The Marvelous Things I Do Every Sunday

Sundays are my favorite day of the week! Maybe it’s because I’m a power planner and I look forward to prepping for the week ahead. Or maybe it’s because I always squeeze a little lazy time into my Sundays to chill and refresh for the busy week I know is coming. Or maybe there’s just something sanctimonious about a Sunday to me. I think it’s a little bit of all of the above. Sundays always feel a bit new to me, like I’m kicking off a new project or starting a new adventure, there’s just something invigorating about it for me.

  1. I clean up my home. I wash the dishes and put them away. I clean my bathroom and I pick up my bedroom. I always find I feel better throughout the week being able to get ready in a clean area and starting my week off with the house looking fresh and tidy.
  2. I finish the laundry and put away my clothes. Making sure my clothes are clean and I have what I need for the week always helps me feel more sane and helps me stay pulled together even when the week gets busy and hectic.
  3. I review my planner and schedule for the week making sure I don’t have any surprises ahead in the week. Knowing what you have coming in the week helps give you a stronger mindset to manage your days.
  4. I spend some time with my blog. I review my blog editorial calendar and plan out some time throughout the week to write accordingly. I build and schedule out my social media posts for the week. I stumble my recent posts. I build at least the outline draft for my weekly email. This way I have a good structure for the week and can time block some evenings for writing.
  5. I plan my meals for the week. This keeps me on plan with my healthy eating and I can make sure I have what I need for lunches and dinners before the week starts.
  6. I plan out my outfit for Monday morning, or at least get some ideas of what I want to wear. This takes out some of the hustle on a Monday morning.
  7. I take a quick go-through of my work emails. My inbox always seems to fill up over the weekend so I find my Monday mornings are a bit more relaxing if I can clear out the junk mail and organize the others into their correct files and flag priority emails to find easily come the morning.
  8. I indulge in a facial treatment. Sundays are a good day for me to get in a little extra skin care. I apply a detoxing facial mask and then follow up with an organic facial oil. I find it relaxing and I love feeling a little extra pampered.
  9. I Netflix (or Amazon Prime) and chill. I always make it a point to get a little lazy time in on my Sundays. This is important to me because I don’t get much down time during the week. I’m currently powering through a show on Amazon called ‘Humans’.
  10. I spend some time sketching or painting. I am a huge advocate of art therapy. I always find it a wonderful way for me to release some built up stress or frustration. It helps me relax and recharge before the week starts.

Maybe this seems like a little bit of a busy day to some but for me this is my day, my time. Getting myself organized and balanced out helps me have a better week. It helps me feel prepared and gives me peace of mind. What routines do you have on Sundays to prepare for your week?

How Indulging in Your Guilty Pleasures Keep You Happy

I’m sitting here eating my third piece of cake this weekend thinking about what I want to write for my #loveblog prompt, guilty pleasures. Yes, third piece of cake. Saturday it was a rollerskating birthday party for my son’s step-cousin with a gorgeous unicorn cake with amazingly delicious fondant and icing, Saturday night it was the fried cheesecake I finished off for my son after his birthday dinner, and tonight it’s the slice of Oreo Blizzard cake to belatedly celebrate my son’s birthday from last week. Yup, I did it all, dove right in. I can’t say I won’t feel the affects of it when I step on the scale tomorrow morning but I’ll say it felt good to let loose this weekend and gobble it up! Guilty pleasures don’t have to be life ending, actually I think it’s healthy to have some guilty pleasures, whether it’s just on special occasions or it’s something that you can make part of your weekly routine, it’s important to have some of those that you can indulge in, something that makes you feel good. I think having a (healthy or not-too-bad) guilty pleasure is good for you. Maybe it’s long, relaxing bubble baths, or allowing yourself to buy that expensive bag you’ve had your eye on for a while (saving up for it of course – I’m not suggesting you skip paying a bill to purchase it), or having that dessert once in awhile, it’s important to allow yourself to have things in your life that really bring you joy. We call them guilty pleasures but do they really need to be? Do we have to feel guilty about something that brings us pleasure? (Now all this goes with saying that it’s not something that is destroying your life…I’m going to be frank here, if it’s harmful to you or others then it has lost its shine and it’s stepped past the boundaries of just being a guilty pleasure.) I’m the kind of person that believes that our lives should be lived with passion, pleasure and joy. We should be setting out to do things that feel rewarding to us, that make us smile, that bring light to our eyes.

