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slowliving

Why Minimalism is Refreshing

Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle
on September 18, 2017

Have you ever thought about how many things you own? Think about it. Let’s not even go  talk about every room in the your home. Let’s just talk about YOUR stuff: clothes, shoes, jewelry, bags, accessories, coats, etc.

You probably have a lot. Way more than you think. Probably even more than you could ever use.

So why do you have so much stuff? Why do we feel this intense need to have more stuff even though we already have so much stuff? We have a closet full of clothes we only wear 40 percent of, a rack of shoes we wear 25 percent of, and a cabinet of jewelry we wear 10 percent of. We don’t even use what we have yet we continue to buy more. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?

It seemed crazy to me, too. I was a person who owned SO. MUCH. STUFF. I owned so much jewelry that was never worn and I had a closet PACKED with clothes that I hated and didn’t love or find useful. I wore the same things yet I constantly wanted to get more, buy new, and everything in between.

Back when I began this journey of minimalism, I thought it would only go as far as decluttering my closet. I didn’t think anything life-changing would come from wanting to get rid of old clothes.

Except, it did.

Related: Decluttering Challenge for Beginners

Minimalism was the most refreshing concept to me because it allowed me to be okay with having things I only loved and got use of. It didn’t force me to go shopping every season for an entirely new wardrobe. It didn’t make me feel like I needed to spend half my paycheck on things and stuff when I was completely happy with what I already had. Minimalism is refreshing and it’s something I haven’t been able to really explain until now.

The other day, I decided to go through my entire closet and dresser and count how many clothing items I had. I counted shirts, dresses, seasonal wear, shoes, jackets, and everything in between. The only thing I left out were socks, bras, etc. I was shocked at how high this number was despite the fact that it was EVERYTHING I owned.

230. From tops to bottoms to bathing suits to dresses to sleepwear to workout clothes to formal wear. I owned 230 pieces of clothing.

And I’m sure you’re saying, “Wow, she’s DEFINITELY not a minimalist.” To be fair, I do call myself an unconventional minimalist for a reason! 😉 Also, I don’t think you need to ONLY own 30 pieces in your closet to identify with this lifestyle. I also don’t think we can really judge someone’s interpretation of this lifestyle solely based on how many items are in their closet.

To be honest, I wasn’t happy with that number at first. Until I remembered how much I had before this journey began. I used to own more than 19 pairs of jeans, 37 cardigans, 10 pairs of shorts, and 40 dresses. Now, I own 4 pairs of jeans, 8 cardigans, 2 pairs of shorts, 16 dresses. 

I don’t know about you, but the difference in those numbers are pretty substantial. That alone is 76 things less than what I had before, and that’s only a small part of my closet. I also forget that I work in an industry where I need quite a bit of professional clothing for meetings, events, networking, etc. I also workout often, so yoga pants and workout tops are essential.

Minimalism is refreshing because it’s refreshing to see how much you truly don’t need to live a blissful life. I’m still constantly getting rid of things in my closet (I filled a bag the other day with about 15 things) because I know 230 is still a large number. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that I had more than 600 clothing items at one point in my life. Looking back, if you counted jewelry, shoes, clothes, accessories, I would have been close to the 800 mark or more. But I got rid of a lot, I sold a lot, and I only kept what I loved. Have I purchased some new things? Definitely. But, I’ve learned that it’s better to invest in staples that will last for years rather than items you’ll only wear for a few seasons.

Minimalism is refreshing because it helps you practice contentment rather than spend money and shop unnecessarily. It’s refreshing to know that debt won’t be in my future when I’m happy with what I have and I only shop and buy when I know I truly need something or love something.

Even if you’re not set on the idea of minimalism altogether maybe you’ll consider going through your closet to see how much you have. Maybe it’s 800, maybe it’s 50. But, I’m sure the number will surprise you either way.

Tell me, whether you’re a minimalist or not, what’s the most refreshing idea about minimalism to you? Do you know how many items you own in your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Pursuing Slow Living & Why It’s Important

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 6, 2017

What’s important to you?

