure to stop in next Monday to see how we did with our first week of challenges!

The first week of challenges: Self Care

  • Jan. 30: Set two goals you would like to achieve during this challenge
  • Jan. 31: Treat your face to a special pampering facial
  • Feb. 1: Go for a walk
  • Feb. 2: Journal for 15 minutes
  • Feb. 3: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal
  • Feb. 4: Make a Gratitude list of everything you are grateful for in your life
  • Feb. 5: Take a long bubble bath

I hope you all find that this month is challenging yet motivating to focus on self care, cleansing your mind, and bliss. Have you ever participated in a 20-day mental cleanse before? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

 

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Decluttering Challenge For Beginners

 

I believe that decluttering can have a positive and powerful impact on our lives. One day, I decided to declutter my closet, which lead me to pursue a more minimalist lifestyle. Now, almost a year later, I can confidently say that taking that initial leap and decluttering my space set the tempo for my decision to continue to a more simple and more minimal life.

It’s the first month of a new year, which is the perfect time to set aside a day where you can tackle some spaces in your home and make a difference in your mindset, outlook and more! There are so many benefits to taking on a more minimalist lifestyle, and it all begins with the decision to try.

I created a simple, decluttering challenge for beginners who are looking to free up more space in their homes, simplify their life and potentially look into pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle. The challenge is simple: you have 30 days to go through and complete the challenges. You can take several days to complete one challenge, and you can do as much or as little as you’d like. The purpose is to keep the challenges open-ended for each individual to interpret and make those decisions for themselves.

1| Remove everything from your closet you haven’t worn in over a year.

We all know there are a ton of things in your closet right now that you probably haven’t worn for several years, so why keep them? Go through your closet and carefully edit your wardrobe. Does it fit your personal style? Does it fit? Do you love it? If you answered no to any of those questions, then out it goes.

2| Recycle/donate old magazines and books you won’t read or reference.

Unless you know you’re going to reread the book or reference the magazine or textbook, there’s no need to keep it in your home. I have several books that I love and plan to keep for years to come. But if it’s a book that can be donated, make sure to donate as much as you can. You won’t believe the space you’ll save.

3| Sort your mail, bills, etc. Toss what you no longer need and file important documents.

Make sure you go through mail anytime you receive it to keep from paper clutter catching up to you in your home. Pay your bills as soon as possible, sort any files you know you’ll need for long-term, etc. If it’s trash, or direct mail marketing, toss it unless you plan to use it within the next week.

4| Clean out all other closet spaces in the house. Donate old/outgrown items.

Go through your spare closets, guest bedroom closets, and coat closets, and organize when appropriate. Do you need to keep the coats you haven’t worn in years? Donate them to a charitable cause like a coat collection for local homeless shelters in your community. Do the same with boots, winter scarves, hats, and anything else lingering in those spaces.

5| Donate all kitchen/dining room items you don’t use or need including: old tupperware, utensils, mugs, plates, gadgets, appliances, etc.

No matter what you say, you don’t need 15 mugs when there are only two people living in one home. The same can be said for excess utensils, dishes, tupperware, and anything else in these rooms that you feel you won’t need. Do you really need five tablecloths even though you only use one of them twice a year? Be ruthless when it comes to these spaces in your home.

6| Go through beauty products, makeup, etc. and toss expired items.

Similar to the unnecessary mug collection, you can get rid of a lot of things from your beauty closet, makeup collection, and bathroom storage areas. Go through your linen closet and toss anything that’s old and expired or you know you won’t use. Then organize the remaining items into baskets putting similar products together.

7| Organize your office space and digital space. Unsubscribe from emails, delete old contacts, unfollow people on social media, sort through emails. Shred old files you no longer need.

Create an organized filing system for any important documents at your desk. Keep your desk area minimal with only the essentials on your desk. Organize your digital files into folders. Sort through emails until you have none in your inbox. Unfollow people that don’t inspire you on social media, unsubscribe from any email marketing, go through your contacts and delete those acquaintances from high school you haven’t heard from in five years.

8| Toss expired food from your fridge or pantry.

Remember those small jars of mustard from your Hickory Farms gift from two Christmases ago that you said you were going to use, but never did? Yep, toss those whether you had promise yourself to eat it or not. Do the same with anything in the pantry or fridge that may be expired.

9| Miscellaneous items throughout your house in the garage and basement.

The garage and basement can be huge targets for keeping old items that you don’t use or want. Whether it’s old furniture or home decor items you’ve never used, or equipment you know you will never use ever again. Donate/toss or sell anything miscellaneous from these specific spaces.

10| Get rid of anything that makes you unhappy or stressed.

