Wardrobe 

I have a small  number of articles of clothing compared to some people, and a larger amount compared to others, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that the amount that I own serves my needs and feels comfortable– that it contributes to me being able to live my best life, not causing unnecessary stress.

Things I’ve noticed about what works for me:

  1. I can’t do patterns. My closet is mainly solid, I think I have a couple shirts with some logos which I don’t really like (don’t want to be a walking billboard for a brand), I’m trying to find quality replacements for these at goodwill, and find other uses for these shirts. But mainly I like solid colored clothes because they all go with each other and are easy on the eye, simple to wear.
  2. My color scheme is made up of blues, greys, whites, greens, browns, maroons. All the colors can compliment one another, so I can literally grab any shirt and it will go with any bottom.
  3. The level of fanciness is pretty low in my wardrobe, but my lifestyle isn’t very fancy– my wardrobe directly reflects how I live my life. I have a fair amount of outdoor and workout gear, and casual clothes. It would be silly for me to own lots of fancy dresses if my lifestyle doesn’t permit me to wear them.
  4. I only shop at goodwill, thrift-shops, second-hand, or get hand-me-downs for my new additions to my wardrobe. I have a choice on where my money is spent and what I am contributing to. I chose not to contribute to the fast-fashion industry or animal cruelty by spending my money on used vegan clothing. I also want to say that I do own a couple non-vegan clothing articles that I purchased before I went vegan, just as I own a couple items that were made a huge clothing stores that I bought before I became a minimalist. I will continue to wear these until they are worn through– because I don’t want to be wasteful be discarding a perfectly functioning item. But when they are used through, I will obviously make a different decision when I purchase a new addition to my wardrobe.
  5. Everything I own I like. My whole closet is a collection of my favorite pieces, so no matter what I wear I am always comfortable and confident.

Some pictures for you. This is all I own (except PJs, workout stuff, underwear and socks ya know and dance stuff, but this is my WARDROBE) sorry this is out of order… 

also some outfit inspiration 💓



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How I practice Self-Love

Well let’s first define self-love as a feeling of being content that you are uniquely, fantastically, overwhelmingly you, and that there is no one else in the entire world exactly like you. A feeling that you are happy that you have your own set of creative thoughts and talents and ideas and aspirations. A feeling that you are awesome enough to deserve whatever you want in life (to follow your dreams, to be happy, to be successful, you name it.). A feeling that you deserve health and self-care. This is my definition of self-love. It encases mostly love of your internal attributes (loving the way you think, your intentions, dreams, awesomeness, talents) as well as your external stuff (body-confidence, knowing you are beautiful, etc.).

Oh, you already feel self-love? GO YOU!!! That’s amazing! Want to know how to cultivate it further? Keep reading. Struggling with the idea of loving yourself exactly as you are? Keep reading to get some inspiration and some ideas for self-love practices that might help you.

What is a self-love practice? Doing something that makes you feel good inside and good about yourself; it could be anything that does that for you. This is very broad, so I’ll tell you what mine include and how they help me feel self-love and how regular practice helps me feel self-love in my core and more throughout the day.

