What I’ve Gained Through Minimalism

Minimalism

Hey, Guys! I’m veering off the path of beauty today to talk more about the minimalist lifestyle and what I’ve learned from it over the past two/three years. You go through so many stages in life and mine has certainly changed quite a bit since my twenties (marriage, house, having a baby). It only made sense to reevaluate my stuff and where it all fit in. And trust me, I had a lot more stuff than I wanted and it has changed my view on stuff overall.

I used the word “gained” in my title because I think people can have this perception that minimalism is all about having nothing, and it’s not. It’s not about depriving yourself. In my own words, minimalism is focusing on what you value and what you truly want by ridding yourself of clutter. Clutter doesn’t always have to be physical. It can be what you’re doing with your time that isn’t really contributing to what you actually consider worthwhile. It’s freeing yourself  from the continual wanting of more, more, more. It’s also personal- minimalism can look like all white walls (if we’re talking minimalist aesthetics) and living out of a backpack. Or it can be colorful and have much more variety.  It’s all about mindfulness and personal values, and more simplicity in one way or another.

Some more points before I get into it: I believe to want is good. I think to progress as humans and strive for better is important. But to want a better life and to be grateful are not mutually exclusive-you can do BOTH. All I am saying is when wanting becomes a constant, mindless thing and there is lack of gratitude for what is in front of you already, it might not be a terrible idea to step back for a second, question things and gain back some control. Momentary highs (which are cool here and there) are one thing, but longer term joy that is in line with your values is another.

Also, this isn’t about telling anyone what they should value or what they should enjoy. Everyone is in a different place in life and we all have different interests. This is more about my personal experience and my case for a more minimalist path.

I’m not quite sure if I’d even label myself a minimalist quite yet. Though I know it’s a subjective term, there can be certain limitations or ideals that are perceived or that we can put on our own selves through a label that I’d rather not at the moment- life is too fluid. But I’d like to think no matter what happens in life, part of me is innately minimalist. I’d like to think that though life can go through so many changes and stages, my hopes for only keeping things I enjoy and use will always carry though and that I will continue to learn more about myself along the way :). Doing things intentionally will hopefully always be with me.

There’s a lot I’ve gained or learned from a more minimalist lifestyle but these are some of the big ones:

