Dog Friendly Chicago

March 31, 2017

If you have a dog in Chicago, you're probably aware of all the dog specific places you could adventure to.  There's the dog beach (HRH Princess Hawkeye and sand?  Absolutely not.), the 606 running trail, and the various dog parks (she likes the Lake Shore East Park the best.)  And you can bring your dog if you're dining outside in a restaurant's patio area.  But besides those places that are specifically marketed to dogs and dog owners, I wanted to share the places that I take Hawkeye to on a regular basis that you might not have thought of.

Three on Thursday

March 30, 2017

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

Top 10 Cruelty Free Picks Under $10

March 29, 2017

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I'm back with more picks, by popular request.  Back in early March I posted my top 5 cruelty free beauty products for under $5 and many people said they'd love a follow up with more options and brands that have cheap cruelty free products that still work.  So for this version, I'm giving you 10 more picks that are all under $10, and I tried to include different brands and different types of items so you could get a full range, should you want to make a drugstore cruelty free makeup kit for yourself.

What's Currently On My Own List

March 28, 2017

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I had a lot of fun the last two months linking up with Lauren and Bre for their 'add it to my list' blog hop.  There's been a ton of good posts I've read and I've added a few things to my own various lists from them.

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren

For a different twist today, rather than share what I think you should add to your list (well, maybe you want to add these too!), I wanted to share with you what's currently on my own wish list, whether I got the suggestions from the link up or not.  It's sort of a collection of things that have withstood the various cullings and remain steadfast on my list, but the cheap minimalist in me just can't bring myself to pull the trigger just yet.  So help me out if you're familiar with anything on my list - do I go for it or delete it for good?

Pick a Capsule Wardrobe That's Right For You

March 27, 2017

Welcome back to the capsule wardrobe process.  If you need a reminder, first we looked at how to find your personal style, and then how to purge your current wardrobe to match your personal style and make room for your capsule wardrobe.  Today, we're looking at some different types of capsule wardrobes out there so you can figure out all the possible ways you could go in your own closet.  And I'll talk about what worked for me in particular.

The Answers You've Been Looking For

March 24, 2017

Except not really at all, let's be honest.  But I did ask a couple weeks ago if you had any questions for me, so I'm finally back with the answers!  First, I do need to mention that I'm a liiiiiittle behind on responding to your comments... by like two weeks.  Ooopsie.  I promise I'll be getting to that today and this weekend.  Good thing I already have a blog post done and scheduled for every week day from now until the end of June (yep), so at least I'm winning something.

Three on Thursday

March 23, 2017

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

Other Ways to Cleanse for Spring

March 22, 2017

I already gave you all my tips for spring cleaning, as far as it applies to cleaning your home.  But I think spring is a great time to also cleanse other areas of your life, because why not?!  There's definitely a link between a clean living space and the motivation to complete more goals and tasks, so if you're on a high from that clean house you just made, you might as well harness that energy and clean up some other areas.

10 Tiny Things That Make Me Happy

March 21, 2017

Tuesdays are just a rough, rough day.  Far and away my least favorite day of the week, no question.  Mondays really aren't a problem for me.  Sure, going back to work after a weekend isn't fun, but Tuesday is when the disasters come and I get 10,000 phone calls and fires to put out - people are too busy doing their own thing on Mondays to bug me, so they wait until Tuesdays it seems!

I'm trying very hard to have a more positive outlook on Tuesdays.  Today specifically by remembering and enjoying the little things that make me smile each day.  I always think it's easy to list the major things in my life that make me happy (Hawkeye!), but that doesn't mean the little things are any less important.

How to Purge Your Closet for a Capsule Wardrobe

March 20, 2017

Last week I talked about the basis of a capsule wardrobe - finding your style.  The next step in the process is to purge your closet of what you currently have that's not going to suit your style or capsule plans.

Spring Goal Planning

March 17, 2017

Hard to believe a new season is almost upon, but it's that time again - seasonal goals.  I love setting seasonal goals with this link up because it helps me pick things to focus on off my bigger, longer goals list and I end up accomplishing more this way.  Before we get into my spring expectations though, let's look back at winter.

