October Pantry Challenge Stockpile List

September 28, 2018

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Last Friday I posted my goals for the fall months - particularly, that I'm doing a pantry challenge for the month of October.  This means that I will only be eating from what we currently have on hand in our fridge, freezer, and pantry.  And no, I absolutely will not be stocking up this weekend.  (Not that I have time, as I'll be marathoning the Harry Potter movies with my friend, Natalie.)  I'm not going to be ordering in or grocery shopping, no eating out lunch or anything like that.  Just going as long as I can without spending money on food.  Wondering what I'm going to eat for the next month?  Me too!




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

September 27, 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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8 Habits of Organized People

September 25, 2018

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As a little bit of an expansion on yesterday's post, I have a few habits of organized people to share to help you if you're feeling like October is going to be your month to declutter and get on top of things.  Like I mentioned, I think habits and actions are more important to becoming and staying organized, as opposed to buying the 'right' organizational and storage items.  If you can master a few good habits, you'll see such huge improvement in your space and your mental clarity that you'll wonder why you ever bothered buying complicated organizational systems in the first place.



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How to Stop Spending (and Fill the Spending Void)

September 24, 2018

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On Friday I posted about my fall seasonal goals, which I can work on right up until Christmas.  But I mentioned that I specifically wanted to do a pantry challenge for the month of October - in order to save money, better track my finances, declutter the kitchen, and be less wasteful, I plan on eating only from the fridge, freezer, and pantry during the month of October.  Yes, that means no grocery shopping, not even for fresh produce (I'm not going to die without fresh produce for 2 weeks guys, relax.)  And it definitely means that I won't be ordering any food for delivery, which is where we really overspend.  Since I don't spend much on other things, this will essentially be a no spend month for me, which is perfect since it's right before the holidays, a traditionally high spend time.



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The First Day of Fall

September 21, 2018

I posted about my summer goals a few months ago; in case you don't remember, Betsy and Sara have brought back the seasonal goals link up, and that was my first post with them.  Well, the first day of fall is here so that means it's time for a whole new set of goals to work on over the next 3 months.  But first, a recap of how I did on my 8 summer goals.



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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

September 20, 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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100 Things to Declutter Before 2019

September 19, 2018

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  1. Clothes that don't fit
  2. Extra hangers
  3. DVDs
  4. CDs
  5. Magazines
  6. Broken and otherwise unused Christmas tree ornaments
  7. Socks with holes
  8. Expired skincare
  9. Phone apps that suck your time
  10. Dead plants
  11. Keychains
  12. Souveniers
  13. Old, flat pillows
  14. Anything you won't repair
  15. Extra sheets
  16. Unloved pet and kid toys
  17. Excessive throw pillows
  18. Paint
  19. Phone books
  20. Worn out shoes
  21. Dried up nail polish
  22. Toiletries you wouldn't use up if you lived to be 182
  23. Outdated makeup
  24. Broken jewelry
  25. Art supplies
  26. E-mails from 2017
  27. Single use bullshit kitchen gadgets, like banana slicers
  28. Books you'll never read again
  29. Old movie ticket stubs
  30. Picture frames
  31. Toxic frienemies
  32. Burned out light bulbs
  33. Pens and pencils
  34. Dead batteries
  35. Duplicate tools
  36. Party supplies
  37. Extra pots and pans
  38. Expired food
  39. Magnets
  40. Instagram accounts you follow
  41. Bookmarks - inside books and inside your web browser
  42. Anything with toxic ingredients
  43. Receipts
  44. Wrapping paper and ribbon
  45. Sports equipment
  46. Election paraphernalia (after you vote of course)
  47. Plastic food containers
  48. Cleaning supplies
  49. Vases
  50. Itchy blankets
  51. Ironing boards
  52. Takeout menus
  53. Plastic bags
  54. Board games and puzzles
  55. Post-it notes
  56. Regret
  57. Belts
  58. Hosiery with runs
  59. Plastic straws
  60. Cracked dishes and glasses
  61. Cigarettes
  62. Purses
  63. Empty candle jars
  64. Unused furniture
  65. Expired medication
  66. Files on your laptop
  67. Old prom and bridesmaids dresses
  68. Glasses with your old prescription
  69. Photos
  70. Gifts you don't want
  71. Guilt
  72. Extra reusable bags
  73. Manuals and warranties
  74. Luggage
  75. Broken charging cords
  76. Combs and brushes
  77. Napkin rings
  78. Stuffed animals
  79. Plastic Easter eggs
  80. Membership cards
  81. Old electronics
  82. Beanie babies
  83. Hair ties
  84. Perfume
  85. Last year's Christmas cards
  86. Spices
  87. Extra shoe laces
  88. Baby clothes your 10 year old hasn't fit in in 9 years
  89. Screws and nails
  90. Scarves
  91. Promotional items like frisbees and t-shirts
  92. Coupons
  93. Unfinished projects and DIY supplies
  94. Buttons
  95. Old toothbrushes
  96. Uncomfortable underwear
  97. Empty boxes
  98. Loose change (go cash it in)
  99. E-mail subscriptions
  100. VHS tapes - looking at you, mom

Not an exhaustive list, obviously.  Just some areas for you to think about while you clear the clutter in anticipation of starting fresh soon.  Or at least to make space before Christmas arrivals.  Happy decluttering.