I drink way more hot tea than I probably should in one day – like 8-10 cups per day is kind of my normal.

I can Netflix binge for days on if I didn’t ever have to leave the house.

I have a bit of a collection of paintings I’ve done filling corners in my bedroom and I’ll keep on painting and stacking them up.

I love brownie batter…so I just don’t keep the mix in the house too often…like I’ll mix it up just to eat the batter, I am perfectly happy skipping the cooking part.

I collect quotes like it’s nobody’s business…they’re in all of my notebooks, scribbled in my planner, taped on my wall…anywhere I can write or stick a quote I will.

I kind of like the word sh** – maybe it’s because I was a Navy brat and well it was my first word, in context from what my parents have told me (my toy wasn’t working so out of frustration I slammed it down and yelled “sh**”)…it’s just stuck I guess, I’m sorry…come on, it could be worse.

The truth is, my guilty pleasures can vary from day to day or week to week, it depends on what presents itself, it depends on how my day is, or what’s happening in my world. Sometimes after a long week, my guilty pleasure is turning my phone on silent, staying in bed and disappearing from the world for a bit. And I’m okay with that, sometimes I need that to recharge. I need to give into my guilty pleasures now and then, I need to allow myself that freedom, that flexibility to be me and only me.

What guilty pleasures do you have? How often do you allow yourself to give into them, to enjoy them?

Tonight’s post was prompted by my participation in Brita’s #LoveBlog2018! I am so excited to have the opportunity to participate again this year! This series has opened some wonderful thought processes for me in which I was able to learn more about myself and tell my story to my readers in a new light. Check out this year’s prompts here

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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Ivana from provocativejoy.com. Ivanna is a registered nurse who loves expressing her creative side. She enjoys thrifting, learning about sustainable living, and anything purple. She writes on Provocative Joy about living unconventionally, and loves to inspire people to realize their potential to be world-changers.

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Six Ways to Ensure You are Taking Care of Yourself During the Busy Season

Self-care can slide when life gets crazy, especially during the busy holiday season. Some reminders to keep during this hectic time of year to ensure you are still giving yourself the care you need.

  1. Schedule down time for yourself. – Add some “me” time to your calendar to make sure you are getting the time you need to recharge. Set aside time to journal or to take a hot bath to unwind from a busy day.
  2. Balance your diet. – The sugary sweets are all around you this time of year. Staying on track doesn’t mean you can’t indulge a little but make sure to keep it balanced. Pick your favorites and keep the portions in control.
  3. Get enough sleep. – Make sure you are getting to bed at a decent time every night so you can ensure your getting enough rest to keep up with everything going on this time of year. Set an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed.
  4. Stick to your budget. – I always find this time of year the easiest time for me to slip with over-spending. With so many great gift ideas out there and lots of holiday outings it’s very easy to slide off plan. Set spending limits for yourself and stick to them, otherwise you may feel the consequences come the New Year.
  5. Keep exercising. – I know it gets tough to keep up going to the gym during this time of year so I find it helpful to add some at home workouts into my schedule.
  6. Set boundaries. – Don’t take on more than your schedule can hold or than you can handle. Don’t be afraid to say no when it becomes too much.
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12 Ways to Deflate Anxiety sponsored by SuperFoods Box – No Worries Box Review

Anxiety and depression are not a fun topic to talk about but many of us struggle with symptoms of these every day. Whether it comes from unexpected, extreme circumstances that come into our lives, clinically, or from being over-stressed with our everyday lives it can get in the way of what we want to obtain out of life. Anxiety and depression can leave us feeling exhausted and unmotivated and not so sunny. It can be a real struggle just to have a normal day. I used to think that the only way to get rid of it was to go see a doctor and get medication – I think in the past many of us were conditioned that this was the only way to treat it. That’s not the case though. (*disclaimer – in some cases that may be the best option but it is not the only option. Always speak with your health care provider for the best options for you). This past year was a very stressful year for me. I was faced with many unexpected challenges, changes, and stressors. Earlier this month I shared a little bit in my post The Beginning of My Fight with Fear & Anxiety, about how I had found myself filled with anxiety and how it was making me feel trapped. For the past month, I have been focused on finding myself again and pulling myself back into the light. It has been a month full of positive changes and I am feeling more and more free each day. I have brought many practices back into my life that I had let slide over the crazy summer months and I have added some new routines to my week as well. I feel much stronger today than I did just four weeks ago. I did this, though, by putting myself back into full focus. Self-care is the ultimate tool in all forms.