  1. Yoga. I have been practicing yoga almost every morning for all of August and September. When I feel the connection of my body to my breath and my breath to the present moment I feel at peace, content and energized. I feel self-love for taking care of my body, mind and spirit during and after the practice. If you are feeling interested in yoga I recommend “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube, the “30 Days of Yoga” is a great way to start a regular practice of yoga for beginners and she incorporates talk about self-love.
  2. Journaling. I have been journaling for over 2 years pretty consistently.  To write down all my jumbled thoughts onto paper helps clear my head, helps me feel release. I journal when I’m feeling stressed to ease my stress. I journal when I’m feeling sad to reflect on why. I journal when I’m feeling happy to record that moment so I can look back on it when I’m feeling down. I journal about anything that’s on my mind. I journal about questions I have. Journaling is a way for me to free my thoughts and at the same time record them– a way to reflect and grow. This creates a feeling of self-love, especially when I write down things that inspire me, people and experiences that I am grateful for, things that I love about myself, little quotes, happy memories.
  3. Practice good, natural hygiene. Everyday to look in the mirror at myself and tell myself that I am worth the time and effort to truly take care of my body and health is very much an act of self-love. You know the basics of brushing your teeth, flossing, showering, washing your face… but stop looking at it like a chore. Learn to love cleaning and taking care of yourself. You deserve to feel amazing about your body. Look outside of the basic self-care. Maybe once a week give yourself a spa-day, literally. Put a facemask on, exfoliate, whatever your body is telling you it needs. Takin the time for yourself to properly clean and feel good about it is an act of self-love. (ALSO be aware of what you are putting on your body) I am not so much about all those toxic chemicals that are in a large amount of hygiene products. Let me know in the comments if you want a post about how to make your own with natural ingredients that are much cheaper, very effective, and good for the environment and your health!
  4. Eat for health and love. When I eat foods that make me feel good on the inside and taste good I am taking care of my body and I feel self-love. I eat a vegan diet for ethical, environmental and health reasons. I eat a mostly whole-foods vegan diet with the occasional treat of something life a vegan baked good with refined sugar and something with added oils. Processed vegan food still isn’t healthy, but it is important to eat for mental health as well– being restrictive about food is no acto fo self-love. So yes, I don’t eat a 100% whole-foods vegan diet, but I do eat a vegan diet with the occasional treat. Eating this way makes me feel so good on the inside, and is absolutely an act of love for the world, the animals and myself. I would like to say that having a healthy relationship with food is important for self-love. If you feel like you are being restrictive or obsessive about food please talk to someone and get the information you need to start going in the direction of intuitive eating. I know it is hard, but know that you deserve so much, and you deserve to feel so great about your body and the food you put in it.
  5. I take time for myself everyday to practice another art besides dance. I play my guitar, or I watercolor or I write a poem. Taking this time to just jam out or be lost in the moment makes me feel refreshed and creative, and awesome. Taking the time to do an activity that makes you feel good is always an act of self-love.

These are some of the practices I have that make me feel self-love. I want to reiterate that any activity where you feel good on the inside and feel good about yourself brings you self-love and the more you do it the more self-love you feel, the more you can bring that feeling with you outside of the activity. Your self-love practice doesn’t have to include yoga, or journaling, or anything that I talked about, but really look inward and think about what makes you really happy, what makes you love yourself– now practice it regularly.

If you love yourself already, awesome, you know that you are awesome and are capable and deserving of everything you want in life, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. If you are not there yet, know that you are just as awesome and capable and deserving of everything you want in life, and you will feel that about yourself with practice and time.

Thank you for reading, please leave any questions in the comment section, and let me know one of your self-love practices.

ALSO: read, “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. It is a huge inspiration and life-changing in my opinion.
COVER PHOTO BY ASHLEY COOK

 

Minimalism and making time for myself 

A vital part of my happiness is taking the time to just be with myself and do things that make me feel at peace. Meditation has recently become a part of my daily morning routine along with yoga. For the past 30 plus days I have practiced both every morning at 6:20 in the morning before school. It helps center me and connect my breath, my mind, my body and my soul to the present and to my intentions for the day. This is me taking time for myself. This is me having the time to create my own happiness. It doesn’t have to be meditation or yoga, although I do strongly recommend trying them out based on how much they have improved my outlook on life– IT CAN BE ANYTHING! It can be reading, to journal, riding a bike to work, cooking, you name it. Find an activity that you can do alone and find peace in. Make time for this activity, because it is important. Make your happiness a priority and you will be happy, put it on the side and you won’t be.

