5 Things to be Happy About: April Edition

I’ve always been a little biased about April because it’s my birthday month, so naturally I love this month more than some others. Raise your hand if your birthday month is April!? There is a lot that I am especially looking forward to this month, so I’m not too sure how I’m going to keep it to five things, but we’re going to try!

1| Travel

I find that I get to travel in April and May whether it’s for my birthday or I’m able to take time off from work because it’s not the busy season for us yet. This month, I’m going to Boston for a week for the first time with Josh, and we are both so excited to take time off from work and get a chance to explore a new city. We have been trying to schedule one city trip a year so we can explore new places every year. Needless to say, there will be some exciting travel-related content coming your way on the blog!

2| Treat Yourself

It might have to do with this month being my birthday month and the Easter season, but I find that I’m always more comfortable to treating myself to anything whether it’s dessert, wine, or an experience (like a trip to a new city)! After the holidays, I get pretty strict about eating healthy, working out and saving my money. After three months, I’m ready to give myself one (or several) treats!

3| Easter 

Easter has always been a holiday I look forward to because it’s a time for family, food and it’s overall a relaxing and enjoyable day. We always celebrate the holiday at my parent’s house with a big brunch. We even still color eggs as a family and get chocolate treats from my mom! But hey, it’s a tradition my family has and loves, and it’s something I look forward to every April.

4| My Birthday 

I’ll actually be in Boston on my birthday, so I think it’ll be a great way to ring in 23 years! Stay tuned for a post coming up soon on 23 lessons I’ve learned in 23 years. I think it’s something you’ll enjoy reading. When is your birthday month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

5| Spring Outfits

For those who don’t know, I’ve been ready for spring since January but the weather here in PA hasn’t been giving that to me. We had a snowstorm in the middle of March, and all I’ve been wanting is to have warm enough weather to wear spring dresses and outfits. I’m hoping April is when I can finally bust out my spring clothes since I haven’t been able to yet!

What are you looking forward to this month? Make sure to share in the comment below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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4 Tips to Help Stop Unnecessary Shopping

We’ve all been there when we are excited about tax returns and feel that spending money to #treatyoself is completely justifiable. TBH, I’m all for treating yourself if you’ve been working hard achieving all your girl boss goals and saving money to buy something you wouldn’t normally spend money on otherwise.

But, what isn’t justifiable is dropping hundreds of dollars every few months on clothes, shoes, and everything in between that you truly don’t need or love.

I can relate in some ways because I loved having things. I loved having things even if I didn’t love that particular item. A pair of shoes sat in my closet for two years because I didn’t love them. Even worse, I would still buy other shoes if they weren’t practical and if I didn’t love them. The stuff piled up.

Why do we buy things unnecessarily? There are a ton of incredible articles on this topic that could be an entire blog post in itself, but I’ll that’s a different story for a different day, y’all.

So, how did I stop shopping unnecessarily?

I changed my mindset. I had a little heart-to-heart with myself over a year ago when I decided to get rid of more than 60 percent of what I owed. Today, I want to share some of those mindsets and ideas I incorporated to my lifestyle and how it has helped me even more than a year later. If you’re looking to add a little bliss to your life, wallet and closet, keep on reading!

1| You can’t take it with you when you die

Okay, Kiara…we’re starting off a little morbid here. But when you think about it—it’s true! You can’t take anything with you when you die, so how important are those pair of shoes or that handbag you want to buy? This also applies with minimalism because there are so many things we have in our closets that we never use or wear. Instead of having those pieces collect dust, you can sell them or donate them so they can go to someone who will love them. You don’t need to buy another pair of jeans when you have 10 pairs in at home. Use what you have and use it as motivation to remove what you currently don’t use or love in your home.

2| The things you own don’t truly matter

Picture yourself when you’re 70 years old. Are you really going to think about all the fabulous clothes you bought (and most likely haven’t had for more than 40 years) or are you going to think back on the important things in life like your family, where you’ve traveled to, your career, and what you’ve done on earth? I promise you won’t remember a dress from your 20s. So when you’re out shopping, think about the simple questions first like: if you need it? Do you love it? Is it versatile? Is there anything similar to it that you already own? Etc. Then think about the actual wear you can get out of that item over the years. If it’s a classic blazer you know you’ll wear for 10 or more year, buy it. If it’s a trend that you think won’t last for more than a year, skip it. Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of money on clothes over the years, so everything you buy at this point in your life is temporary. It’s best to save or invest where you can.

