Things I Stopped Buying Since Simplifying Everything

October 29, 2018

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If there's one thing I have been on track with in 2018, it's been simplify everything.  I love every portion of my life that I simplified, and I really love the time and mental energy it's freed up to focus on more important things, the things I actually care about.  Not to mention the lovely effect it's had on my finances, of course.  Because ultimately, simplifying certain routines in my life led to buying less altogether.  Here are even more things I stopped buying since deciding to simplify everything:


Halloween Favorites Tag

October 26, 2018

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Halloween is my favorite holiday.  This should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog.  We're in full on Halloween mode from pretty much the day after John's birthday (July 5th, by the way), until November.  I love costumes and creepy decor and the themed party, plus all the great movies and Halloween related activities.  Halloween is just fun without the stress, unlike Christmas.  Christmas comes with expectations.  Halloween is a free-for-all.  And although I love just about everything related to this particular day, I have a few ultimate favorites to share.

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

October 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.

More Simplified Hosting Tips

October 24, 2018

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Although Monday's post covered a lot of things that make having overnight house guests easier and make your home more comfortable for them, I have a few more tips to add on how you can simplify hosting even more, particularly for quick happy hours or holiday get-togethers.  We often have people stop by for football games on Sundays or for cocktails during the week after John's done with football practice.  Since I don't get much notice for these type of gatherings, it's hard to host people if I'm not prepared ahead of time for impromptu guests.  But I also don't want to be wasting time in the kitchen, when I could be spending time with the people who came to see me.  So here's what I do to keep it as simple as possible, but still throw a great happy hour.


How to Be Ready for Guests

October 22, 2018

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The hosting season is upon us.  Holiday parties and visiting family, and all sorts of reasons for people to be coming into your home and staying for awhile.  There's a lot that goes into making your home ready for guests for a party or a weekend visit.  You'll have a lot of last minute things on your plate, like cleaning or cooking, so it's a good idea to have some of the other things ready to go ahead of time for your house guests.  It's less stress for you and it's really comforting and welcoming to your friends and family.


My Personal 'To Stop' List

October 19, 2018

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I love goals and to do lists.  I love systematically checking things off and tracking my progress on longer term goals.  I'm excited to get a bunch of things done before the end of the year.  I also love living slow, simplifying everything, and having nothing scheduled in an entire weekend.  Those two lifestyles seem to be at odds with each other, but they aren't.  I simplify certain things in order to free up time to do the things that matter, like working on goals I'm excited about.  And to do the laundry.  Sometimes, though, even I find myself over-scheduled.  There are just certain months where I can't remove all the weekend plans I want to, and I'm left feeling stressed out, without any down time.  That's when I know I need to take a step by and reassess what I need to be doing less of.  I make myself a 'to stop' list, right there on the page next to my year end to do list.


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

October 18, 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.

Things To Do Before the End of the Year

October 17, 2018

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We are 2.5 months away from 2019.  I'm not going to say that time flies, because 2018 has felt particularly long to me, and not in a good way.  I won't be sad to leave it behind.  But I also know how much more quickly the clock moves in these fall months.  Like we pack everything important into November and December.  I don't want to get behind in my own fun goals, like my 101 in 1001 list, just because the holidays have arrived.  I still have plenty of time in my days for everything I like to do.  But there's a few more details that need to be added to that goals list, because there are a lot of important tasks that come with these last few months of the year.  Here are a few year end goals that you might want to add to your own list:


Tips for Living With Someone Who Isn't Minimal

October 16, 2018

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Boy, do I get this question a lot - how do you deal with someone else's stuff?  How do you live with someone who doesn't want to be as minimal as you?  As much as you can go through and declutter your own things and sort out your house, you can't aways get it as minimalist as you want if you live with other people who aren't on the same wavelength.  That can be frustrating, but I promise that you can get it to a state you're going to be happy with.


Reasons to Own Less Stuff

October 12, 2018

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I talk an awful lot about how much I've decluttered and how much I love my fresh, open spaces.  And everyone knows how much I love decluttering and organizing, both my own home and other people's space.  But I don't often talk about all the reasons why.  Because there's a lot.  So many reasons why you should own less.  Even if you're not a minimalist in the typical sense of the word, you can still benefit from less.

Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

October 11, 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.

Swagbucks Update

October 10, 2018

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Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shop Swago. What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly. Click here to get started.

