Simplify Everything

May 25, 2018

2018 has been rough - started with my mom's hip surgery at the end of January and then my dad had a small heart attack shortly after that in February.  And then of course the end of March sucked.  We all know that.  The beginning on April was full of the usual sad events and feelings of intense anger and frustration.  Along with a general lack of wanting to do anything but read books, because entering a totally different world and mentally leaving yours behind is clearly appealing, and decorate our house, because it's nice to nest and completely control something, anything, when the life outside your walls is something you can never control. And then in May, I suddenly felt a huge desire to simplify absolutely everything in my life.  Which was sort of a weird feeling to have come out of all that, but let me explain.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

May 24, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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101 in 1001 Update

May 22, 2018

Yes, I already have an update on the newest 101 list that I only started 2 months ago.  And that update is that I crossed 19 things off the list so far.




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

May 17, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Things I Don't Feel Like Doing Lately

May 16, 2018

Watching the news.

Watching television or movies of any kind.  I'm in full on read only mode, no screens allowed.

Being outside.  Ugh, spring.  And then summer.  Pass.

Blow drying my hair.  It's already too hot out for me and it's only 60 ish.

A full face of makeup.

Listening to voicemails.

Eating cheese.  Dairy has been making me sick.

Making the bed.

Wearing my invisalign.

Vacuuming. 

Cooking.

Sorting holiday decorations.  The next project on my declutter agenda that I keep procrastinating.

Earning extra money.  I haven't done swagbucks, sponsored posts, nothin.

Chatting.  I've been quiet on all fronts.  I'm normally much more chatty over gchat during the day and in person, but I'm neither of those lately.

Social media.

Blogging.

Anything complicated ---> more on this soon.


Not that admitting any of this out loud is going to change it.  I'm probably still not going to do most of these things for awhile.  That's life.


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.




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

May 10, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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A Lot of Books To Show + Cast Your Votes

May 8, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 

I'm not always one to link up for Steph and Jana's monthly post, because there are some months where I just don't read that much (unfortunately.)  But April was not one of those months.  I read so much.  That was one of the things I did while I stepped away from blogging for a bit, and since I wasn't sleeping much either, I got an inordinate amount of books finished.


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Emily Ley Simplified Planner Review and Giveaway

May 7, 2018

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Emily Ley Simplified Planners just launched last week, at least for their academic year, with the brand new covers.  Some are still available on their own site and some other retailers carry all of the versions so I thought I would give you an overview in case you're interested in picking one up.  Some of you may be August to July planners, whether you're still in school or not.  Which is all this version is, the insides are still the same as their planners that run January to December, they just start with August instead.  If you're a year long planner though, those will be available in September with January 1, 2019 start dates.  Anyway, let's take a look at this one specifically - it's the weekly version with the watercolor floral cover.




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

May 3, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Monthly Decluttering Project: Laundry Room

May 1, 2018

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Our laundry room is one of the areas I most need to tackle, because it's quite a dumping ground at the moment.  It's become the catch all space for extra products, like paper towels, as well as all our cleaning supplies.  In addition to all the actual laundry things we need stored in there.




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Shopping Ban Update and May Goals

April 30, 2018

Let me just tell you now - April was not a success.  Not for being healthy, not for goals, and not for the shopping ban, which I suppose is to be expected but still frustrating.  Hoping May will be a lot better, though I'm not going to try to plan too much stuff and over-exert myself.


Of course, let's start with the April update.



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Thoughts and Life

April 20, 2018

I haven't posted much this month, and I am not at all sorry about that.  Only 5 posts in fact, when I usually hit at least 15.  It's not due to lack of ideas or even lack of time.  I just don't feel like it.  I'm sure that's not a surprise, given my life outside blogging lately.  It's been pretty busy, what with the wake and funeral and extended family around, and mostly - I'm still so angry.  And frustrated, tired, not sleeping much.  Jumping right back into blogging about organizing the laundry room and saving money on restaurants in Chicago just felt sort of tedious and fake.  I just decided to take pretty much the entire month off from this instead.


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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

April 19, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

April 12, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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I'm Done Wearing Pants (aka My Ideal Wardrobe Style Guide)

April 9, 2018

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Oh yes, that's it.  No more pants for me.  Pants and I are over.