3| SO. MUCH. WASTED. MONEY

Going off that last sentence…can we think about how much money we spend on clothes in our lifetime? I can’t even imagine that number, but I know that I want to decrease that number by the time I’m 80 years old. When you shop, think long term. Don’t want to buy something that you’ll only love for a year or two. Invest in pieces you can keep for 10 years or longer. There’s this idea we’ve learned that buying trends is normal and that fast-fashion is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be. We can invest in high-quality items that we will wear and love for decades rather than spending $10 on a top that we will only wear once. I would rather spend $100 on the perfect LBD that I’ll wear for years than spend $10 on 10 dresses than I will only wear a handful of times. Think about the money and time you’ll save yourself when you stop shopping unnecessarily.

4| What can I do instead?

Instead of buying a pair of trendy shoes, what can you put that money toward? Whether it’s a house, travel, your child’s college fund, retirement plan, or an investment for your business—there are so many more important things you can do with your money than spend it on clothes, shoes, accessories, and ALL. THE. THINGS. You have goals you want to achieve and you have plans for yourself, so think long term about your money and what you’re spending it on. I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things I want to do with my money rather than see it wasted on things I don’t love in my closet. Next time you’re out shopping, think about what you could do with that money instead down the road.

 

 

I hope this inspired you to think about your spending habits and how you stop unnecessary shopping! Make sure to leave a comment below on other tips that help you stop from spending money when you’re shopping! P.S. what’s something that you almost bought, but were happy you didn’t spend the money on? 

Ki Signature

 

 

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8 Tips to Master Your Closet

It’s that time of year where we declutter old items that no longer fit our style or lifestyle; and take control of our closet space as we transition from winter to spring. Decluttering your closet can be a huge undertaking, especially if you haven’t gone through your wardrobe in over a year or longer. Regardless if it’s your first time decluttering or your tenth time decluttering, I’m here to share 8 tips to help you master your closet. Keep reading if you’re looking to add a little bliss to your space as we move into spring.

1| Make A Plan

Don’t just go into your closet and start throwing things out and putting clothes in a donation bin. Sit down and set aside five minutes to plan out when and how long you’ll need to go through your closet and clothes altogether. Will it take a day or a few hours? Scheduled adequate time to go through your clothes so you don’t run out of time or feel rushed to get it done in an hour.

2| Take It All Out

Yes, take it all out and put it on your bed or floor. Literally everything from tops to seasonal items to shoes. You will be surprised with how much you truly have in your closet. This will help so much because you can see what the damage it and see how much you can donate, sell, toss, etc.

3| Try It All On

Does it fit? Does it look flattering on you? Does it fit your style? It is damaged at all? Is it versatile? Do you feel good when you wear that item? Ask yourself all these questions (and more) when you’re trying on different pieces in your closet. Don’t keep something unless your truly love it and it fits your personal style. If it doesn’t fit/if it’s damaged or you simply don’t love it—out it goes. Read 10 things to remove from your closet right now for help!

4| Create A “6-Month Box”

If you’re not too sure about some items, put them away in a box and store them in your basement, spare closet, or attic for six months. If you don’t find yourself looking for any of those items over the six months, or even thinking about them—you should definitely donate or sell those items once the period is up. it’s a sure way of knowing you didn’t love or need those pieces in your life.

5| Don’t Be Sentimental

You still have your bridesmaid dress from your friend’s wedding from five years ago. It doesn’t fit and you know you will never wear it again. You have scarves from Europe that are damaged and you can’t even wear anymore, yet they’re taking up space in your closet. Why keep those things if you want wear them? Try to remove the sentimental memories from those pieces and stay practical.

6| Be Honest With Yourself

No pair of shoes are worthy of keeping if you can’t wear them for 30 minutes without screaming in pain. Get rid of things that don’t make sense to keep. Why keep a pair of jeans from high school that you probably won’t fit into when you can appreciate the jeans you have now that also fit your body? Don’t hold onto things you don’t need or can’t wear.

7| Organization is Key

Find an organization system that works well for you. If you love to organize your closet by color and sleeve length, perfect! If you prefer to organize the Kon Marie way, that’s great, too! It’s all about what works best for you and what you love. Everyone will have a different preference and that’s okay! Take time to see what is visually appealing to you and what will help you keep your closet organized.