Here’s what you need to know to get your 150 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern): 
  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. 
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete. 
  • You have a limited amount of time 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 - up to 150 SB. 
  • 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. 
  • The game ends Friday, October 12th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

All throughout October 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 November 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it.
3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've got plenty saved up to completely pay for Christmas this year.


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


7 Tips to Get You Ready for Game Day

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Prepare the grill, don your jerseys and upgrade your cable package, because it’s football season! If you’re the type of hostess who likes to make every occasion a little bit *ahem* extra, then you know you can’t just toss on the game, bust open a bag of chips and go about your merry way. Game day takes thought, after all. Every little detail matters when you’re preparing to root for the home team. Whether you’re nestling in for a watch party with your most fanatical friends or are heading out for some next-level tailgating, the following tips will help ensure that the game-winning vibes are ever in your favor.

 

  1. Plan Your Menu: Casual Snacks and Finger Foods—Finger foods on game day: how cliché. But think it through…nobody wants to have a sit-down dinner when the game’s on. It’s best to pepper the dining room table (or the card table, if you’re imbibing in the stadium parking lot) with portable snacks that are best eaten on the couch or while you’re sitting in your monogrammed tailgate chair (also a requisite). The hat trick of game day foods is as follows: chili, all things grilled and fried sides. You’re no basic fan, though, so don’t be afraid to make it gourmet with the help of everyone’s favorite hostess, Ms. Martha Stewart. Giving the menu your own personal flavor goes a long way!
  2. Think About the Details: Team-Themed Desserts and Drinks—Let your main dishes be of the handheld variety, but don’t forget to put a little thought into the extras, too! This is the place where you can get really creative and flex your crafty muscles. For example, if you’re a huge Ohio State fan, you really can’t declare it game day without some buckeyes for dessert. A diehard Bama supporter will find Alabama slammers a fun addition. Catering to a Clemson crowd? Obviously, you’ll need some paw print cookies. Let your team of choice guide you to a few unique menu items to get everyone in the spirit!
  3. Go Shopping: Upgrade to Party-Ready Appliances—If the idea of serving cold artichoke dip and queso sends chills down your spine, then you’re going to need to take a trip to the home goods store or ask to borrow some warmers from the best hostess in your contacts. Essentials include small slow cookers or electric warmers for appetizers and, obviously, a solid grill that can accommodate plenty of burgers and dogs. Make sure to put a deep fryer on your Christmas list for next season. Oh, and it should go without saying, but don’t offer to host the game if you don’t have a nice TV and the right channels.
  4. Decorate: Let Your Team Colors Guide You—Now for the fun part: décor! Everyone loves dressing up their space for special occasions, and you can do so much with your team’s colors. Make the décor somewhat subtle. Rather than choosing team-branded banners and tablecloths, subtly infuse a spirited color palette or team themes with banners and balloons for a more original approach. If you have kids on the guest list, you can make it super fun with a “concession stand” snack table and some football-shaped paper lanterns. Prefer a more adult approach? To make your home extra inviting for all, consider creating some spirited flower arrangements and lighting some aromatic candles.
 

  1. Coordinate Your Look: Sport Some Spirited Style—You’ve dressed the table and the living room, now it’s time to dress yourself. Of course, you can’t root for the home team very well unless you’ve got some sweet team gear. Not super huge on rocking jerseys and team tees? No worries. Pick out some cute monogrammed fall apparel—hello, hoodies, tunics, quilted vests and duck boots—so you feel comfy, cozy and cute. Select a few items in your team’s colors to keep with the theme. Don’t forget the temp tats.
  2. Reorganize Your Space: Make Sure Everyone Can Watch—If the party’s at your house, you have to make sure there’s enough space for guests to sprawl out and jump with joy when your team makes a great play. The key here is making sure that there’s enough seating surrounding the TV or that you have more than one TV throughout the house so that everyone can see every second. If needed, bring in some extra seats from the dining room so that everyone has their own space while watching the game.
  3. Be Considerate: Think About All Guests—We’ve all been dragged to parties and events that we weren’t necessarily into, and you’ll probably have a few less enthusiastic attendees on your guestlist. Make sure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy at your game day fiesta. Perhaps you could keep one area of the house, like the dining room or sunroom, game-free to accommodate for socializing and conversation with non-fans. Make sure to think about the kids, too. Some games and activities will help keep them busy if they’re too young to watch. If it’s warm enough, send them outside to play their own mini version of the big game!