I looked at my life and really decided what brought me happiness and what didn’t. Everything that didn’t needed to go, and everything that did automatically had more time and presence in my life therefore, increasing my happiness. I decided that stressing about homework didn’t bring me happiness but I also know that doing my homework is necessary so I compromised: I now try to complete it in the most efficient way possible, so that less time is spent on it, and I never go above and beyond my own satisfaction on an assignment (I don’t go above and beyond to please a teacher, I complete the assignment to the best of my ability so that I can gain knowledge but I’m not trying to impress anyone with it). I really don’t like wasting time on my phone so I’m gonna try to turn it off during the day, and check it once at lunch for important emails and once at night, instead of checking it throughout the day (which has been adding up to about 3 hours of screen time!!! ISN’T THAT INSANE???). These are both very new things that I’m trying to do. I realized that I love to journal, so guess what– I made time for it. I realized I have a newfound passion for guitar and decided to make time to learn how to play it. I realized that I really enjoy deep conversations with good people, so I’ve been making an effort to put myself in situations where I can have those experiences, I’m making time for socializing.

I do this because my happiness is a priority. I am important like all humans and animals are. I deserve to be happy just as much as any other person or animal on this planet. However happiness isn’t going to just come to me one day, I have to take it upon myself to make it within my self, to seek it. I have to realize that I already have access to positive energy within me and I have to choose to use it. I need to remember that I am pretty great, that I am enough. More than enough.

You are important. You deserve to be happy. You have to look within yourself for that energy. You are pretty great, you are enough. More than enough.

Update on the Bullet Journal


This is my monthly set up. 

I’ve taken my yearly goals and funneled them to what I want to accomplish this month. I then have a calendar for events I know are happening this month, a habit tracker for things I want to do everyday towards my goals, an expense log to track my incoming and outgoing money and my weekly spreads. In my weekly spreads I have a date-specific to-do list and a running to-do list which are just tasks that can be accomplished based on priority but sometime during the week when I have time. So far this month I’ve found it very helpful. My theme is black and pink and flowers for the month. I use G2 Pilot 07 pens and Le Pen in Orchid for the pink. My journal is a Leuchtturm1917 hard back dotted in orange. 

Veganism Pt. 2

So the first time I went vegan was a little over a year ago. I did a month of research and took a couple weeks to transition from a healthier version of the standard American diet to an actually healthy diet of veganism. Or so I thought. At first I was super healthy but over time I became an unhealthy vegan- living off of just nutbutters, breads, sugars, bagels, etc. I was living in my dorm away from home at this time. Fresh veggies didn’t seem appealing and I became unhappy. Also at this time my period- which has always been irregular- stopped. My hormones were completely out of whack. So I went to a doctor and was told to eat eggs and diary to get more fats even though I was already living off of nuts.  But I listened to the doctors advice for my health and for the sake of my mom. But it didn’t work, period did not come, acne remained. I was still not eating healthy and was eating animal products which are unhealthy. Then at home, frustrated, I decided that the last time my hormones were in balance and my period was at least happening was when I was eating all animal products so I went back to that. No change. Still no period. Worse acne. Frustrated and confused with doctors telling me one thing, my body not making sense and my morals telling me something else, I began researching veganism again. This time more in depth and this time into the actual health research not just for animal rights. I know eat a Whole Foods plant based diet. So yes vegan, but I try to avoid refined and processed foods. My period has come back as of today. My skin looks to be clearing up. I know I am doing the right thing for the animals, the environment and for my own health. Go vegan, but still think about your food choices within that.

I would also like to say that I am devastated with myself for not sticking with veganism, and the harm to animals and be environment that I inflicted in the meantime pains me. But I also think it took that full year of learning to be at the place that I am at now- I place where I feel phenomenal, and where I am following a lifestyle that is sustainably beneficial for all parties. Thank you for reading.