8| Maintain Consistently

Your closet will be easy to maintain if you find an organization system you love (see #7). Also make sure you set aside time every season to review your closet again and see what you can remove, donate, sell, etc. After your initial declutter, it will be much easier to see what you love and don’t love in terms of fashion, style, etc. As long as you dedicate 30 minutes to go through your closet, you will be able to maintain your hard work.

Are you ready to tackle your own closet? When is the last time you decluttered? What other tips do you have for mastering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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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!

 

Ki Signature

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 5

It’s crazy to think that this month has flown by so quickly. It seems like yesterday that Erin reached out to me to see if i was interested in collaborating with her on this challenge. After going through this month with focusing on self care, relaxation and more—I’ve learned so much from this process and experience. I want to thank Erin from A Welder’s Wife for joining me with these challenges and experience altogether. It has been wonderful to work with her and see how she has done each week during the challenges!

If it’s your first post catching up on the Mental Cleanse Challenge visit the posts below to catch up on the weekly challenges and posts below to see how Erin and I did each week!

My Posts:

1| Week 1: Introduction

2| Week 2: Self Care

3| Week 3: Diet & Exercise

4| Week 4: Digital Cleanse

Erin’s Posts:

1| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 1

2| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 2

3| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 3

4| Mental Cleanse Challenge Week 4

Now keep reading below to see how I did last week on the positivity challenges:

Feb. 20: No complaint day.

I was a little nervous about this challenge because if I’m stressing out over a workout…I will complain. But, I’m happy to say that I made it through Insanity without a single complaint! A huge win for me personally, haha!

Feb 21: Write down 3 great things that happened today.

1. I had a productive day at work. 2. I worked hard on the blog after work. 3. I meal prepped for the entire week.

Feb 22: Spend 15 minutes in silence focusing on one positive attribute about yourself.

My positive attribute was focusing on my self-motivation and drive to keep going. The part I struggled with was only focusing on this one thought when there were other thoughts in my head.

Feb 23: Compliment a stranger.

This is never a difficult task since I’m around people most of the time. It is always nice to see someone light up after you give them a genuine compliment.

Feb 24: Write a letter to yourself explaining why you are unique.

I thought I was going to have a difficult time with this one, but instead of writing a letter, I decided to do it as a list, which seemed less daunting and overwhelming for someone who feels uncomfortable talking about themselves.

Feb 25: Ask your friends to describe you in 3 words, write them down, and repeat it to yourself throughout the day.

I decided to ask my co-workers it was the best decision of my life. They said: confident, outgoing and crazy (in a good way, haha). It makes me happy to see how they perceive me is in a positive way. It definitely made my day to think about this throughout the rest of the day.

Feb 26: Write out your challenge wins and treat yourself!

I’m so happy to say that I was able to complete all the challenges throughout this month. This challenge and teaming with up Erin taught me so much about practicing self care and focusing on time for myself, which was so important. I was most surprised about the diet and exercise challenges like going vegan and trying a new workout!


Overall, I’m sad to see that that challenge is over with, but I love knowing it’s something I can plan for another month down the road when I’m in need of some self care and relaxation. If you followed along with these challenges:

What was your favorite/least favorite week?

My favorite week was the self care week because it had mix of everything from walking to pampering sessions and everything in between. My least favorite week was probably the diet and exercise because it was a little more challenging even though it was worth it!

What challenges were you most surprised that you were able to accomplish?

No complaint day during the positivity week and trying a new workout during the diet and exercise week. Both were two that I was worried about, but was happy and proud for accomplishing them.

What challenges were your favorite or most difficult to complete?

I loved all the positivity challenges even though they were also the most difficult challenges to complete for me personally. When I was able to cross the daily challenge off my list for each day, it was so satisfying.

Is this something you’d like to try again down the road?

YES! I definitely want to plan this for summertime when I’ll need another pick-me-up-month and need to focus on self care, relaxation and refreshing my mind altogether.

Want a review of all the challenges?

 

I hope you enjoyed following along on these challenges throughout the month of February with Erin and I. It was so fun and refreshing to have a month filled with challenges that focused on self care, relaxation and everything in between to focus on mental health. Make sure to leave comments below asking the reflection questions and any other comments you have from participating in the challenges!

 

Ki Signature

 

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