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Swagbucks Update

April 7, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 

All throughout April you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, or PayPal cash.                        

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how:                       
1. Sign up using this link                       
2. Earn 300 SB total before May 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!                       
3. That's it. It's super easy, and I use it myself.  I usually get the PayPal cash but at the moment I've been redeeming points for Uber gift cards so I can still get to and from all my favorite street fests this summer without violating my shopping ban.


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.




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

April 5, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Shopping Ban Update and April Goals

April 2, 2018

I'll have some thoughts on things later this week but I'm not willing to get off my shopping ban and goals update schedule, because schedules and routine give me peace of mind.  So here we are, April.


Of course, let's start with the March update.



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The Post No One Wants to Write

March 28, 2018

And that no one wants to read either probably, but here we are.

Am I supposed to write something about trigger warning here?  Explain how this is not my usual light and fluffy posts about organizing closets and saving money?  Well, I don't care, because today is not about you, special snowflake.

Yesterday morning, my uncle killed himself.  There's no nice euphemisms being used here.  He didn't 'pass away.'  He stood in front of a train at 5:50 in the morning, on purpose.

We have no details and no answers.  Feel free to google 'Barrington train news.'  There, you now know as much as we do.  Because that's the thing about suicide, you never get the answers you need.

It took them about 6 hours to ID him and contact my aunt.  I've mentioned my aunt before, briefly, she's the one who has stage 4 oral cancer and no, there's no good news on that front or I would have mentioned it.  3 hours after that we made it to her house, with my parents, John, and my 3 cousins, his children.  Which, by the way, is my entire family.

We cried a lot and everyone is in shock.  Our entire lives have changed and no one has any clue what to do from here.  What do you do?  Call a funeral home?  They go get the body.  Is there much of a body left to get?  Are we allowed to?  There's an investigation, is it evidence?  Can we have a funeral, it's Easter weekend, they probably don't allow funerals on Good Friday?  And those are just the immediate logistical questions.  I can't even make a list of all the questions that come up about what happens next week, next month.  Who moves in with my aunt?  She can't be in that house alone, she's too sick.  What do we do for Easter?  Because that's right, he won't be here for Easter.  Or Father's Day.  Or Christmas.  Or for my aunt's recovery, or if she doesn't recover.  Or his daughter's wedding.  Or his grandson's kindergarten graduation.

I'm sad for my aunt and my cousins.  But I'll be honest here.  I'm mostly just angry.  Really, really angry.  And I'm sure that's not very PC of me, I'm sure I'm supposed to be saying 'depression is a monster, you can't think, it's their only way out.'  And all that is true, but I'm still angry because suicide is incredibly fucking selfish.  Dying is easy.  Your problems are over.  You put everything on the people you leave behind and it's selfish.  I mean, if anyone is allowed to kill themselves here, it's my aunt, the one with the actual cancer.  Not him.

There was no note that's been found, but I think we all assume it's about the cancer.  How does killing yourself make my aunt better?  That stress is only going to set her back.  If she's optimistic enough to not be killing herself, what gives you the right to do this to her?  And aren't your kids going through enough?  And jesus the poor train conductor, that's a worst nightmare situation that he has to relive now forever too.  Selfish.

I don't know, I'm ending the post there.  I should probably leave all these depression hotline numbers or something, but I won't.  You don't have to leave a comment, I won't respond to them anyway.  I'd turn them off but I don't know how so I won't be doing that either.  I have no idea if I'll let tomorrow's post go up as normal, we'll see.



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Why We Buy Things We Don't Need

March 27, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Well it took almost 3 months but I have what I consider my first real shopping ban violation.  For any newcomers, 2018 is the year of no shopping for me.  I set very specific rules in place and although I've been spending money on some things like food and bills, the rules definitely state that there's to be no spending on 'stuff.'  Which is exactly what I did, $29 worth of 'stuff.'


Why?  Well that's an interesting question, isn't it.  It wasn't something I needed, particularly not in that exact moment (I could I have waited.)  Not really all that important, but I bought it anyway and even went out to the store with the intention of getting it.  Which is very unlike me indeed.  So I started wondering why we do this so often, why we buy things we don't need.  Because we're all guilty of it.  And I think it comes down to a few mental traps that get us wiping the wallet out:



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House to Home: Organized Linen and Medicine Cabinets

March 26, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

March 22, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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My Minimalist Skin Care Lineup

March 21, 2018

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I promise that picture will make sense in a minute!

