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5.31.2017

Getting Thrifty

Last month (and in March too), I talked about capsule wardrobes and budgeting for new clothing pieces, so if you read that then you might remember that I said to really weigh the benefits of thrifting and potential money saved against the investment of your time.  It's absolutely okay to spend more on a (perfect for you) item instead of trying to save some dollars by spending an entire Saturday in a handful of thrift stores attempting to hunt it down.  Because thrifting is not the easiest process.  That said, thrift stores can be a really fun adventure and save you a lot of money.  It's a fun way to bond with a friend, too, especially when you're both on a budget and usually enjoy shopping.


5.30.2017

Chicago Restaurant Recommendations

Since I do my Three on Thursday posts every week (haven't missed one yet this year!), I try to make my 'add it to my list' posts a little bit different and more specific than just my general favorite things lately.  For this month, I wanted to share my answer to a question I get asked a lot as a Chicago blogger - where should I eat when I come to Chicago?


5.27.2017

Memorial Day Sale

This post may contain affiliate links.

Most Memorial Day sales are about saving you money. With Swagbucks, you'll earn money too! They're offering increased cash back (in the form of SB points) at several of your favorite merchants.

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You can earn SB in all sorts of ways, including discovering deals and trying new products/services, watching videos, taking surveys, or just searching the web! Get your shopping done early AND get points for it! Offers last through Monday, May 29th, 2017. 


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.


5.26.2017

Balance

Summer is definitely the time when I lose my 'balance,' so to speak.  A lot of things about my routines and goals get thrown out during the summer months, which I think it part of the reason that I don't particularly care for this season.  I always end up feeling a little lost or behind on a lot of things, just because I'm not as productive as I am in fall and winter.  In many different areas in my life.  Mainly it's because summer is so much more unpredictable as well as full of more out of the house plans.  People (in Chicago at least) are done with their winter hibernations so there's so many plans being made and things to see and do.  A lot of which come up at the last minute because 'hey it's so nice let's play hooky and do X.'

5.25.2017

Three on Thursday

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.

5.24.2017

How I Maintain a Clutter-Free and Organized Home

Last Monday I talked about how I style my home to still feel as simple, clean, and calm as I like it. I also mentioned that I'd spend today answering how I maintain my clutter-free spaces and keep everything organized.  How does a minimalist not revert back to her previous non-minimalist ways, so to speak.


5.23.2017

Things That Used To Be Important

5 Years Ago (2012, age 27)
What to write for blog content
Whether or not to go to Vegas with a group of girls I'd (mostly) never met
Going to country night every single Thursday at Houndstooth
Moving apartments
A super dramatic 'friend' and her boy/career/family/everything drama of the moment
Shopping
Cable TV

10 Years Ago (2007, age 22)
What to wear to graduation
Amassing a giant wardrobe full of Hawkeye gear
Planning a wedding (what on earth was I thinking)
The Super Bowl (Bears. We lost.)
Hand making costumes for every holiday and bar crawl
A draining ex boyfriend
Amassing a DVD collection
And a makeup collection

15 Years Ago (2002, age 17)
Whether to do newspaper or yearbook during senior year
Where to go to college
Trying to make a uniform not look like everyone else around me
Obsessing over what to wear on the weekends because I didn't have said uniform safety blanket
Figuring out how to sneak in without the dogs barking
What to do for winter dance/homecoming/prom/all the semi-formal high school events

All that to say, don't sweat... anything, really.  It's just not going to be that important forever and it'll all work itself out eventually.


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.


5.22.2017

Farmer's Market Tips

Farmer's market season is underway here in Chicago (with many more locations opening in early June), and summer is such a great time to stop by one near you. I love getting produce at the farmer's market because it's so much fresher than what I can get at the grocery store, it's much more conducive to shopping zero waste, and I can usually find what I'm looking for at a price better than the chain grocery store.


5.19.2017

Real Life This Week

In my real life this week...

... I haven't made the bed once.  I can't bring myself to care.

... or put any of my makeup items way, they're scattered across the coffee table.

... the clean laundry is still sitting in the basket, waiting to be hung or folded.  I act like this task is much harder than it actually is.

... I slept downstairs on the couch because it's cooler down there and I'm too cheap to turn the air conditioner on.  Plus John was at work so I could stay up until 2 a.m. watching Forged in Fire on the History channel.  Paid for it the next day.

... I haven't turned the fans on to combat the couple of hot days, because they need to be cleaned.  Our cleaning lady is coming Saturday so I'm just waiting it out for her to do them.

... I bought and stockpiled some Christmas gifts.  Yes, I know it's May, but I had gift cards and stuff was on sale so even though it's going to be cluttering up my house for awhile, I like having it done.  I have a plan for everything I picked up and it's hiding inside my suitcase so it's not that bad right?

... I didn't bother making it to the grocery store since John was working two days this week, plus I spent Mother's Day out in the suburbs with my family (my usual grocery shopping and cooking time.)  It's like a personal challenge to see how many weird things I can eat out of the pantry or freezer and call it a meal.  Avocado on toast and a side of frozen peas?  Works for me.

... I dropped the raspberry jam while trying to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for work.  I totally let Hawkeye clean most of it before bother to get the cleaning supplies out.  This is why people have dogs, no?

... the trash is still sitting by the back door.  I can't manage to take it out even when I know John isn't here to do it.

I enjoy blogging about organization, minimalism, and goal setting.  But it's not always an organized and productive household over here, don't get any false ideas.  Real life is real life.


This post idea from Lauren originally.  One of my favorites, check it out.


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.


5.18.2017

Three on Thursday

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.

