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simpleliving

How to Create a Life you DON’T Need a Vacation From

Posted in Lifestyle
on October 30, 2017

I’m creating a life I don’t need a vacation from.

Yes, that’s right. You can create a life you don’t need a vacation from even if you’re an avid travel-lover like myself. I love to travel, but I don’t want such a stressful life that I’m always itching for a vacation and for time away from my life.

If something isn’t working for you, change it.

If your job only causes stress and not joy, leave.

If you’re not happy with where you live, move.

If you want to pursue your dream, go for it.

So what can you do about it?

We have the power to change ANYTHING we don’t like in our lives. Remember that next time you’re feeling stuck, confused and lost. You can change your address, your place of work, or anything else you don’t love about your life.

We also feel the itch for vacations because of burn out. Burn out is real in any line of work when we overwork ourselves without enough time to rest. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, taking time away from emails and phone calls when you’re off the clock, and put your health first. If you’re not giving yourself time to unwind every day or week, then you’re going to deteriorate mentally, physically and emotionally. AKA feel stressed all the time and need to “get away from everything.” Instead, do something for yourself every few days like a workout you love, or read a new book, or spend time with friends.

Before I get comments about how everyone decided to change their life, and they STILL aren’t happy—let me remind you of one very important thing. The goal to creating a life you don’t need a vacation from is consistently feeling blissful with the everyday aspects of your life. If you don’t enjoy getting up, going to work, and coming home to your family then you’re probably not going to be happy. If you’re only happy when a big life change happens like starting a new job, moving to a new state, buying a new home, or taking a lavish vacation, you’re probably not going to be happy in general.

You need to be happy with even the most average days of your life in order to create a life you don’t need a vacation from. 

The truth is, you’re not going to have life-changing events happen every day. Instead, find bliss in Sunday breakfast with your spouse, fresh flowers, a good book, or a fun night in with your friends. Those are the moments that you should look forward to. Those are the moments that make life wonderful, and encourage you to not plan a vacation you don’t need. You can also plan mini-staycations at home when you take a Saturday to do absolutely nothing. Say no to plans you may have committed to because at the end of the day, you need to put yourself and your health first.

So, how will you create a life you don’t need a vacation from? What will you change in your life in order to live more blissfully? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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8 Tips to Get Your Life Together in 8 Hours

Posted in Lifestyle
on October 23, 2017

The Sunday Scaries are a real thing, friends.

Every Sunday, I’m hoping to enjoy the day, feel relaxed, and ready to take on a new week. Sometimes, that’s not always the case. Instead, I’m left feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things I want to accomplish in a short period of time before the week begins. So, I put together an easy plan that will help you get your life together in one day with these eight tips. If you’re looking for a little bliss on Sunday, keep reading!

1| Start Early

Okay, so I’m sure you’re not too happy about reading this one. The truth is, you’re probably up around your normal weekday time anyway (it’s how you know you’re actually an adult). Once you’re up—get out of bed, have breakfast and coffee, so we can make this Sunday blissful, productive and enjoyable. Start by throwing in a load of laundry, so you can have one thing checked off your list before the day fully begins.

2| Sweat a Little

But don’t go all out with an hour of cardio. Instead, do a feel-good workout like Pilates, Yoga or a 20-minute ab workout. Make sure it’s something easy and that it won’t take up too much for your time because you’ll need time and energy for other tasks. Working out first thing in the morning also increases your productivity, so you’ll feel ready to work through the rest of your to-do list for the day.

3| Make The Plan

What does your Sunday look like? Sure I know you want to relax while football is on all day, but this isn’t always realistic. So write down everything that needs to be done from cleaning to meal prepping to family time. It sounds silly to include everything, but I promise it will make your day run more smoothly.

4| Meal Prep with Ease

I love meal prepping two or three meals for the week because it helps us get through most of the week after adding in small meals you can make during the week like salads, wraps, grilled chicken, etc. I also try to meal prep something big in the crockpot for Sundays for the week because you dump everything in one pot and turn it on low for eight hours. Then the other meal will be baked chicken and potatoes, or something similar. While one meal is in the crockpot and the other is in the oven, schedule small cleaning tasks like collecting garbage, running the dishwasher etc. Use the timer on the oven as a race to see how much you can get down in 30 minutes. You’ll be surprised how much you get done. If you’re looking for easy meals, I recommend this chicken recipe or a hearty stew.

5| Schedule Down Time 

After you’ve made up some meals and are halfway through cleaning for the day, plan in small sections of downtime. An hour to read or work on one of your passion projects (whatever it may be). Then plan another two hours to watch a movie with the family or catch part of a game. Adding in pockets of downtime to your schedule will help you look forward to crossing off items off your list, so you can enjoy that time.

6| Prioritize Cleaning

What really needs to be cleaned on Sunday for you? I think we default to Sundays for cleaning because we don’t tackle many chores during the week. Instead, prioritize what needs to be done on Sundays like laundry, dishes, bathrooms, etc. Maybe you can plan an hour on a weekend to work on smaller cleaning tasks like dusting and vacuuming. That way, you aren’t spending hours cleaning everything in your home.

7| Look Ahead for the Week

It only 30 minutes, but it’s definitely worth it. Grab your planner, bullet journal, phone, or whatever you use to plan your life and make sure you have everything scheduled for the week from appointments, plans with friends, events, dinners, and everything in between. Taking the 10-15 minutes will save you stress the following morning, so you know what’s coming your way. Also pick out your outfit for Monday, and have your lunch ready to go for a stress-free morning.