I had the opportunity to partner with the Superfood Box to bring you some ways to help de-flate anxiety and stress and bring more “No Worries” time into your life.

All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored, which means I received compensation for this post. in form of payment or trade. For more information please reference my disclosure page

 

12 Ways to De-Flate Anxiety Naturally

 

1.) Journaling – Writing in a journal has proven many times to be a way to relieve and help process stagnant emotions sitting in our mind. This acts as a great form of therapy. Try and write every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. The more consistent you are, the better you’ll get at letting go and writing what’s stuck in your mind.

2.) Focus on your goals – When I started focusing back on my blogging and the launch of my business I started feeling more confident and more secure in my life again. It helped me feel more purposeful and I was excited about my progress which motivated me to keep at it. I took some time to make a list of what I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year and then set up a plan to reach it. This helped me set benchmarks so that I can see my progress each week as I go, helping me see the positive changes I was making each week.

3.) Eat well – When you fuel your body well you’ll have more energy to take on the world. Some foods have shown in studies to have properties to help lessen anxiety and improve stress management such as black walnuts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. The black walnuts and the sesame and pumpkin seed Crunch bar I received in my No Worries Box were the perfect snacks to have at my desk on a busy, stressful day. Black walnuts contain a great amount of serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that is critical for relaxation and helps regulate mood. By munching on these healthy treats, I noticed how much calmer I felt in handling the challenges of the day. I also received a Reishi Mushroom Elixer that has been used to treat anxiety. This was a great drink to sip on during my busy afternoons flavored with star anise, licorice and stevia.

4.) Meditate – Practicing meditation every day is a great way to clear your mind and to relax. I find it helpful to start each day with a quick meditation and then end my day with a longer, mindfulness practice. This allows me to focus on letting thoughts flow through rather than dwelling on them circling in my mind.

5.) Exercise – I started working out at least three times a week. This is such a strong stress reliever for me. Not only does it help me strengthen my body but it also helps strengthen my mind. I feel like I have more energy and am more motivated for each day. I joined a personal training program and put a few goals, like running a half marathon in April and a 10 miler in June, on the calendar to help hold me accountable. I also find that partnering up with friends has been an amazing way to keep going (and bonus I get that BFF time that I needed too!). My training program routine includes a good mix of running, weight training, and Yoga. This gives me a good all around work out routine and keeps it interesting for me.

6.) Soul Strengthening Daily Affirmations – It may seem like these are just words at first but reciting daily affirmations help you reshape your thoughts and your mind to see the world and yourself in a more positive light. If you retrain your mind to believe that you are strong, then you will be strong. I surround myself with daily affirmations and inspirational quotes. I post them on my wall behind my bed so I see them every morning, I stick post-it notes on my mirror in my bathroom, I receive #truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte in my inbox every day, and I post inspirational messages on my screensaver on my computer. Maybe it’s my love language being my ‘words of affirmation’ but I can’t get enough of them.

7.) Get enough sleep – This I struggle with a bit. I have quite a racing mind, filled with thoughts from the day, over-analyzing every situation of the day, and lots of ideas for new creations flowing in. I made it a focus to work on shutting it down so that I can get better rest. Without good rest, my emotions can seem heightened and I can find it hard to manage stress throughout the day. I have been setting my bed time earlier and scheduling in wind down time before. This gives me time to slow down for the night. The Yogi Kava Kava Tea I received in my No Worries Box has been a great addition to my routine to help me relax. Kava is an herb that has shown in studies to be amazing at reducing anxiety. This blend of tea includes kava, cinnamon, carob, sarsaparilla, ginger, cardamom and stevia making it a wonderful treat for the evening.

8.) Find a hobby to love – For me this is painting. I have always loved painting but I’ve been working on making more time for it. I can escape from the world when I paint. It gives me time to just be me and to recharge. The more I let go in this process, the more free I feel and the more beautiful my art is when I emerge.