Be honest with yourself. What is really important to you?

 

Are you looking to have a family with two kids and two dogs? Do you want to travel the world and explore new cities and countries several times a year? Are you hoping to begin your own business?

Whatever life goals you have for yourself is wonderful. But, the problem the may be holding you back is busyness. Busyness is something we’ve turned into a new normal, and it’s not how I want to live my life. It’s something that doesn’t make me feel blissful because busy doesn’t always mean we’re working toward that life we so desperately want.

Busyness can mean you’ve put too much time and energy toward work projects and you’ve tacked on an additional 10 hours unpaid for your time, energy and money. You could have spent that time relaxing, recharging, spending quality time with friends, family or yourself.

I don’t want my life to become so busy that I forget what it’s like to have free time. I don’t want to feel guilty when I have a day off because I’m used to having my day planned with zero time to relax.

That’s why I’m choosing to live life a little more slowly. I’m focusing on something that’s essential for my well-being, and you should, too. There’s a beautiful saying in Italian that truly resonates with me and this lifestyle: dolce far niente, which means the sweetness of doing nothing. Italians are masters of enjoying the small moments of everyday life without worrying about being busy and rushing to the next task or meeting. They are wonderful with enjoying these simple moments in life, and practicing slow living.

Why slow living is important:

1| Perspective

Perspective is something I talk about a lot here on the blog because I think it’s important to gain new insight and learn a different way of looking at life and how we live it. For me, living more slowly and intentionally will give a new perspective on what I truly find valuable to me. It’s how I’ll know what’s worth spending time and energy on.

2| More 

More time. More energy to devote to what you’re truly passionate about. More money because you’re not in a rush to go, go, go and get your drive-through breakfast and coffee every day. There’s more of everything in your life that’s good when we decide to slow down and live the life you want to live. More time to enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. Dolce far niente.

3| Fulfillment 

I feel fulfilled when I know I’ve had a productive day at work, but I can go home and live my life without worrying about work. I do ever want to bring work home with me, and I don’t plan to. Home is where I can dedicate time to myself and to those important to me. It’s where I can relax, enjoy reading, workout, cook, blog, or anything in between. I feel fulfilled knowing I don’t need to check off 10 things off the ever-growing to-do list. Stress and busyness are created from ourselves, so it’s important to recognize who is responsible creating for the chaos and who is also responsible for removing the chaos. Both answers include you. It’s up to you which life you decide to live.

How can you work on living slowly?

Disconnect from social media and from your phone to actually enjoy time in a cafe with your bestie. Don’t feel the need to rush through Sunday dinner with your family. Instead, savor the meal, talk about your week and the week ahead. Make time to be present in the current moment you’re in rather than rush to the next part of your day. Be content with what you’re doing. Dolce far niente. The sweetness of doing nothing.

Living slowly and practicing this concept can mean that you wake up 30 minutes earlier to actually wake up, make breakfast and enjoy your coffee in your home before beginning the day. It’s about removing the rush and chaos from your day-to-day life. It’s about enjoying your day without feeling like busyness has taken over what you love most.

For me, instead of talking and enjoying the moment I’m spending with Josh and his family for dinner, I’m thinking about my week ahead, new ideas for my blog, book topics to write in the future, and so much more. My mind can’t fully shut off because of my internal need to keep going and keep feeling busy. Instead, I plan to put my phone away, shut off those work-mode thoughts and enjoy Sundays.

So how will you live more slowly? How will you practice the sweetness of doing nothing? Do you have any tips on this lifestyle? What busyness and chaos do you want to remove from your life? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: September

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 4, 2017

Is it fall yet?

Kidding. Well sort of. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for the change in season. It’s something I look forward to every single year when summer comes to an end. Let me know what you’re looking forward to now that it’s September because I can tell you that I have a lot to be happy about

1| Goals on Goals

I have a lot of goals to finish out the remainder of the third quarter, and I’m determined to get things done. I’ve been able to get rid of more things from my closet, which I didn’t know was possible. And I’m learning more about appreciating the simple things that make life enjoyable. My goals may not necessarily be the standard or conventional goals I’ve shared, but I am excited to accomplish these goals this month.