Are you one of those people who has kept clothing in storage for when you lose those final 10 (or 20) pounds? Donate it and remind yourself that if you ever do lose the weight, you can treat yourself to a new wardrobe. Don’t old on to items that can trigger stress and unnecessary expectations. If it brings you stress or sadness, get rid of it.

With the beginning of a new years comes an exciting time of new opportunities for yourself and a time of self improvement. With this challenge, you’ll be able to take the first step in decluttering your home, and simplify your life for 2017.

Do you think you can complete this challenge? What have you been decluttering lately? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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The Hygge Hype & Tips to Incorporate it in Your Life

Now, before we get into all the questions and the weird looks—let me begin by saying that you will want and need more Hygge in your life by the end of this post. And the great thing is that you probably do a lot of these things already, so you’re probably a Hygge expert and you might not even know it.

Do you love a cozy night in with fuzzy socks, a huge blanket, and candles all in your home while reading a book and sipping tea at night? Well, you’re practicing hygge. See? I told you that you would already know more about it than you realize! And I’m sure there are more ways you’re secretly indulging in this term other than a cozy, relaxing night at home.

What is Hygge?

Well, there’s no direct translation into English, but it’s basically the combination of coziness, charm, comfort, security and simplicity in your life. It’s all about taking these components and creating a calm sanctuary in your home. This word and lifestyle is essential in the Danish way of living, and it’s something we can all use a little more of in our lives due to the winter ahead of us.

In essence, hygge is all about creating an inviting and welcoming atmosphere that you find enjoyable when you can practice relaxing and activities you enjoy. Although this seems straightforward, you still need to put in effort to create a positive, warm, friendly environment, especially in winter. Hygge is at its height in winter when seasonal depression can take a toll on your health. So as winter continues, it’s important to stay positive, happy and healthy. Hygge can definitely help with your overall health and happiness during this time. So, if you’re all about being happy and health, be sure to keep reading to learn how you can add a little more hygge in your life.

How to incorporate Hygge in your life:

It’s simple! Find ways to bring in that sense of coziness and comfort into your daily life. Here are several ways to practice Hygge regularly:

1| Light some candles, grab a blanket and read a book.

2| Have hot chocolate, warm socks and enjoy a phone-free night at home.

3| Enjoy a family/friend night in with board games, good food and good conversations.

4| Be present in the activity whether it’s baking a new recipe, or enjoying company without distractions

5| Create a “Hygge Corner” complete with soft blankets and lighting, candles, and your comfiest clothes.

6| Try to spend time on creative, crafty activities and hobbies.

7|  Rethink your home space by bringing nature indoors, and add touches of coziness with soft lighting and candles throughout your entire space.

With a long winter ahead, it’s important to put your happiness and health first. With the addition of a little hygge in your life, it won’t be hard to see the benefits by practicing it regularly. Remember the keywords: comfort, coziness, and charm! This can mean anything from a warm cup of tea, to snuggling under a blanket with a good book.

So what do you think about Hygge? Have you heard of this trend? Do you think you’ll incorporate it in your routine for winter? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Redirecting the Focus of Blissfully Brunette

2016 was an interesting year for my blog. I felt like it went through several periods where it was having an identity crisis. It kept me thinking that maybe I should change and redirect the focus of the content I share on my blog.

Naturally, when change like this presents itself—I ignore it completely. I try my best to remove it from my mind. Why? Because sometimes, I’m a little irrational. Sometimes, my anxiety can get the best of me and make me believe things that simply aren’t true.

Your readers don’t want a change, Kiara. They’ll stop reading if you change anything.

If you change your blog content, the last few years of blogging will have been a waste of time.

It took a lot of convincing before I felt comfortable with the idea of changing the type of content I want to share on my blog mostly because I still love beauty and fashion. I don’t want people to think that I don’t have a passion for those things anymore because that’s not true.

I don’t feel as proud of that content rather than when I’m sharing content related to living well, minimalism, decluttering, living your best life, and other lifestyle posts. Writing those posts bring me the most joy. They make me feel like I’m truly helping readers take control of their own lives and help them live a life a bliss. That’s the intention and goal I want to set out on my blog.

Will you still see beauty and fashion posts? Yes. But you won’t see them as often. When I do decide to share something beauty or fashion related, I want it to be meaningful and intentional. I want it to be a source of inspirational for my readers rather than something that feels like it’s lacking purpose.

My goal for my blog for 2017 is to truly focus on content and the direction of my blog. Yes, you will still see a mix of everything from lifestyle, beauty, and fashion—but you will also see more on minimalism, intention, simple living, living your best life, living a life of bliss and more.

I’m very excited for this journey with my blog, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 will have in store for Blissfully Brunette. Thank you for being supportive and wonderful readers.

Have you ever considered rebranding or redirecting the focus of your blog? How did you handle it? Are you still working on it? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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