9.) Natural Supplements – I’ve used melatonin to aid in sleep but many of these were new to me. In my No Worries Box I received two particular supplements to try – Passionflower and St John’s Wort. I loved the idea of using natural supplements verses medications so I gave them a try with the okay from my medical provider (*Always check with your medical provider before trying supplements). Studies have shown that Passionflower helps to improve sleep quality and in managing stress and anxiety. St John’s Wort has been shown to act as a natural anti-depressant.

10.) Talk it out with your BFFs – Sometimes a good night out with my pals is the perfect way to blow off some steam. I’m known to hermit up when I get stressed and bogged down in life but that can leave me feeling isolated sometimes so I’ve been working on planning more activities to get out and do with my friends, spending some down time with them to vent out what’s on my mind, soaking in some of their positive words and advice. Whether it’s taking a power walk on the rail trail, enjoying a glass of wine over dinner, or joining in on a local ghost stories walk in town I’ve been making sure to get some time on my calendar each week for some quality friendship time.

11.) Make time for more mindfulness and gratitude in your day – I’ve added to my routine some mindfulness time each day. I sit down with a cup of Ashwagandha tea from the No Worries Box and take some deep breaths and just listen, look and observe and think of what I am grateful for having in my life. These simple moments have provided me space and time to “just be”, this is my “no worries” time that I reserve for myself each day.

12.) Counseling – I find this a safe place for me to go to for help organizing my thoughts. I am also discovering a lot about myself through this process. I am able to approach my thoughts from an intellectual and creative stand point without judgement which helps me see them in a new way, in a clearer way. Starting counseling can be scary at first, going to talk about your innermost feelings and thoughts with someone you don’t know. I set my expectations up front of what I wanted to obtain in my sessions and that I wanted to complete therapy without medications. This set the standard for my treatment and helped me feel more comfortable.

 

 The No Worries Box from Superfood Box included many wonderful items that helped boost my self-care routine to help me manage the stress and the anxiety I was feeling. I really enjoyed working with this company. I could sense the compassion for the world and the love that they have for what they do. Superfood Box offers several different types of boxes for you to choose from. I am looking forward to trying all they have to offer. The value of the items you receive is spectacular and the pricing is very reasonable. They also offer the opportunity to order tropical fruit which is shipped using Fenugreen’s Patented Freshpaper infused with naturally antimicrobial and anti-fungal spices like Fenugreek that kept my fruit fresh during shipment. They have a great variety to choose from like rambutans (one of my favorites!), passion fruit, pomegranates, persimmons and many more. Something else I loved about my box is that they included a great document in my shipment that explained all the things I received so that I felt educated in trying my new products.

Check out some of their other boxes:

Inflammation Fighter Box

Workout Fuel and Recovery Box

Skin Health Box

Stay in the loop with healthy tips and specials with Superfood Box on social media too:

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Why I’m Putting Myself First

Earlier this week I wrote about the anxiety I was feeling and how much it had been kicking my butt and overwhelming my brain. This week I made it a goal to focus on myself and my goals, after all it is a new month and for me that always presents itself as a new beginning. It has made a huge difference in my thought patterns with putting myself back in focus.

So this week I made it all about me. It was tough at first because I felt selfish and it felt out of character for me a little. The challenge is finding the balance. I can get so wrapped up in doing things for everyone else that I end up leaving myself in the dust. I needed this week to find myself again. Putting myself first didn’t mean I was neglecting everyone else but it did mean I had to say no to some things that weren’t what I needed that moment and it meant that I said no to negativity and it meant that I needed to make time for the things I wanted to do and needed to do. I still spent time with family and friends this week but I also made it a priority for “me” time. I made the time to have a counseling appointment so I can work through my thoughts. I made time to go to the gym. I spent the time with my friends walking instead of drinking a beer and eating all that yummy not-so-good for you food. I made it a priority to blog each evening – which I did at the kitchen table with my mom so we could chat too. I said no to eating out last weekend so I could be home where I wanted to be…and I cooked which was relaxing.