Like everything else in my life, my skin care has to be minimalist too.  And clean, and cruelty free.  Since I already updated you on my minimalist makeup collection here, it seemed like sharing the clean and natural skin care lineup was next up.  Not that I don't believe in a multitude of great skin care products - there's tons.  And they do work.  I just don't remember to use them all and don't see a difference in my own skin when I do.  So I stick to my basics and I find that my skin is responding really well.  Which means I'll keep chugging along, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it.




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10 Vintage Skills That Save Money

March 20, 2018

That's what these are called now, 'vintage skills.'  Because it's been so many years since people regularly did these things, but really, it wasn't that long ago that we used to be so much more self-sufficient.  And if you missed it on my (very long!) post on Friday, it's on my goal list to learn one of these vintage skills, because they really can save money.  Now, I love modern conveniences as much as the next girl, and I don't feel the need to unnecessarily complicate my life just for the sake of going back to how things used to be done.  Not every update has been a winner (fast fashion and everyone's inability to sew a button back on their clothing), but not every old skill is either (it is, in fact, cheaper to buy bread than make it, for example).  So here are a few of the vintage skills that save money that I'm thinking about learning more about, before I pick which one I want to commit to.




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My New 101 in 1001 List

March 16, 2018

The time has arrived to share my brand new 101 in 1001 list.  My third round of this is about to start on April 1 (it overlaps with my second list by a month, because I wanted the end date at the end of 2020 instead of in the beginning of 2021.)  Isn't that crazy?  Time flies.  And I just love making new lists of goals.


If you have no clue what I'm talking about, it's exactly what it sounds like - 101 goals I plan on accomplishing in the next 1001 days, about 2.75 years.  I do all of my updates and tracking using the Day Zero Project website, but I like to share my list here at the beginning because I know other people are always looking for 101 in 1001 ideas and categories as well.  Lord knows I was when I was trying to come up with 101 ideas for the third time.  So let's jump in.

By the way, this post is long.  Grab a coffee.  After each goal (which are in bold), I also have a bit of a description on my thought process.  I think the why behind each goal is just as important as the goal itself.  I thought about splitting the post in two, but I figure people who care would like it all in one place and people who don't would prefer just one post to have to skip.  If you want to just see the goals without all the text after, you can do so at the Day Zero site.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

March 15, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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10 Things You're (Probably) Not Cleaning

March 14, 2018

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So we addressed the common types of clutter and spring cleaned the worst ingredients out of our skincare and makeup.  Next up: 10 things in your house you're probably not cleaning.  If you're going to do this whole spring clean thing, you might as well do it right and make sure you add these germ magnet areas to your cleaning to do list.


These are the things that I've noticed most people don't even think to clean, at least not very often.



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Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products

March 13, 2018

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You know what else needs to get spring cleaned, besides the 10 types of clutter I talked about yesterday?  The ingredients in the products you put on your body.  When you really dive into the world of more natural skin care and start learning about exactly what it is they're putting in makeup and moisturizer... yikes.  Companies put a lot of nasty things in there, chemicals that are known to be irritating or disrupting to our hormones, and we really don't know how these will affect us long term because they haven't been around very long.  




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10 Common Types of Clutter to Spring Clean

March 12, 2018

Anyone else getting the spring cleaning itch?  It's getting slightly warmer here, which always makes me want to clean things.  Even my mom is talking about getting rid of more things out of her house (yay!), because you can't do a good spring clean if you don't first start by getting out the items you don't need.  Spring cleaning often means physical clutter, but I think there's much more to decluttering and simplifying your life than just donating the extra toaster you haven't used in two years.  If you're getting a similar spring clean itch, I hope this list can guide you towards some other things to clear out of your life that you might not have considered.  Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list of all the things you could possibly declutter from your life.  It's just a guide of some common ones, ones that can get you started if you're feeling overwhelmed and wanting to simplify your life.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

March 8, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Monthly Decluttering Project: Linen/Medicine Cabinet

March 7, 2018

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I consider our 'linen cabinet' to be part of our bathroom since it is actually in John's bathroom, but I know a lot of people have a separate closet for these things, or keep them in the bedroom closet.  In general, I'm talking about things like sheets and towels, including beach towels and guest bedding.  And I know that this space is often combined for people with medication and first aid supplies.  Just the way people have always organized their homes, I guess!