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My No Spend Life... Currently, At Least

September 17, 2018

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Simple Homemaking Habits

September 14, 2018

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There's a lot of different facets of getting back on track on my to do list.  One of the main aspects of that is our home.  When I straighten up and maintain the house, it always makes it feel like the rest of my life is together too.  Of course, since I’m so minimalist, it’s actually incredibly easy to get back on track with homemaking, and to stay there.  Just one of the many benefits of not having crap around - super easy to clean and organize even if every single item is out of place at the same time.  Even without being as extremely anti-stuff as I am, though, you can still adopt these super simple homemaking habits to keep your home in order too.




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Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

September 13, 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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Swagbucks Update

September 8, 2018

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The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during on their September Swago Board, which runs from September 10th through September 17th at 9am PT.  Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. 

If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. 

Here are a few tips: Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores. Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete. You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, September 17th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely. 

Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 

Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin ans Win Wheel. Plus, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner. The Spin and Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, September 17th to use all your spins. 

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice. 

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started. If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; plus, if you earn 300 SB before the first of October, you'll get a bonus 300 SB.

All throughout September 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 the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash. When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus. 

Here's how: 

2. Earn 300 SB total before October 1st, 2018.  You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it. 
3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks works. I use it myself, and I've earned about $3,000, which I get as PayPal cash and Amazon gift cards, usually.  Works really well for getting extra money before Christmas.


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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101 in 1001 List Update/2019 Plans (Already)

September 7, 2018

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Side note: if you read through Bloglovin, it did not publish yesterday’s post. I don’t know why other than Bloglovin often sucks. So if you want this week’s recommendations, be sure to check it out here.

I'm not that far into my timeline for this 3rd 101 in 1001 list, and I've got 39 things done already.  I think I always power along really well at the beginning of these.  If you've been around any amount of time, you know all about my goals list, but in case you need a reminder, here is the original post about this current list.  There's definitely things I've been slacking on in the last few months, but I've still been pretty diligent about my goals, sometimes without even meaning to.

101 in 1001 List Completed Goals


The first update I did, towards the end of May, is here and you can see the first 19 items I crossed off the list.  Here's the next 20 I managed to get done:

12. Simplify income streams.  As it relates to blogging.  I deleted lots of accounts and unsubscribed from e-mails.  I really don't bother with much anymore, and I prefer it that way.

16. Add 101 items to my shop.  I need to be better about keeping this up to date, but at least I now know that it's got my favorite things to recommend.

17. Read and comment on 101 new blogs.  I thought this would take me longer but I breezed through it.

19. Plan another themed bar crawl.  Bar golf in Iowa was at the beginning of June.

27. Get and organize playlists on my phone for parties.  I ended up making a few different playlists that I'm happy with.  That one took awhile, since I won't pay for music.  Allegedly.

32. Figure out my stocks and how to manage them.  I hired someone.  Simplify everything.

40. Find my favorite vodka.  I have a lot of favorite vodkas I learned.  I also learned that I'm super not picky, imagine that.  But my favorite is Absolut, the flavors.  Because there's no sugar.

41. Learn and play a new drinking game with Tara, Billy, and Megan.  Our usuals are still our favorite, but we did try at least two new ones during bar golf weekend in Iowa.

46. Switch to all natural beauty and personal care products.  Done!  The list is here if you're wondering what I use.

59. Get the small backyard tree next to stairs cut down.  It was causing all sorts of problems and we had to get it out before it got worse.  John took care of it in a few hours with his dad and uncle.

73. Re-read all 7 Harry Potter books and marathon watch the movies.  It had been so long since I read all the books, I still love them.  I watched all the movies in a weekend and plan on doing it again at the end of this month with my friend Natalie.

77. Watch 5 TV series I've been meaning to watch or re-watch.  Castle, Kimmy Schmidt, 3%, Mysteries of Laura, and Grace and Frankie.  But there's been more since then!

79. Read 2 books (each) from 10 genres I never read.  The full list is here.  Favorite was The Book Thief.

80. Watch 2 movies (each) from 10 genres I never watch.  The full list is here.  Favorites were Minimalism and Coco.

81. Re-read old favorites and make a resources blog page.  I have more to add but books are here.

85. Get a new mattress.  Just did this over Labor Day weekend.

92. Identify and fix 10 daily/weekly annoyances.  I never realized how many little nagging tasks I was putting off.  It took me like 5 months to get a security tag removed from a sweater John got for Christmas.  Sigh.  But so many things are done now!  List is here.