5.17.2017

How I Style and Maintain a Simple Home

A lot of people ask me about this particular topic, especially after they've done a massive declutter themselves, something like the KonMari Method.  How do you (a) keep the decor and style simple and minimalist without feeling like it's barren and (b) keep the clutter out and the organizational systems in place?  I can see why it's a concern, because I think it's inevitable that things creep back in and we want to do what we can to keep the progress we made.  And a large part of wanting to overhaul the home and get rid of things is the desire for a simpler, easier, more calm life, at least at home.  I agree with that part of it - the home should be a sanctuary, a calm away from the chaos of the outside world.  So let's start there and tackle the 'how to keep the place organized and keep the clutter out' next week.


5.16.2017

Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog

If you can't eat it, it's probably not worth your time.

Fort building is appropriate and amusing at any age.


5.15.2017

Frugal Ways to Enjoy Summer

If you're suddenly feeling like your social calendar is filling up and you're spending more money on meeting up with friends, you are definitely not alone.  The warmer weather just naturally lends itself to more meetups, because everyone wants to get out of the house, finally.  But I don't think we need to be spending as much money as we do just to be able to see our friends.  One of my favorite (top 3?) street fests in Chicago is coming up quickly, the Belmont Sheffield Music Fest, which got me thinking about how many fun but also free or cheap things there are to do during the summer.


5.12.2017

Natural and Effective Stress Relief

I always talk about being productive, my routines, and how much I enjoy getting things done and checking off various goals things, but I rarely talk about my strategies for dealing with stress when I inevitably just have too much going on at once.  Because it's bound to happen at some point - I'll get twice the workload at the office or the dishwasher will break, throwing off my kitchen routine.  Life just happens.  Now, I love a good Xanax as much as the next girl, but I do try to start with some natural options first because that's usually enough to get you through those 'life just happens' situations.


Here are just some of the ways I try to naturally relieve stress and anxiety:

5.11.2017

Three on Thursday

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.

5.10.2017

How to (Quickly) Prep Your Home For Company

Well last week I gave you a list of some things I think make great housewarming or hostess gifts, so this week I thought I'd flip that and give you some quick tips if you're the one hosting the party rather than attending.  In particular, tips on how to prep your home if you didn't get a ton of notice that guests will be stopping by but you'd still like to graciously receive them.


5.08.2017

Checking Off The Lists (An Update)

As we approach June, the dreaded 'dear lord the year is half over already' month, I wanted to do a check in and show you the progress I've made on my 101 in 1001 list and my 2017 goals list that I posted at the beginning of the year.  Because I feel like I've been doing pretty well!  I do participate in the link up with Steph and Sara where I set seasonal goals, but when I do that I pull a good portion of them from my 101 list, so I feel like I've been making substantial progress on all my various lists.  Overall, I feel like I've been more productive already in 2017 than I was in 2016, and I attribute that to my goals lists and my dogged obsession with checking every last thing off of them.

How I Reset For Each Week and Month

The best way I know how to ensure a great week ahead and stay on top of everything I like to get done is to spend the time 'resetting' everything on Sundays.  That way my Monday morning (the start of my work week) isn't cluttered or rushed and I feel like I'm getting off on the right foot.  It really does help everything run smoothly, from having clean clothes picked out to wear to having healthy foods prepped to eat.  Because I do not make good choices when I leave things until the last minute.  So I generally don't like to plan events for Sundays.  If it can't be avoided, then I at least try not to plan anything for Saturdays on top of that, so I get at least one weekend day to myself (plus John and Hawkeye of course) to recharge and prepare for the coming week.  I thought I would also share what I do on a monthly basis as well as what I do every Sunday.  Maybe something on this list will help you feel less stressed during your week.


5.05.2017

Cinco de Mayo Cupcakes for Two

Betsy pointed out that I haven't made a recipe for boozy cupcakes in awhile.  And she's correct.  John isn't big on sweets and what sweet stuff he does eat, he's pretty particular about.  So if I'm not having a party, there's no one around to eat a whole platter of cupcakes, which seems like such a waste!  I thought the best way to solve this would be to share with you how to make cupcakes for two.  In particular, cupcakes for two with a Cinco de Mayo theme and since I already told you yesterday that I can't stand margaritas, I decided to just use Rumchata to make horchata flavored alcoholic cupcakes.

[At the moment, I'm having issues with getting my photos to save.  Not sure why!  But I'll add a photo if I can ever get it to work.  For now, use your imagination.]

5.04.2017

Three on Thursday

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.

5.03.2017

Housewarming and Hostess Gift Ideas for Minimalists

This post may contain affiliate links.  

At this very time one year ago, we were finishing up moving all of our stuff into our new house.  Time has flown indeed.  So I don't know if it's actually house buying season and house warming party season, but it feels that way to me since that's when we bought.  We didn't end up having a house warming party.  We just had so many different things come up that there was never a time to, so we just invited people over individually as they had time, and our first party was for Halloween.  Plus, since I'd been living in apartments since I went away to college in 2003, I'd amassed all of the things you actually need to live in your own space and I didn't want people to feel like they had to gift me something.  You know, being a minimalist and all.


5.02.2017

Things I Can't Give Up

When I examine my life in general and try to see what I'm still wasting money and time on or what's not so zero waste, I've found a couple of things that keep popping up.  But unlike my 'things I stopped buying to save money,' these particular items are ones that haven't been going anywhere and I don't foresee them doing so any time soon, no matter how hard I try.  Or don't try, let's be honest.  Specifically on my things I can't seem to give up list:


5.01.2017

Beginner's Guide to Horse Racing

I've always been wary to post a guide to horse racing because there's so many ins and outs and even I don't know everything and we've owned thoroughbreds (aka race horses) my entire life.  A guide from me will never be perfect.  But, I have taught so many of my friends the basics that I at least feel confident telling you about the same.  With the Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend, I think now is the best time so at the very least, you know how to get your bets in!

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