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What I Actually Do When I'm Sick

March 5, 2018

Of course, after my ridiculous February, I get massively sick.  I ended up leaving work at about 2 in the afternoon on Thursday, went to sleep around 5 and didn't get up again until Saturday morning.  So rough.  I suck at being sick, because it never happens.  It used to happen all the time, but I've had almost every organ removed that you can without dying (tonsils, appendix, gall bladder) so I don't get sick much any more.  In fact, John can't recall a time that I've been this sick since we've been dating, so in 5 years, this is my first time getting sick.  And I've been a big, huge, dramatic baby about it.


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Shopping Ban Update and March Goals

March 2, 2018

I just don't love March as a month.  I do love seeing Steph's birthday month fun, of course, but March in Chicago means spring and I don't like spring, because spring leads to summer and I dislike summer even more than I dislike spring.  Give me winter and snow year round, please.  But March has arrived and with it some new goals.


Of course, let's start with the February update.  Because that's a little rough.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

March 1, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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House to Home: Organized Bathrooms

February 26, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Despite how overbooked my February was, I did still manage to meet my goal of getting our two bathrooms cleaned up and organized.  I think because it's such a small space that's also regularly used, you just really can't hoard a lot of stuff in there.  Which makes it a quick project to clear out, rather than say a guest closet that houses all the extra crap you never use.  So I got them both done on one Sunday afternoon.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

February 22, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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In My Minimalist Makeup Collection

February 21, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Well... I originally had a different plan and timeline for this post.  I had grand plans of starting with a 'ingredients you should avoid in beauty products' post, and then following that up with this post regarding my (entire!) makeup collection, so you would know a little more about the products.  Because my products need to be cruelty free and I like the ingredients to be as clean and natural as possible.  However, as you know if you read yesterday's post, life has totally gotten away from me, particularly blogging, and, whelp, this post was the closest to finished so my plans are totally out of whack.  Don't worry, I'll still be doing the 'ingredients to avoid' post, it just takes a little more time to craft.  In the meantime, here's a look at my makeup products, some of which have appeared as Three on Thursday favorites, other which are new to the blog:



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An Exhausted Life Update

February 20, 2018

"We have nothing planned this weekend, right?"  Pretty sure those are my famous last words, every single weekend.  I keep jinxing myself, getting excited to have a free weekend to do nothing but catch up on things like blogging and laundry and then... life.  Am I right?  I. am. exhausted.  Let me fill you in.



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Top Fives

February 16, 2018

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Isn't the best way to get to know someone to find out all of their favorite things?  Favorite movies tend to tell you a lot about a person, right?  I think so anyway.  Plus I just like listing all of my favorite things, particularly on Fridays, and I like hearing about yours too.  So, in no particular order, here are my top five:


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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

February 15, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Books Lately

February 13, 2018

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The times I actually remember to link up with Steph and Jana are few and far between, despite the fact that they run this every single month (for years.)  Twice?  I think this makes twice - I have to write myself a reminder memo to show up on time.  But here I am, with my books I've read lately!


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Balancing Frugality and Minimalism

February 12, 2018

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If you follow bloggers who talk about one of those topics, I'm sure you've heard them talk about the other too.  They seem to go hand in hand - if you're not buying anything because you're a minimalist, you've got to be a pretty frugal person too, right?

Not necessarily.



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Snow Day

February 9, 2018

I have a snow day today!  It's been awhile since that happened.  Once you're out of school, the snow days stop.  I've never had many to begin with - when you go to private school, they don't care so much about how you get there, as opposed to if you take the public school bus with their bus crash lawsuits and all that.  So when I do get one, it's pretty exciting stuff.  Couple that with the fact that I love snow (and winter and cold), and you've got a very happy Stephanie today.