Winter Goals

I posted my 10 winter goals all the way back in December of 2016, before Christmas even.  Doesn't that seem like a really long time ago for some reason?

Three on Thursday

March 16, 2017

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

Preztels for St. Patrick's Day

March 15, 2017

Chocolate covered pretzels are seriously the easiest and yet most crowd pleasing dessert to make.  You don't actually need instructions for this, trust me.  But I still wanted to show off the ones I made for an early St. Patrick's Day celebration at John's firehouse because they turned out adorable.

Top to Bottom (Easy, Natural) Spring Clean

March 14, 2017

Spring officially begins (in the Northern hemisphere at least) on Monday.  No matter what the groundhog says or what the weather is, according to the calendar spring is arriving.  So tell me - do you spring clean?  You know, like Danny Tanner, purging and organizing and opening windows and getting every last bit of dirt out of the house?

Find and Embrace Your Style for a Capsule Wardobe

March 13, 2017

Late last year I posted about my current capsule wardrobe.  Since we haven't had a change of seasons since then, it's pretty much the same, although I already know what I'd like to get rid of when the weather warms up and what I'd like to add.  Which was one of the questions that came up, when I originally posted that - how do you make changes?  I actually got a few questions about capsule wardrobe basics, about getting started and finding the right pieces and maintaining something small (but not that small) for yourself.  And about why my system has nothing to do with having a certain number of neutral tops and bottoms that can all be mixed and matched for the most options.

Hangover Helpers

March 10, 2017

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Hangovers are still a thing in my life.  Actually, they're more of thing now that I'm older because I just cannot bounce back like I used to in college.  And I haven't grasped the 'you're too old to be drinking that much and getting hangovers' concept and I probably never will because I like to have cocktails and I enjoy going out and parties in general.  Which we've been doing a lot of lately, between graduation and celebrating and Mardi Gras.  And now with St. Patrick's Day coming up, I figured it was time to compile some of my best hangover helpers to share with you.

Three on Thursday

March 9, 2017

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

How I Stay Productive and Focused All Day

March 8, 2017

I tend to get quite a bit done each day, in my opinion at least.  I don't often find myself 'wasting time' unless I make a conscious effort to do so.  So something I'm really good at is staying incredibly productive to get the most done that I can, and then re-focusing myself when my mind starts to stray.  I can see the advantage, particularly from a creative stand point when I'm blogging, of letting my thoughts wander, but I also have some strategies that seem to work well for the times that I recognize that I need to buckle down and get back to work.  If you struggle with wanting to get more done in your day without losing focus, I hope my tips will help you too.

How To Deal With Daylight Savings Time

March 7, 2017

Ugh, Daylight Savings Time.  I loathe this entire concept but I loathe it especially more during the spring time change.  If I'm the first to remind you that it's coming this Sunday, I apologize.  But you needed to know.  It's honestly the most ridiculous thing that we're still doing this, someone needs to take charge and put a stop to the madness.  [Maybe we can get Trump to do nothing else ever again and just focus on getting rid of DST.]  I have trouble dealing with the spring time change.  For good reason, and I'm definitely not alone - even though your brain knows that the time on the clock has changed, your body's internal clock does not.  So when the clock moves forward an hour, overnight, we're robbed of that extra hour of sleep.  Even if we do remember to try to go to sleep an hour earlier to make up for it, we're unlikely to fall asleep at that time and it still wouldn't be as restful.  So we're crabby, tired, and less alert.

Top 5 Cruelty Free Picks Under $5

March 6, 2017

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Like makeup of any kind, cruelty free picks can be hit or miss.  And sometimes it can be even harder to find those great cruelty free options at an equally great price.  Since I would really love everyone to switch to cruelty free makeup, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite cheap items that are also widely available.  For this first bunch, they're also all under $5!  All the time, guys, that's not a sale price.

Minimalist Jewelry Collection

March 3, 2017

Although I've posted about my small wardrobe a number of times, I've only mentioned the jewelry aspect of that in passing.  I've never had a big collection of pieces because I don't enjoy wearing jewelry that much - I'll mess with necklaces all day, bracelets get in the way when I type, even the nicest earrings turn my sensitive ears red after awhile.  Once I came to terms with all of these things, I downsized quite a bit.  I actually did post a photo a few years back of when I was hanging what I thought was a minimal jewelry collection at the time on a cork board.  That really was after I had done my initial round of decluttering!  To see that now is definitely a striking difference to what I currently have and use.