Vegan for minimalism

Funny how the further my Minimalism journey goes the more aspects of my life it reaches. It’s reached the food that I am putting into my body. I’ve decided for many reasons concerning animal rights, environmental concerns and my health to eat a Whole Foods, plant based diet. This is the most healthful, and minimal way of eating. I am minimizing the processed foods, the unhealthy foods, the violence, the torture, the insane energy that goes into animal product foods from my consumption. So as a minimalist this seems to be the only logical way of eating in my eyes. It eliminates the foods from my life that cause harm, and health problems, leaving room for healthy food, health in general and happiness. Later I will talk about zero waste which has been in my mind for a while and which I am trying to transition to. But I also wanted to say once your on this path, it’s like a domino chain- each aspect of your life you change in a minimalists’ mindset will then inspire you to change another- all ultimately contributing to your overall happiness. This is a short article, but I wanted to update that part of my life- and here are some documentaries that helped me make the switch: Live and Let Live, Cowspiracy, What the Health, Forks over Knives, Fed Up. Thank you for reading and let me know if you are plant based!!!! 

COVER PHOTO BY EILA GUSTINA 

Minimalism and living in a dorm

How a small space actually isn’t that bad

A small space for some people might be a shock compared to what they are used to living in – a small space might seem confined and cluttered with all that they own, but for me and most minimalists a small space is exactly what we need. A small space allows for only the essential items to occupy the space, anything that is inessential looks and feels like clutter. A small space allows each thing to have a specific place, and for me to know the home of everything, and not be left wondering as to where I put it. Each thing has a purpose, and each thing has a home, so the small space is left clutter free and clean the majority of the time.

A small space has also helped me in the process of decluttering my closet in particular. When my wardrobe simply wouldn’t fit into the small closet and chest of drawers provided at school, I had no option but to downsize the size of my wardrobe so it would fit. The small space forced me to decide which pieces were and weren’t essential. The small space itself helped kick-start me into minimizing.

A small space also acts as an incubator to find and grow your own personal style for décor and clothes and color scheme in general. Because of the small size of the room, anything that doesn’t go together will show more-so than if the clashing pieces were in a larger space, so I found that I very quickly got rid of the pieces that didn’t match my style, and developed my own look much faster.

The last benefit is living in a dorm, away from home, you quickly realize how little you want to do your laundry, how little you want to tidy up your room, how little you want to dig through your wardrobe in search for that one shirt. You realize that life is much simpler and time is wasted less if you actually own less stuff. So the whole act of living away leads people to decide that left stuff is better and easier to take care of.

Living with a roommate

Living with a roommate is a great experience. It helped me to learn from another person and taught me how to share a space. It also helped me to decide what fit my personal taste as far as lifestyle choices, décor, schedule, and to decide what didn’t work, all the while exposing me to different ways of thinking about things. Roommates are a wonderful learning lesson about how to liveand socialize with others and to learn about yourself. My roommate was not a minimalist, and I wasn’t at the start of the year. Throughout the year I began researching minimalism and decreasing the amount of thing I owned.  

10 things I wish I knew before I moved in to my dorm

  1. I didn’t need that set of 100 hangars: Wait to buy storage containers, hangars, boxes until later in the year when you have accumulated thoughtfully what you actually need, instead of doing what I did (buying a bunch of storage stuff and then buying stuff to fill the storage stuff with– mostly stuff I didn’t need but felt I had to buy to fill up the storage boxes I had bought.).
  2. You don’t need a printer: usually. I bought one, but later found out I had access to a free printer at school, and never used the $50 dollar printer in my room. Check to see if you have access to a free printer before buying one.
  3. Everyone has microwaves: I didn’t buy a microwave, although I was considering it, and that was actually good because pretty much every room on my floor had one, so while I did microwave things I just used my friends for free.
  4. Invest in quality electronics: buy things to last you through your whole college experience not just one year. I bought a cheap coffee maker for $15 and it worked fine, for a couple months but then started making terrible coffee. I finished out the year with it but will be investing in a quality one next year so I can enjoy my coffee.
  5. In general bring less and buy less than you think you need: you can always come back and buy more or ship more later, but don’t overspend on things you think you might need. Bring and buy the essentials, wait it out and see what you actually need. Then invest.
  6. You will go food shopping a lot: ask for gift cards to places like Trader Joes or Whole Foods, or wherever you get your food, it is expensive and usually school cafeteria’s have shitty food, especially on the weekends. Also try to buy in bulk so you only have to go shopping once or twice a month and it is cheaper.
  7. Freshman 15: just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you should eat whatever you want, you should think about food with even more of a healthy eye, as it is in fact easy to put on the freshman 15. Be ware of the home-style food section, the dessert section and the buffet style food in general. Start with a small plate and if you’re still hungry go back for more. Don’t load up and then realize you got too much.
  8. Going to the gym on campus: find a buddy, and don’t be intimidated. The gym is one of my favorite places to go on campus – I can study while I’m on the elliptical and I can just chill and laugh while my friends and I actually work out, all the while getting my endorphins up and sweating. Try it out.
  9. Buy a hammock. Just do it.
  10. Find friends with cars because I hate ubering, it is expensive and not fun. Find friends with cars.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Please leave a comment down below of one thing you wish you would have known before living in a dorm!