It's a preemptive snow day, which is even better, because now I can enjoy my Thursday night too.  According to the current weather report, as I write this post on Thursday at 3 p.m., Chicago is going to get hit with up to a foot of snow from 6 p.m. tonight into tomorrow afternoon, and then get more on Saturday.  So my boss has decided that 'I can just use my judgment' in the morning and make a decision.  I'm sure you can assume what my decision is.  I will actually get up on time because John is getting up and going to work no matter what, but if the snow is half the amount they say it will be, I'm taking my snow day.  Honestly, now that we live on the north side and not right downtown, it takes awhile for them to plow the streets by us.  So I'm relaxing and enjoying my day off, from work and blogging and probably even housework (not really, the laundry needs to be done.)

I mean, technically, I already took a 'snow day' from this blog on Wednesday so you would think I would be totally ready for today, but nah.  Just not feeling inspired so when I don't want to do something, like write a blog post... I don't do it.  Being an adult is fun.

So what to do with my newfound free time?  Besides playing in the snow with Hawkeye, who will hate me for it and only last 3 minutes anyway, and getting my treadmill time and 5,000 steps in (damnit, goals), I have absolutely nothing on my radar.  I'm sure I'll think up some things, because I'm not great at traditional forms of relaxing.  Lying on a couch and staring at a screen for 4 hours is only fun if I'm hungover and watching NASCAR.  Which, by the way, the season starts Sunday.

Ooo perhaps I'll get those bathrooms organized today!  Productive and relaxing at the same time.  What do you do with your snow days?


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.




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

February 8, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Ways to Refresh Your Daily Routine

February 6, 2018

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Whatever the groundhog has to say about winter really doesn't register on my radar.  It's Chicago, it's a pretty long winter regardless of any shadows (and isn't that little guy wrong more times than he is right anyway?)  Groundhog day just always reminds me of the movie instead.  The one where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over again.  Because that can happen to most people this time of year - January and February are slow, no holidays to break things up, the cold weather keeps people indoors and not making plans.  It's pretty easy to stick to the wake up, go to work, come home, sleep routine.  If that kind of repetitiveness has you feeling as frustrated as Bill Murray, I have a few tips for you on how to (easily!) refresh your daily routine.




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Monthly Decluttering Project: Bathroom

February 5, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Last month, my decluttering project was the kitchen.  Now it's time for the bathrooms.  Yes, both of them.  It seems simpler that way, like once I'm in the mindset for that type of room, I might as well keep on going until they're both done.



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Shopping Ban Update and February Goals

February 2, 2018

I have a lot of friends and family born in February, I realized looking at my calendar this morning.  I wonder why that is.  Is this a popular month for birthdays or something?  That really has nothing to do with today's post, it was just something that popped out at me.  What this post is about though is recapping how my health goals and shopping ban progressed in January and to prepare new goals on that front for February.  Care to guess what February's goal is?


Not my shoes.  Blue's not my color.  But yes, we're in fitness month now.  First though, let me recap January.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

February 1, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Simplified Guide: Meals and Meal Planning

January 31, 2018

I think it's pretty clear how big a fan I am of simplifying everything in my life.  It's definitely more than just decluttering my house.  I'm hoping to have a guide to simplifying something in your life every month, we shall see.  But at least I have one for you this month: meal prep and meal planning.  Since I decided to eat totally clean as my health goal of January, I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen.  But not nearly as much as I thought I was going to have to, thanks in part to smart and simple prep and planning.  Hopefully the tricks I use will help you too.



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Things I Do Believe In

January 30, 2018

But I do believe in ...

... ghosts

... fresh tubes of mascara

... karma

... dogs fixing everything


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Things I Don't Believe In

January 29, 2018

I don't believe in ...

... grading based on participation

... traveling by airplane

... decaf

... organized religion



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House to Home: Organized Kitchen

January 26, 2018

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The kitchen wasn't an area that I was concerned about making feel particularly 'homey,' but it was the area that was driving me the most nuts in terms of little organizational things being out of place.  It just wasn't functioning the best that it could be, and it was way too easy for clutter to build up in certain places.  If you're struggling with kitchen organization too, here's the checklist I used to declutter my own cabinets.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

January 25, 2018

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Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Minimalist Pantry Staples

January 24, 2018

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I have a post coming next week about how to simplify meal planning and prep, and a large part of that process is to have some pantry staples on hand because it cuts down on the amount of time you need to spend grocery shopping each week.  And although I do mention some ideas for meals, I don't talk about all the pantry items you would need, since it differs so much for each household.  So before that post arrives, I thought I would show you specifically what we keep in our house, which is as minimalist as the rest of my life, but still keeps us well-fed!