8| Make Time for Family/Friends 

It’s SO important to make time for friends and family if you can’t do so during the week. I love Sundays and always look forward to them because we have Sunday dinner at Josh’s parent’s house, so it’s a tradition to watch football, eat dinner and spend time together. However you decide to spend time with family and friends, make sure you focus on your time with them and not cleaning, cooking or anything else.

I hope this post helps you rethink how you plan your Sundays. With a little planning comes a ton of bliss, so make sure to take the time to make a plan for the day and stick to it! You got this, girl!

How do you get your life together on Sundays? What is on your to-do list for Sunday? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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The Ultimate Gift Guide For Minimalists

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on October 20, 2017

Yes, I know that you maybe thinking that it’s way too early for Christmas. 

Well, let me tell you that it’s NEVER too early to get ready for the holidays. Plus, planning ahead of time is what decreases stress and increases bliss before the craziness of the holidays come in full force. So, if you’re looking for a little bliss, and looking to prepare in advance for some holiday shopping, keep reading. I’m collaborating with my wonderful blogging friend, Erin from A Welder’s Wife to bring you some gift ideas for the minimalist friends in your life. So, make sure to read her post on the same topic! Erin is a talented writer, and her blog posts on minimalism are always inspirational.

Keep in mind while reading this post that the gift ideas are meant to simply someone’s life. They aren’t things that your aunt or sister would expect unless they are living a minimalist, simple lifestyle. So, while these gifts might not seems like the right type of gifts that would appeal to everyone—they will definitely work well for the minimalist friend on your list who you know will appreciate a gift that simplifies their life.

1| Reusable Bags

One of the top items I use and love is a reusable bag for grocery shopping, and it has decrease our need for gathering plastic bags from Target. Instead of holding onto plastic, your friend will help the planet by using a bag for all of their shopping. Plus, they can use these for traveling or errands. For the reusable bag, you can include other gifts inside that you know your friend would love like a book on their wish list, their favorite candle, or a tin of Christmas cookies. Make sure to include a note that explains her favorite things in the bag and that the bag that holds everything is reusable and can help make any farmer’s market trip stress-free and easy!

2| Cleaning Cloths 

I’ve been taking steps to reduce the amount of unnecessary products like napkins, paper towels and similar items. So, I’ve been using more green-friendly products that make cleaning simple and easy like these cleaning cloths. Any busy mom, or environmentally-conscious friend would love these. Not only can they be washed easily, but they also replace up the 15 rolls of paper towels. You can feel good about helping the environment and giving a gift you know your friend will be using every single day. You can create a gift with items that are made from recycled materials, or gifts that give back to charities to help the environment. This is especially the perfect gift for your minimalist friend who doesn’t want extra things in their home when they can get everything done with one item.

3| Coconut Oil

You’re probably wondering what friend would want coconut oil. Well, fear not because you don’t have to give your friend a jar of coconut oil and call it a day. Coconut oil can be used not only for cooking or cleaning, but also for beauty items as well. It’s the perfect, multi-purpose item that your minimalist, simple-living friend and use all-year long. Coconut oil can be use as a moisturizer, cuticle treatment, deep conditioner for your hair and more. So, you can create a relaxing, pampering basket that includes: coconut oil, a face mask, essential oil, and you can even create a DIY scrub that uses coconut oil in it!

4| Gift Cards

While you have a ton of options with this one, you have to keep in mind that you want to think about where you’re buying the gift card for? Is it a store that will promote unnecessary shopping? If yes, then it might not be the best gift for your minimalist friend. Instead, treat your friend to a gift certificate for a local market, an all-natural, beauty shop, or a place where they can get anything they need (hello, Target)! Make sure you’re intentional about the gift cards you choose. If you know they’re working on home projects, buy a gift card from Lowe’s or Home Depot to help them out. Keep in mind what your friend loves, and they will be sure to appreciate the thought.

5|  Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Another gift where you’re probably thinking, girl, no one wants cleaning products for Christmas. And while I agree with you, I also think that you can make anything personal and useful to a minimalist. Minimalists love gifts that make their life simple, and a multi-purpose cleaner is definitely a great way to reduce the amount of products you’re using with chemicals. Another basket idea you can make can include home essentials like the multi-purpose cleaner, essential oils for a relaxing space, the cleaning cloth mentioned above, mason jars (to store food, prep meals, or store other home items), and other things you know your friend or family member would find useful. Remember, it’s all about gifting items that will simplify their life, and that will be used in their home.

6| All-In-One Planner

If your friend is a die-hard fan of using a traditional planner, an all-in-one planner is the way to go! Choose one that not only keeps their daily schedule in track, but it can track meal planning, the amount of much water they drink, workouts, daily to-do lists, positive mantras, and more. Finding a planner that can help organize all these items will be sure to simplify your friend’s life. You can also introduce your friend to a bullet journal and get a few colors pens to get them started. Maybe it’s a project you both and begin together to help simplify your lives. Take the day together to start planning your monthly, weekly trackers and lay out your new bullet journals together.

Whatever you decide to purchase for your minimalist friend, keep in mind one question: “What will help simplify their life and make their life easier?” Whether you put together an at-home spa basket, or a bag or home essentials, you can be certain that she will love the gifts that are simple and what will improve their life. Don’t forget to check out Erin’s post where she shares even MORE gift ideas for the minimalist friends on your holiday gift list. Be sure to stop back next week where we collaborate on another holiday-related post for you!

What gifts have you given to a minimalist friend in the past? What are some minimalist gift ideas that YOU have been given that you have loved? P.S. what is one thing on your wish list for the holidays? Make sure to share everything in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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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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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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