Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Vacay Style - Part One

I tried to pack lite for vacation, but I still needed a duffel & overnight bag.  I tell you, it was the sweaters fault…you can’t ‘Marie Kondo’ those any smaller than what I had them.  😆  Oh, and I had a bag for shoes…because…duh.  I thought becoming a Minimalist would change me in a negative way toward style, but so far it has helped me become a better-more fashionable-me than before.  I never put outfits together in the past, and my whole vacation was centered around each item going with a specific piece…and I loved it.

While visiting my parents, they were gracious enough to watch our son while my husband Austin had a day-date (It was so fun!).  I am happy to report that I used my T.J.Maxx gift-card in full and only looked at price tags after I had chosen my favorites!  My husband found some items that I had overlooked, and once I tried them on…they were clearly winners.  I can’t wait to show them to you! EEEEEKKKK!  They are amazing! …but you’ll have to hold in suspense until then.

Other news…I’m still looking for the perfect open back sweater.  I got really close to finding one that I liked on Amazon, and then once I was ready to make the purchase, they became unavailable.  So!  It was not meant to be, but if I see them trending, I will be really mad.  So, we shall see. 😂😆

Here are a couple of family pictures. 😍  It was still pretty cool at the beach when we arrived, but we did have one warm day, and while Ryno was taking a nap Austin and I were able to soak up some Vitamin D (responsibly). 😎

Photograph by Iron & Oak

Austin + Rachel = Love 4Ever 

As Always Admire Our Image

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Minimalism & Me

If you know me at all, you would think that I’d never be on the minimalism train…nor getting close to the station.  I am more than a pack rat, always keeping everything for the ‘what-ifs’.  I’ve had two tee shirts & a jacket since Elementary School for goodness sake!  But this past December, before Christmas my husband Austin (Aud) and I were feeling the weight of ‘more stuff’ in our house and where we were going to put it. 

Our cute house was built in the 1930s, was redesigned before we bought it, and we’ve also torn down a wall, put new electrical in, painted about 10 times, and redesigned our kitchen almost 5 times.  We have two closets, one in each bedroom.  We have a cellar, mudroom, kitchen, 2-bedroom, 1 bath, dining room, and living room.  It was a constant battle where to keep bedding and towels.  Before we had our son Ryne (Ryno), Austin kept his clothes in the 2nd bedroom closet…but once we had a child we needed to pare down.  So, I came up with a solution of keeping two seasons in the closet at a time the rest would be stored in our cellar until a major season change.  This lasted a year or so.    The feeling of not having control over our home was a daily battle.

We both had to get to a place where we were comfortable with what we owned, but also a place where we were ready to only keep our favorite things.  Right before the New Year, we were writing on the same page and ready to go.  We attacked one room at a time.  I was surprised with how much freedom we felt with each room.  Only keeping what made sense, and what we loved, getting rid of things we didn’t know we had or ‘why do we have this still?’.  We laughed at things we had that were broken, torn, or maybe once was a pair of something that hadn’t been a pair for years.  We were on a freakin’ roll, and we were really happy.  Living room: check, Dining room: check, Kitchen: check, Bedroom/Clothes….

This was a tough one for me.  I have clothes that I currently can’t fit in because I am holding onto some weight after having Ryno , all the ‘what if we have something fancy to do too’. What if, what if, what if… I had to let go.  So, I started with everything that had a hole or stain (except for one tee shirt I wear when I dye my hair).  If I didn’t love it, I put it in the donation pile.  Then I realized that I didn’t love a lot of what I had, I was just wearing it because I had it. 💡  Light Bulb.  My whole clothes buying life, I always looked at the price tag first, and the clothing item second or not at all.  When I started piling everything I didn’t love, I realized that the most items I kept were either sentimental (like my mother’s sweater & sweatshirt) and a bit more expensive.  Or well…more than $25.00

We went through everything.  Coats, Jackets, Sweaters, PJs, Undergarments, Tops, Button Downs, Tee Shirts, Socks, Tights/Leggings, Shorts, Pants, Jeans, Bathing Suits…and everything in between. We were pretty proud of ourselves.  We were able to fit in one closet, all seasons, and put our other clothes in the dresser.

Then we watched Tidying Up on Netflix…and after the first episode we hit our clothes again!  This time we donated more and learned how to fold our clothes in a way that neatly showcased everything.  Now we had plenty of room in our closet, and my socks, underwear, tights, hose, shorts, pjs (tops & bottoms), undershirts/tanks, and shorts all fit in a bin under the bed.  Our shoes are lined up on one side underneath the bed, and our robes on the back of the bathroom door.  The dresser now holds winter gear, bedding and towels.  We are ecstatic.

The next week is when it all started making sense…

I was able to keep up on household chores.  For the FIRST TIME in my LIFE. 💪 The sink was clean every night because I was able to wash-up the small number of dishes each evening…it took like less than 10 mins even with Ryno asking us questions and wanting more blueberries every second.  We were able to take time and relax together every evening, and really relax because our chores were done.  The laundry bin was full on Saturday.  I was able to fit everything in one load and folded it (my share & Ryne’s share, Aud puts his own up) and put it away. ONE LOAD Y'ALL! 

Getting ready for work has never been easier, but also, I get to be creative and I really love that.  Everything I own is my favorite, so I know how it fits, I know how to wear it and what do pair it with, and I feel confident every day because…they are my favorite, they make me feel good.  I do have a birthday gift card to TJMaxx burning a hole in my pocket because I only kept 1 sweater, so I will be using that to get a couple of things I do not have and making sure I love them (not just a good price tag, but the item itself).  I’ve been wanting an open back sweater for a couple months now, so we will see if I can find one that is perfect for me.

I’ll be posting more on my what I kept, and what outfits I make.  Follow me on Instagram & Facebook to see more!

My Minimalism is holding onto what I love...period.  For example, my favorite sweatshirt is atrocious. I'm serious, it's hideous but it brings me so much joy.  It's an over-sized, lumpy, electric green-blue sweatshirt that has a black & white long-haired CARPET kitten with bright green eyes. 😳  It was my mothers.  Someone in our church, decades ago made it for her...and I adore it.

Also, I love answering questions so fire away!  I'm excited to answer them!

Who knew that all the mediocre mounds of stuff was not adding to my life, but actually taking away?  And not until I gave it up, I started to receive.  That sounds very familiar to me…

Luke 9:24 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.


As Always Admire Our Image