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Why New Year's Goals Fail and How to Fix It

January 23, 2018

It's about that time that new year's resolutions start to fail - the 3 weeks to one month in mark.  By the end of January, most people forget all about what they decided to accomplish just 4 weeks ago.  You probably already know the tip about how to set your goal in the first place, about making it specific and measurable, but even once you do that, you might still be having trouble.  Here's some common reasons people fail their new year resolutions and how you can fix it:




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A Day in the Life of Spending $0

January 22, 2018

3 weeks down on the shopping ban.  Of course, that's the easy part.  There's still a lot of motivation there, and not a lot of opportunity for spending in the month of January.  Still, it's nice to mark it as a success so far.  I know some people were going to attempt their own version of less spending this month and year, so I hope you're all doing well with that too.  If not though, or if you want to start, I thought I'd give you a look at a typical week day for me and show you were some spending traps generally come up and how I successfully avoid them.  Maybe it'll help you avoid the same.




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A Day in the Life of Hawkeye

January 19, 2018

Good morning everyone!  It's Hawkeye, and I'm here to tell you about how hard my daily life is.  It's exhausting being me.


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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

January 18, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Popular Money Saving Tips That Didn't Work For Me

January 17, 2018

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There is tons of information out there about how to save money and generally improve your finances.  Tons.  I'm sure you know that if you've ever started researching.  I believe that you just have to find what works for you, because eventually something will click.  But it might not be one of the 'top tips' that you'll found out there.  There's some very popular financial advice that just didn't work for me at all.



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How I Actually Relax

January 16, 2018

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Well yesterday I posted about the time wasters I avoid, which included a lot of things that other people would generally considering 'relaxing,' like watching TV.  Just because I avoid those certain time wasters doesn't mean I never relax though!  I don't think you can be productive all the time, that's how you get burnt out.  The brain needs time to rest and reset, and so does the body.  So if I'm not lying on the couch each evening watching 2 hours of TV, how do I actually relax?




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Time Wasters I Avoid

January 15, 2018

I made a lot of goals this year.  Some are passive, like not shopping.  But some require my time and energy, like my various health goals that require me to cook and research and exercise.  Part of the reason I like setting these goals and having the list to work off of is that it makes me very aware of how I'm spending my time each day - and how not to waste it.  Since the new year is the time when everyone else makes goals too, I figure this is a good time to share how I avoid wasting my time so I can be more productive.



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Reviewing Old Beauty Favorites

January 12, 2018

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I change favorite beauty products more often than I originally thought when I started this post.  I sort of assumed that I find what I love and stick with it, but that hasn't been the case, particularly when it comes to my focus here - makeup and skincare.  New products are constantly being released and I always want to try them.  But not only that, my tastes have change dramatically in just a few years.  I decided how important it is for me to use only cruelty free items, and then I also wanted to make sure things are using clean and green ingredients (something that's still in progress for me.)



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

January 11, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back to Three on Thursday, a weekly list of three things I'm loving at the moment that I think you should do, try, or buy.  If you're interested in past weeks and more recommendations, you can find those here.  If you make your own Three on Thursday list, please share it in the comments so I can check it out.



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Monthly Decluttering Project: Kitchen

January 10, 2018

Alright, it's about time I launch into this whole 'house to home' thing I've been talking about.  My word of the year is Healthy, yes, but there are so many components of health.  And one of those components is happiness.  And reducing stress.  For me, those are directly related to my living situation.  I love our house, I do, but I haven't really been thinking of it as a home, you know what I mean?  We moved in 2 years ago this coming May, and I still feel like it's not as homey as it could be yet.  It's a balance, of course, because I don't like clutter or knick knacks all over, but I don't think you need all that crap to make a space feel personal and comforting.  So that's my plan for this year - to concentrate on a different space each month to really get it to where I feel like it's 'home' for us.  Every month on the blog I'll have one post about decluttering a space, and one post about organizing and turning a space into a home.  Sometimes (like this month) they'll be the same space, but sometimes not.  It'll be an adventure.


My first decluttering project for 2018 is the kitchen.  It seemed fitting, with my clean eating and other health related goals, for this to be the month where I really get my kitchen up to snuff and working the way I need it to for me to cook at home more.


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