  1. You can still like things! I actually value what I have even more because I don’t have as much of what I don’t value. I like trying new products and having more of certain things, I just try to make sure everything is getting used and enjoyed.
  2. More Global Awareness.  Or less waste. I’ve started thinking more globally and how to keep things more sustainable. The goal for me is that along with more intention with what I buy, the rate or amount which I’m getting rid of things will hopefully continue to decrease. We don’t know the true outcome of where all of our stuff goes when donating and I understand that there are more sustainable options. I try to sell things here and there or try to find better homes for things I no longer want, but realistically I also get that donating is the best option when you want something out of your house sooner rather than later. Either way, the goal is to decrease the rate of waste within my power (not through hoarding!!) and that is better than nothing in my opinion!
  3. My desire to shop has decreased. I’m talking the physical act of spending money. I enjoy seeing what’s out there and knowing, I just don’t have to have everything that’s out there.
  4. More thoughtful purchases. When you lay off the shopping for a bit, you recognize your impulses and triggers eventually leading to more self control. By not buying things immediately you’re able to better discern what you truly want and keep purchases intentional.
  5. Gratitude. You start using what you already have– and FINISH stuff, or see that what you have is enough and works in many cases. New stuff is cool, don’t get me wrong. But when your closet is busting out with 20 of the same shirt maybe it’s time to rethink getting similar shirt number 21. And shirt 21 may very well add value to your life, but don’t kid yourself. Really think about it.
  6. You learn more about yourself. When you start using what you have and stop continually bringing things in, you can focus on what you actually prefer and notice what you don’t. One thing I’ve learned is that I like switching things out once in while and I enjoy choice, but I don’t need 100 different things to be able to do that. You start to learn what your happy number is with your stuff and what is more in line with your actual reality. I also know I like to do things at my own pace. I can decide when I want to participate in a sale or trend, not the other way around.
  7. You’ll have more money. No you won’t be a billionaire overnight. But you may not have to stress as much about how you’re paying a bill off at the end of the month when you’re being more mindful with your purchases. Whatever your money goals are (paying down debt, saving etc.), cutting out unnecessary spending will help you get there little by little. We all know expensive emergencies happen, but hopefully through not paying for as much stuff you don’t truly want or need, you’ll be able to deal with those emergencies or life events a little better when they do pop up, or at least start saving for those times. Car issues or dental bills are annoying no doubt, but at least I know those things won’t set me back as much as would be the case if couldn’t pay for them.
  8. More peace. You stop chasing every single trend out there and stop feeling like you have to continually keep up with them or everyone around you-unless that’s something you actually enjoy or part of your job then that’s one thing. Trends are all fine and good but you also have to know yourself and that you don’t have to participate in everything. I do think a lot of that comes with getting older. We experiment and over time hopefully figure out what works for us and what doesn’t (trust me, I’ve played around with some interesting looks back in the day-all part of the fun!). I like admiring and being inspired, plus we should be happy for others. But you can do so while still be being grateful for your own blessings and honoring your own style and tastes which is just as special as anyone else’s. You should own it. If not, time for some introspection. Look within. 
  9. Increased Awareness. You’ll notice more how retailers (or anyone/anything) try to get you to buy. I know many small businesses do truly stand behind their products but like anyone else need to generate an income. So this isn’t a dig at all of their motivations. But again, I am focusing on that awareness here. It’s more about the constant “You need this!!” promotion of excessive materialism that you start to notice and start to walk away from. Allow yourself to make your own decisions on if you truly want or need something, not hype or pressure.
  10. More time for other things. Time to ourselves is more rare the older we get, and I’m not saying you’ll magically have days and days on end that are commitment free once you start a more minimalist life. But with whatever time you do gain back when reducing the time constantly looking for the next thing to get or clutter bogging you down, that can be used towards something else you truly value. You might not even know what that is yet, but it’s worth exploring. There are times when I do truly enjoy stepping out and getting things I need or just seeing what’s out there (and honestly these days it’s a chore and just needs to get done), but it’s a wide, wide world. What else do I enjoy or how else can I add value to my day/life or someone else’s? What can I create?  How cool is it to discover what else is out there and what else gets us going? Even it means stopping to rest or smell the roses or more time with people I love. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Possibilities are endless.

I’m sure there’s a ton more to add (look out for a possible part two down the line!) but those are some of the biggies!

Have you tried a more minimalist path? What have you learned? If not, is it something you might be interested in trying? Leave your comments down below! 

Love, Jen

2017: Looking Back and Ahead

Happy New Year
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Friends! 2017 as expected came and went in a flash. Every January I tend to reset my mind a little, wipe the lenses a bit, do more reflecting. For me it’s just natural to do this time of year. I tried some new things. I decided to scrap things too. Learned a bit more I would hope. There are definitely things I want to continue or focus on more or approach differently, new year or not.

The more recent years are starting to mesh together and are getting harder for me to recall. I had to actually sit and think about what happened in 2015 and 2016 which kinda freaked me out. Besides my son’s birthday parties I just couldn’t remember. Thank God for pictures and other documentation because without it I couldn’t tell you what was going on during those years and it wasn’t even that long ago. I really must be getting older. With that said and and so I don’t forget, in no particular order what are some things that personally stand out to me about 2017?

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I Went Dairy Free to Clear Up Acne-Did it Work?

I’m no stranger to a hormonal breakout, but my skin was on a whole other level this summer. In June, one side of my forehead started breaking out like crazy which hasn’t happened in a really long time, and then my chin took a turn for the worst. It was getting a little ridiculous. Was it my pillowcase? Change of seasons? I’ve tried different topical treatments over the years, but I felt like those were more of a temporary fix. There had to be a better solution.

Dairy Free To Clear Acne, Does it Work?
Dairy Free To Clear Acne, Does it Work?

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The Influenster Daisy VoxBox (My First!)

Daisy VoxBox
Daisy VoxBox
Greetings, Friends! Today I want to share with you my first VoxBox! I joined Influenster not too long ago and was excited to receive the Dasiy Voxbox  shortly after.  Of course I have to disclaim that I received all of these products free for testing purposes-all my own opinion (I’m an honest gal after all)-So let’s go through the products!

Daisy VoxBox
Daisy VoxBox
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Liebster Award Part 2!

 

Liebster Award

Hey everyone! I had done the Liebster Award tag last September and recently was tagged again by three awesome bloggers, Alexandra, Jonia, and Enyiie– Thanks so much ladies! I’m doing it again because heck, nothing wrong with an update. Plus their questions were too good so I couldn’t pass them up (I did all 3 sets).