2| Passion Projects

I’m finally working on some passion projects that have been manifesting in my mind and in my dreams for years. Although I can’t quite share these yet (stay tuned!) I am excited to dive in on projects that I love and truly enjoy. One of the amazing things about minimalism is that it allows me more time in my day to focus on what I’m passionate about. I cannot wait to share this passion with you all soon.

3| A Change in Season

Fall isn’t here, but it will be soon. I know there are so many bloggers out there who love fall, and you all know I’m right there with you. I think I feel more productive during this change in the year because I’m still in that back-to-school mindset even though I’m no loner a student. My productivity naturally spikes back in September.

4| My Vision Board Coming to Life

Did you happen to see what’s on my vision board for the next three years? Well, let’s just say that several of those things on my vision board will be happening within three months of me sharing my goals with you. Yes, really. I am incredibly thankful for all the blessings in my life, and being able to reach these goals was not planned for 2017. But I am a big believer in what’s meant to be, will be.

5| Slow Living

Life moves so quickly. And it’s very easy to get lost in the busyness of our day-to-day lives. This month, I plan to focus on the art of slow living. With a busy season at work ahead, I’m determined to focus on work-life balance and living more slowly. I’ll have more on this topic coming on the blog later this month, however if you have any posts or videos you love on this topic—please leave a link below!

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

Ki Signature

 

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Self-Care Challenge: Week 2

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on July 14, 2017

One week down and three more weeks of self care to go! If you’re tuning into this challenge for the first time, make sure you catch up on my previous posts so you can learn about why I decided to create this challenge for July and how it will benefit you to begin focusing on self care. Are you ready for this week’s challenges?

Declutter your closet.

I did a huge overall f my closet a year ago, but I still go through it rather frequently because when I realize I’m not wearing an item, I will donate or sell it. On this day, I got rid of three pairs of shoes, two wallets, and a handful of other items as well. It’s amazing how much you don’t wear. As I continue to declutter these areas in my home, I find myself feeling happier every time. Read: 10 Questions to Help you Declutter your Closet

Do a random act of kindness.

My coworkers and I put together a gift for an employee who has been having a hard time. We got her and her children day passes to a water park, so they could enjoy the day together. She cried because it made her so happy, so of course I cried because she was crying. At least they were all happy tears! It warmed my heart to be able to do this. Whether it’s paying for the person’s coffee behind you, or leaving a note in a local bathroom, kindness can do wonders.

Try a new hobby and practice it during the challenge.

Fun Fact: I want to play the ukulele and I’m going to practice consistently throughout the remainder of this challenge to see how much I can learn over the next few weeks. Wish me luck! What hobby will you try for the remainder of this challenge? Make sure to share in the comment below!

Call/ FaceTime a family member to catch up.

I FaceTimed my friend which I do once in awhile. But since I haven’t seen them in so long, it’s always wonderful to talk and catch up on our lives like we’re actually together instead of states apart having coffee over the phone.

Plan a staycation in your town for a weekend.

My friend is visiting me for the first time in PA, so I’m planning a staycation with her that will be filled with things we’ve both never done before like: visit local museums, tour the beaches, go kayaking on the lake, and try restaurants unique to the city, etc. It’s fun to explore your own city sometimes.

Turn off your phone for a night.

This happened to be a day where I was feeling like I needed a break from social media and my phone altogether. I really put some time and energy into self care by having a glass of wine, reading outside on the patio, and indulging in some adult coloring. It’s the little things, right?

Write 5 things you’re thankful for.

1| Josh

2| My Job

3| Friends and Family

4| My Health

5| Self-Care

Week Three Challenges:

Create a calming playlist and relax while you listen.

Do yoga or Pilates for 30 minutes.

Plan a night out with friends.

Take a scenic drive.

Organize your digital life.

Write 5 things you love about yourself.

Treat yourself to your favorite dessert.

What tasks did you enjoy the most from week two? Which tasks were the most difficult? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

 

 

Ki Signature

 

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