Spirited Style for Any Sport

While we typically think about hosting game day parties for big football games, there’s no reason why you can’t invite your most enthusiastic amigos to watch the World Series, the NBA finals or even tennis or golf tournaments. The key is to keep the focus on the game and use everything else—the food, drinks and décor—to complement it. As long as you have a big, comfy couch and plenty of delicious munchies, your guests will be pleased even if your team loses. Fair warning, though: There’s a good chance your place just might become the new go-to game day hangout!


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


Books Lately

October 9, 2018

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Second Tuesday of the month, so of course it's time for another Show Us Your Books link up with Steph and Jana.  I don't participate every month, but this month is special - they've been running this link up for 4 years today.  They're even having prizes to celebrate, so I highly recommend visiting them and also writing a post of your own to show what you've been reading.  Here's what I've read lately.

50 Ways to Save Money

October 8, 2018

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  1. Only use free checking
  2. Switch to higher interest savings accounts
  3. Wait for things to go on sale
  4. Shop at thrift stores
  5. Just drink water
  6. Use a water filter, tap water, and a reusable bottle to never buy plastic bottles
  7. Use the library
  8. Get rid of cable
  9. Go on regular spending freezes
  10. Pack your own lunch
  11. Share meals at restaurants
  12. Shop at Aldi 
  13. Buy generic brands
  14. Cut the gym membership
  15. Stop giving (and receiving) gifts for Christmas
  16. Do your own nails
  17. Negotiate with every service provider
  18. Keep the air conditioner off in the summer
  19. Keep the heat off or low in the winter
  20. Run appliances (washing machine, dishwasher) at off-peak times
  21. Wash on cold
  22. Always turn lights off
  23. Buy in bulk
  24. Walk, bike, and take public transit
  25. Don't grocery shop when you're hungry
  26. DIY your skincare and household products
  27. Let your hair grow out to it's natural color
  28. Meet friends for free things like street fests instead of dinner
  29. Utilize happy hour specials
  30. Meal prep in bulk
  31. Eat less meat and dairy
  32. Get a smart thermostat
  33. Always pay bills on time so there's no late fees
  34. Do a pantry challenge before grocery shopping again
  35. Find discounts related to your job - student, teacher, first responder, city employee, etc.
  36. Use coupons and rebate apps
  37. Never buy dry clean only clothes
  38. Get routine checkups and teeth cleanings
  39. Learn to sew
  40. Always stick to your shopping list
  41. Host at home instead of meeting at a bar
  42. Never use an ATM with fees
  43. Buy quality and buy it only once
  44. Declutter, so you know what you have and stop buying duplicates
  45. Make coffee at home
  46. Use half the amount you usually do, of everything
  47. Get off marketing mailing lists
  48. Trade pet and baby sitting with other moms
  49. Always wait 3 days before impulse buying anything
  50. Use Trim
Happy money saving Monday, friends.


Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the bar below you can sign up for my posts and newsletter to come straight to your inbox, which has exclusive content that does not appear on this blog, including regular giveaways. On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin.


My Daily Essentials

October 5, 2018

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I'm not so dramatic as to say that I wouldn't survive the day without any of these things.  But it would certainly make my day suck a lot if they weren't around.


Three on Thursday - Weekly Favorites

October 4, 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.

The Importance of Yearly Spend/Use Up Numbers

October 3, 2018

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Pantry challenge is going strong... 3 days in.  But still, I feel good about using up the food and making a plan for the rest of it.  October is just 'use it up' month in our house, I guess.  Which had me thinking about sharing some of my yearly numbers.  'Use it up' numbers.

How to Become a Morning Person

October 1, 2018

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I think waking up any earlier does not come naturally in the fall and winter months, because the sun isn't up.  But that's not a reason not to try, and I'm impressed with the number of people who are using October to not only spend less and get more organized, but also to wake up earlier.  Because they know you can get more done in the day and feel more organized if you just wake up a little earlier than usual.  As someone who consistently gets up at least two hours before I have to be at my office and who maintains that schedule even on weekends, I have a few ideas to share on how to change your ways and become a morning person.  Because in college I only scheduled afternoon classes and in high school I woke up about 30 minutes before I had to be at my school that was 20 minutes away with no traffic.  I was not born a morning person.  I didn't even wake up before 10 a.m. on Christmas.  So it can be done.

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