93. Complete a full digital declutter.  I try to stay on top of this so it didn't take me too long, but there was still a lot of deleting and sorting to be done.  I might go back and do this at least yearly though.

95. Create two master lists of John's and my favorite meals.  It's been helpful to work off of for meal planning, I'm glad I put in the effort.

100. Help Betsy complete at least 3 goals.  We did a bunch of things off her list, including visiting a new neighborhood of Chicago, a new museum, a couple of rooftop bars, and taking a water taxi.

Of course, I still have 62 goals to go.  And some of them are big ones.  But I still have just over 2 more years to finish them out so I'm pretty sure I'll be okay.


2019 Goals Already?


And now let me show you my '2019 List.'  I mentioned on Tuesday that I had started filling this page out in my planner.  Number 44 on my 101 list is labeled as 'reserved for 2019' because I wanted to be able to add and reassess things over time, since the list spans a longer time frame.  So for that goal (since I already have 39 out of 101 goals done in just a couple months!), I decided to make it 'Fill out the Bucket List goals/plans section in Simplified Planner.  Complete all goals listed.  Get another Simplified Planner mid-2019.'  So essentially I'm just adding 19 more goals to my list!  Since my planner runs August 2018 to July 2019, I'd really like to get all of these done by next summer.

  1. Attend TBOX in costume.  TBOX is the Twelve Bars of Christmas bar crawl, it's massive.  We're too old for this but we're friends with the creator so we have tickets this year and we're going to do it right, at least one more time.  Wire to wire, at least 12 bars, and in costume.
  2. Track all purchases and gifts for one year.  I really was supposed to be tracking purchases this year, but I fell off that wagon in April.  So I plan on starting this over again, and I probably won't wait for a January 1 start date.
  3. Curate Pinterest.  I actually already got this done.  I deleted so, so many pins, I got rid of my pin scheduler, I unfollowed people, I deleted and moved boards - all around, it was a lot of work but it's much better and I enjoy using it more now.  You can see what it looks like here.
  4. Film home tour on Instagram stories.  This is also already done.  It's highlighted under Home on my profile if you missed it.
  5. Maintain $10,000 in checking account.  Some people think this is too much to just sit in checking, but I don't care.  My other accounts are funded and there's always money that goes automatically to them, but I want to increase this one in particular.
  6. Mostly quit online shopping.  There are a couple of things I will have to get online, but at the moment that is strictly dog items, since they're way cheaper online.  Everything else, I need to start buying in store because online shopping is a problem for me, and it's just too easy to add things to my cart that I don't need.
  7. Close PayPal account.  I actually have two, associated with two different e-mail addresses, which is nonsense.  And PayPal is more trouble than it's worth.  I need to keep one open for blogging but the other I want to close and I definitely want to pay off and close the credit part of it.
  8. Curate Twitter.  I just about finished this, though I think I still need to check some things over to consider it truly complete.
  9. Work though A Simplified Life.  This is Emily Ley's book, the woman who created the planner I use.  I actually hated her first book but this second one I really like.  I've read it, but there are a few workbook type pages that I want to fill out.  The book is on sale on her website, and this link gets you $10 off a $12 book if you want it.  Her 2019 planners are also on sale now.
  10. Complete Tess Wicks' Money Program.  Fellow frugal Chicago girl (though she's currently living in Italy with her boyfriend), Tess Wicks, created a financial guidance program called The Money Program, which I have access to (thanks Tess!) and I need to sit down and work through it.  And actually do any relevant recommended steps, not just listen to the videos all at once and call it a day.
  11. Complete a version of Whole30.  I can't do actual Whole30 because I don't and won't eat meat.  So I really just mean a full 30 day clean eating (and no alcohol so obviously I'm not tackling this until after football season.)  Essentially I plan on following all the other Whole30 rules but I'm deeming beans just fine for me.
There's space on this list for 19 items, and I do plan to fill them all in because I am who I am and it would make me crazy to have an empty slot even it it is an uneven number.  But for the moment, this is all I have.  I'll update my list on day zero as I think of more goals.  If you have any goal recommendations for me, let me know in the comments.

What are you working on lately?


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

September 6, 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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How I Use My Emily Ley Simplified Planner

September 4, 2018

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My Emily Ley Simplified planner began in August, because I have the academic year edition (it runs August to July.)  The 2019 calendar year planners launch tomorrow morning, and they run January to December.  So both editions are 12 month planners but since I know a lot of you prefer the calendar year planners, I thought I would show you some inside pages of mine and how I use it in case you want to buy yours tomorrow.  If you do, this link gets you $10 off.


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