Minimalism and planning: BULLET JOURNAL

What I plan with?

I plan using a bullet journal. I am extremely new to this, only 2 months in, but so far I have found that a bullet journal works great for me because it funnels goals and tasks through a yearly outlook into monthly goals and tasks down to weeks and daily, so things actually get accomplished. I am a compulsive list maker, whenever I feel out of control, or not where I want to be I make goals, I make lists, I make plans, I make schedules to get me calmer in the situation. But usually these lists never actually turn into action, and if they do it is very brief. Bullet Journaling solves this problem because I carefully thought through my yearly goals, and find it a much more sustainable way to actually accomplish them, by referring back to my yearly goals when setting my monthly schedule and goals, and then referring back to my monthly when setting the week’s and day’s. I also used to use my phone calendar, but it became redundant with the bullet journal.

What I plan?

So I make yearly goals as stated above, or in this case, since I started bullet journaling in the summer I made a summer goals spread, and that has funneled through May and now June and will continue for July. I will start a new journal when school begins and will set new goals, ones for personal goals, ones for dance goals, and one for school. These funnel through to my monthly tasks so I can accomplish them, which funnel to my weekly. Each month I plan any events I know are happening, any work I am doing, I plan my exercise schedule vaguely – which days I want to go to the gym, which days I want to workout outside, which days I have dance as my primary workout, etc. Every week I plan tasks I know must get done. Every day I layout in more detail smaller tasks and goals.

I also have a habit tracker in my bullet journal. This resets every month and the habits change. This month I am tracking if I walk everyday, stretch everyday, floss everyday, drink 60 oz of water everyday, if I eat sugar that doesn’t come  from fresh or frozen fruit ( I have a low key sugar addiction and I am trying to break it by not eating processed foods or sugar for the month of June and getting all of my sugar from raw and frozen fruit), I also track my mood. I find these help give the motivation to do some of these tasks and also keep me accountable, not to mention it is interesting to look back at the month and reflect on what your habits actually are.

I also have an expense log, so I track how much money I spend and earn. And I have an investment list, which is basically if I want something I write it on the list, I write the price and the date in which I first wanted it. Next month if it appears on the list again, I obviously do have an actual need or want for the item and it wasn’t just some fad or trend. It must be 30 days since I put the item on the list for me to purchase it, and these are investment items, so they are usually more expensive.

Why are bullet journals and minimalism similar?

I think that they remove anything unnecessary because I am formatting and deciding exactly what I want to plan and track, it also allows me to focus on my goals in a more productive way and channel that through to daily tasks. It eliminates stress from being a “sitting duck” and makes me more productive. I think all of these traits appear in my version of minimalism, and therefor the two go hand in hand.

Also because it can encompass anything you want it to, a bullet journal replaces all other calendars and trackers and planners, so it minimizes all other messy distractions and streamlines a unique outline for and by you; again clearing away the mess to make way for the good.

I just used the back of an old notebook for my summer journal and some old microns I had laying around the house. I plan to buy a Leuchttum 1917 journal for the school year in black and to invest in some new micron pens and potentially some calligraphy pens if I get into that to decorate the spreads. Comment down below if you bullet journal and what aspects of yours you enjoy or created?