I just got home from the gym from my first personal training appointment. Fitness is something that I know is important for me to have in everyone of my weeks yet so many times I push it aside to make time for other things. But because this week was all about me, I was able to commit to something that I needed to commit to and it feels awesome. I feel more energized, my mind is clearer and I’m motivated to do more. This week I started a new fitness journey with my personal training and I’m really excited about it. Although I do have the physical goal of toning up a bit, my real goals are to build strength, endurance and energy. I learned this morning that I’ll be learning to do RDLs and Deadlifts – who would have thought a couple years back that I’ll be weight-lift training?! 

See here’s the thing. We as a society want to do so much for everyone else which is amazing and we should but what we many times don’t learn is that we have to take care of ourselves too. Putting yourself first isn’t selfish if you do it the right way. Self-Care and Self-Love are not narcissistic, they’re part of a healthy life and routine. In truth if you are truly loving and taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to do so much more for everyone else and you’ll be able to do it for the right reasons.  Spend time with loved ones because you want to not because you feel obligated. Go to the gym because you want to better yourself not because you want to fit in. Eat healthy because you want to fuel your body not because it’s the trendy thing to do. See where I’m going with this? Let the love you build for yourself energize your day and your actions. Be nice to people because you want to be a nice person. We spend so much time looking outside of ourselves for motivation, strength and hope but really it’s all inside of us.

What I found out this week is that a lot, well most, of my anxiety was stemming because I had fallen off track, off my track, my path. I had stopped thinking about me, or I was thinking about me in all the wrong ways. I got stuck thinking about what mistakes I had made instead of looking forward to what I was working on. When I looked back I saw things I did wrong instead of the lessons I had learned and how far I had come. 

My “Me” Goals:

Exercising several times during the week. Being active daily.

Journaling – whether it be writing or art-journaling, something to relieve thoughts and emotions from my mind.

Choosing to eat healthier because I feel better when I do – minus the McDonalds I indulged in yesterday!

Stop focusing on what everyone else thinks and just be myself. The only standards that really matter are the ones I set for myself. 

Work towards my goals and dreams every day, no matter how little or how big of a step I make forward, to do something everyday. 

When I focus on taking care of myself, everything else falls into place. 

My advice for the week: Go look at yourself in the mirror and say this: “I am beautiful. I am strong. I will overcome this and anything else that comes my way. Pain and troubles are temporary. Today may be hard but another day will come and I will beat it.” 

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26 Days to Being More Grateful For Where You Are Now

Learning to be grateful for the things, feelings and surroundings we have in life is a practice that will help lead us to  happiness. When we appreciate all that we already have and all the things we’ve experienced, we can see so much more opportunity in our lives. A few months back I did this challenge and it got me thinking how thankful for all I have gone through and how blessed I am in each day. Follow along this challenge to help open new ways of seeing your life and to express gratitude for all that you are and have today. 

So here’s how this works: Each day or night grab your journal and write what you are grateful for…there’s a twist – each day is going to be corresponding to a letter from the alphabet. Write down whatever comes to your mind. For me this challenge not only helped me see all the wonderful things and wonderful sides of some of my down times but it also pushed me to be more creative in my thinking. Some of these are a bit wacky but most will all be connected to a memory or a lesson, keep that in mind when you’re journaling. I’ve shared some ideas below to help get you started. Make sure to come back and share some of the things you’re grateful too! 

A – adventures, ambition, avocados…

B – butterflies, BLT’s, boldness…

C – courage, co-workers, cheese, curiosity, coffee, celebrations, cats…

D – dancing, dogs, discoveries…

E – energy, encouragement…

F – friends, family, fuzzy socks…

G – Grandparents, grass to lay in, grasshoppers, growth…

H – Heartbreaks (because we learn so much from them), healing, hot tea, hugs,  hope…

I – ice cream, insight, intuition…

J – joy, jobs, jumping…

K – kisses, kindness, kids…

L – love, life, lazy Sundays, ladybugs…

M – My Mother, the moon, memories, music, mornings…

N – nature, new beginnings…

O – opportunities, the ocean…

P – painting, photographs, patience, perseverance…

Q – quirkiness, quotes, quilts…

R – rest and relaxation, roses, 

S – sunshine, silence, storms, stars, sleep, smiles…

T – travel, time, technology, tacos, Thai Food…

U – unconditional love, umbrellas, unicorns…

V – victories, vivaciousness, violets…

W – water, wine, watermelon, wins…

X – xylophones, xoxo’s, x-rays…

Y – yawning, youthfulness, yoga…

Z – zeal for life! 