I can certainly appreciate when other people use a colorful necklace to pull an outfit together, but it simply isn't me.  I prefer my jewelry to be in neutral metals so I don't need to think about matching, and I generally just don't do those big statement pieces.  Plus, wearing the same favorite ring and necklace everyday eliminates a ton of decision fatigue for me first thing in morning.  Here's what's in my minimalist collection nowadays, that I actually wear regularly.

Tiffany's heart ring.  I'm always wearing this.  John got it for me many Christmases ago and it's the only thing I wear every single day.

Heart necklace.  I'm not sure where John got this, it was a birthday gift when we first started dating.  The colored stones are my birthstone, which is like a Hawkeye golden yellow that I love.  I wear this almost every day.

Loft silver and pearl necklace.  This is a recent-ish addition, I believe I just got it in the early fall of last year.  For daily wear it would bug me too much but when I use it to dress up an outfit, I don't fuss with it all day because it's very lightweight.  It's minimal enough to not draw too much attention and still match everything in my closet.

Loft ribbon gold and pink necklace.  Pretty much same description as the silver and pearl necklace.

Loft link necklace.  A birthday gift from my mom many, many years ago.  This is pretty much a fancy occasion only necklace because it's damn heavy.  But it looks really pretty on me and pairs well with dresses I tend to wear for weddings, holiday parties, and such, so I keep it for those times.

Tiffany's charm bracelet.  I wear this so very rarely because bracelets just bug me.  My parents bought it for me for law school graduation, along with the 2010 charm (graduation year, naturally) and the S charm.  The heart and the dog are from John over the years.

Tiffany's bow earrings.  I have a love hate relationship with earrings.  Even when they're high end like these, I have to wash them in alcohol and be super careful when putting them in my ears, or my ears will be bright red for hours.  I love they way they look (these were a Christmas gift from John) and wish I could wear them more but the heat that I can feel on my earlobes if I'm not careful is too much to bear.  Hence the love hate.  And why I always wear my hair down - you can't see if I'm wearing earrings anyway.  These are always the ones I reach for if I'm feeling like I can suck it up and wear some.

Loft gold hoop earrings.  I just love the look of gold hoops but I hardly ever wear them.

For storage, I hang the necklaces and bracelet on a hook in my closet.  For the ring and earrings, I put them in a little jewelry dish that lives on the dresser inside the same closet.  Super easy set up!

And that is everything.  I find that it suits all of my needs and it's very easy to store and keep track of.  Although I don't wear the earrings much, I do find that I wear my necklaces much more often now that I have less pieces to choose from.  Same as with my wardrobe - the less options I have, the easier it is for me to choose and feel happy with my decision.

What's your collection like?  Bigger or smaller than mine?

Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.

Three on Thursday

March 2, 2017

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, my weekly even though I sometimes skip weeks list of things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks, you can find those here.

Little Known Facts About Me

March 1, 2017

It's been quite awhile since I did a specific get to know me style post.  Mostly because I feel like you guys do know me, but there are some who don't.  And I'm always thankful to see new faces around here.  I didn't want to do a total re-introduction though, for two reasons: (1) you can get most of that information on my about page, which was a pain in the butt to write and I'm proud of it and happy to direct people there, and (2) a lot of my readers have been with me literally since my very first blog post.  Seriously, June 2012, you can see Holly commented and she's still with me today.  They already know all the basics, why bore them with repeats?

Since it's been approaching 5 years now that I've been blogging in this space, facts about me that I haven't talked about are hard to come by.  It probably took me longer to write this post than any other so far this year.  (Side note, can we just take a moment to appreciate that this post marks me putting up a, in my opinion, decent+ blog post every single week day for 2 months?  I'm already halfway to what I posted in all of 2015.)  And these are probably a little more well known to my 'real life' friends who read this blog than they are to 'blog world' friends, but alas, you can't win them all.  I tried.

Anyway, all true little known facts about me:

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