I’m going to break some rules here and instead of tagging people this time around (or who knows, maybe I will), I’m going to invite anyone who hasn’t gotten a chance to do this to do it. Or even if you already did the Liebster and feel like doing an update, go for it! I really love reading facts about anyone so definitely let me know if you do this tag! 
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Mini Life Update: My Short Break, Why I Blog, Unicorn Frappucinos.

Hey Guys! I haven’t published a post in 10 11 days now which for me is a while. Give or take, I try to post once a week and if I’m really feelin’ it, twice a week. So I guess it hasn’t been been that long, but longer than usual for me. After getting some time away, I felt like doing a non-beauty post and just say what’s up.
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This Time Next Year Tag and 2017 Goal Checkup

This Time Next Year Tag and 2017 Goal Checkup
This Time Next Year Tag and 2017 Goal Checkup

Welcome back! I was recently tagged to do the “This Time Next Year” post by one of my blogging pals, Nicky Ashleigh. And since March seems like a good time to revisit the goals I set for myself back in January, I thought why not combine the two? It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag post but I enjoy them! I’m not big on setting lots of crazy goals for myself but I think it’s healthy to think of things you want to change or do more (or less) of once in a while! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about goals lately, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.
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What I’m looking forward to in 2017!

Goals for 2017
2017 Goals
Greetings, Beauts! Welcome to 2017!  We’re two weeks into January and I feel a little late to the resolutions game-at least it feels that way. But I guess that’s life for ya! Anyway, 2017 may just be another year or it may not be, but I’d like to think each year holds some new and cool things even if they aren’t all super dramatic. And is it just me or do the years seem to be blending together more and more?! 

This year, as with any, questions may be answered and questions may arise. What will get sorted out? How much will things remain the same or change? Will I still be wearing this sweater next winter? Ahh. Guess we will have to wait and see!

I don’t typically use the word “resolutionfor my goals just because I’ll never stick with it once that label is thrown on there. Psychological or not, I tend to curse myself that way based on experience. But no matter what you call it, wanting to be a better you or revising aspects of your life is a good thing and can be done at any time! January just seems to be that natural time for me and many to reset things on a more intentional level.

I like thinking of what is coming up or things I’d like to maybe try each upcoming year, but before I get into all of that I want to give a shout out to my blogger friend Jayher New Year’s post inspired me to get my own thoughts down on resolutions! Go give it a read! Anyway, here are some things I am looking forward to in 2017!
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34 Things I Learned at 34!

34 things I learned at 34
34 things I learned at 34

Greetings! If you didn’t know (which you more than likely didn’t), I just had a birthday. I turned 34 and can’t get over the fact that I’ve been on this earth that long already (and with God’s grace I’ll be here even longer), but I’m thankful! My birthday comes right between Christmas and New Years, so it’s a big time of reflection for me.

Coming up with 34 things I’ve learned throughout my life was way more of a challenge than I expected it to be. 34 is a lot when it comes to making a list, that’s one thing I learned! And it’s weird number to work with. It’s not a typical milestone year and not divisible by 5 so it doesn’t sound as cool, but I didn’t want to wait another year to make a list.

This is in no way me trying to be preachy, just a mishmash of things that came to my head and things I found to be true for myself over these 34 years. If you make it down to even half of them, you’ve made my day. Thanks, and Enjoy! 🙂
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Keeping up with Christmas: Ways to get into the Holiday Spirit!

tips for getting into the Christmas spirit
Ways to get into the Christmas Spirit

Welcome back, Beauts! So now we’re in the Christmas season, so magical and so fun, yet so fleeting and hectic. I don’t know about you, but by the time I’m finally ready to bring out a tray of Christmas cookies and throw on a Santa hat, it’s over. And then I have to wait another year to attempt to get back into it. What gives?!  And as you get older, more things happen in life and it only gets crazier and goes by faster!

I remember being a kid and it felt like forever before Christmas came. The anticipation was so fun! Because back then, Christmas and maybe your birthday were pretty much the only times you could give someone a huge list of stuff you wanted without feeling weird (at least that’s how I’d feel now), and you were too little to buy yourself stuff so you had to wait. And you didn’t have all of the adult responsibilities keeping you preoccupied.
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