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7 Ways to Build a Strong & Healthy Mind

Building a strong and healthy mind is a key factor in leading a happy and healthy life. We must constantly be challenging our mind to expand to new ideas and new ways of thinking to keep growing. The saying goes, “Life is what we make it”, and that all starts in the mind. Here are seven ways that you can expand, challenge and teach your mind to be strong and healthy. 

  1. Read and practice daily affirmations. – Reading and reciting daily affirmations or mantras will help you train your min to perceive the world from a positive view.
  2. Journal and brain dump. – Journaling helps you release thoughts and feelings from swirling in your head. This helps you process them so you don’t get stuck in one spot. Brain dumping (or list making) is a great way to get racing ideas out onto paper. I find doing this every night before bed helps me fall asleep quicker and get a better night’s rest.
  3. Listen to podcasts. – There are so many podcasts out there that you can tap into. I find these are a great place to learn new things and new, positive ways of thinking.
  4. Read. – Reading not only is a great mind-strengthening task but it can expand your imagination and grow your thought process.
  5. Minimize negativity in your life. – When you minimize negativity in your life you give your mind the space to focus on more positive and progressive things. Unfollow those Facebook naggers.
  6. Try something new routinely. – Take a class, try new foods, visit somewhere you’ve never been.
  7. Meet new people. – Meeting new people opens you up to new points of views and new ideas.
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Power Tips For An Awesome Closet Clean Out

 

So as I journey towards Minimalism, I find myself in a constant battle over my wardrobe. I love clothes and style, after all I had a focus in Fashion Design & Merchandising for part of my schooling. Moving to a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ (even though I do think they are a wonderful idea!) is just not something that is a realistic goal for me right now but that doesn’t mean I can’t slender my wardrobe down. Each season, I make time for a good closet clean-out and overhaul.

Minimalism isn’t about only owning the less stuff you possibly can, it’s about only holding onto things that bring joy and value to your life so some thoughts to keep in mind when you’re going through your clothes (really think hard into these questions too!):

1.) Does it fit well?

2.) Do I feel confident and fabulous in it? Does it add value to my day?

3.) Have I worn it or do I see myself wearing it in the near future (in season – within the next month; out of season – within the next 3-6 months depending on the piece of clothing)?

The Tedious Process of the Closet Clean-Out (but oh so necessary!!!):

1.) Take everything out of your closet.

2.) Hang back up the things you wear routinely or absolutely love and can’t live without.

*Organize by either type of clothing (i.e. work, play, going out wear) or by color.

3.) Start three piles:

First Pile – Donate

Second Pile – Try On/Keep if fits well

Third Pile – Sell

And a trash bag

4.) Start going through everything. Go through each piece of clothing and separate into each  pile, tossing anything that is mega worn, has holes or tears and doesn’t have any life left in it.

5.) Try on the clothes that are in that pile. Hang up what you have decided to keep. Quick Tip: Put your out-of season clothes in the back of your closet and then switch out when the season changes. The clothes you’ve decided not to keep, split up in the other piles accordingly (donate/sell).

6.) Pack up clothes for donation. After they’re all packed up, put them by the door or in the car so that you take them next time you go out. The key is to getting them out of the house as soon as possible so they don’t end up sneaking back into your closet! One of my favorite places to donate is Soles4Souls – they even hooked up with Zappos now and you can get free shipping labels to send your stuff in. They take both clothes and shoes!

7.) Take out the trash bag! 

8.) Prepare/Pack up clothes to sell. There are tons of places to sell your clothes nowadays. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ebay – The process to set up a listing on Ebay has become much easier than it used to be. The downside is that I’ve found I don’t sell my items for very much money here but it’s a great place to get items sold quickly.

Swap.com – I am loving this site! I pack up my stuff and ship it in and they take care of the rest – photos, listing on their site, pricing and shipping to the buyer. This is a newer site for me so I’m still waiting to see how I profit out of it but I really love the ease of it. You have three options to ship your clothes to them – Print a prepaid label and ship in your own box (which is a decent size box, up to 17 x 17 x 20 and up to 50 lbs.), request a label to be mailed to you, or request a shipping bag with prepaid label. They take the shipping cost out of your profits so there’s no upfront cost. I also like that they will take all seasons of clothing (of course, it may not sell as well if it’s out of season but still so nice to have the option to be able to ship it all out at once!) and they take women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing.

Poshmark – This is an app based site so you’ll have to download the app to your phone but it’s pretty simple to use. You can take pictures of your clothing within the app which makes it a pretty seamless process. Poshmark is more of a social selling platform in which members follow your “closet” and share your listings to their followers. I’ve been a Poshmark member for few years and I’ve made some sales here and there. Be ready to reply to comments and questions on your items, I’ve found it’s definitely more a conversational sale. They also have the opportunity for members to make an offer on your items and you can bargain back and forth for the sale a little bit.

Brick & Mortar Consignment Shops – These can be nice because they’re local but I find them to be more time consuming. Typically you’ll bring your items in for review, wait while they review them, and then they will review what they are going to take and what they will be pricing at them with you. You’ll have to head back to pick up any unsold items and they usually mail you a check for your commission. If you go this route, I recommend trying to find a shop that will offer you cash on the spot for the items they accept – it saves you some trips!

Yeah, I know the big, awesome closet clean-out can be a good day’s work but that aahhh feeling you have afterwards is so worth it and it pays off in the long run. Keeping a clean, organized closet helps relieve stress in the morning when you’re getting ready, helps ensure you have clothes that make you feel your best each day, and saves you money by keeping you up to date on what you already have (so you don’t end up with duplicates) and keeping basics on key for each season.

Get rid of the closet clutter! 

All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page.

10 Ways Art is Therapeutic for Your Mind, Heart, & Soul

Today’s #ArtThursday is brought to you by me…and the benefits of Art Therapy. Did you know that practicing art or even by doing a craft it can act as a meditative practice for you? When we channel our energy into creating something it can have many therapeutic properties.

1.) Art is relaxing and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and decrease worry.

2.) It can teach us insight, empathy and acceptance.

3.) It promotes self-expression and can help us express and process emotions or stress that we may have suppressed.

4.) Art therapy stimulates the mind.

5.) It can encourage self-discovery, self-observation and encourages the discovery of our subconscious.

6.) Art empowers us.

7.) It helps teach us constructive ways to deal with tough feelings and traumatic or stressful situations.

8.) Art Therapy improves emotional, cognitive and sensory processes.

9.) Art can help us see beauty in rough times.

10.) It provides us with many learning opportunities and provides a sense of worth and accomplishment when we complete projects.

Now it’s your time to share! Link up your current artwork and projects! DIY Arts & Crafts, thoughts on art, Art Bucket List, all welcome!

What kinds of art and projects do you do to relax?


Why It’s Important to Nurture Yourself First

This phrase has stuck with me for several years now, “The grass is greener where you water it.” 

So many times we look at others and their lives, especially with all the social media “glamour” out there nowadays, that we wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. The thing is, we don’t know their story, we don’t know what they went through to get to where they are. We cannot be anyone other than ourselves in truth but we can focus on nurturing ourselves and building our lives to be what we want and get what we want out of life. That’s where the truth comes in, that if we water our own grass we can make it the green we want it to be. If we are not taking care of our own selves and focusing on our lives then our grass will never be green and even if we were to go to another lawn, that grass would soon become dry too.

Look at your self and your life as your lawn – If you water it, feed it, take care of it, it will be healthy. If you feed it poison, allow it to be dug up, and do not give it the nutrients it needs then it will not grow, it will not flourish. This quote taught me to stop looking outward and to start looking inward. What was it in my life that I was missing? What was not fulfilling? Changes are never easy, but through reflection we can see how necessary they are. My journey has encountered much heartache and many hard choices but I came out at the other end a stronger, happier and better person. I’ve let go of toxic relationships, I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned to make myself a priority. 

My tip to all is that the next time you are feeling down, beat-up, and sad – look inward – what can you change to work towards building a healthier and happier life for yourself? What can you water and nurture within yourself? Do not focus on what you do not have, take a good look at what you do have and work towards growing that. Before you know it, you’ll see things falling into place. You’ll see dreams growing in front of you. Focus within yourself and then project that out. We do not create true happiness from external circumstances, we make happiness within ourselves.