6 Habits to Stay Focused in a Distracted World

As I cozy up to my laptop while sipping my second cup of caffeinated orange pekoe, I contemplate what to write for my next post. Lately, I have had many days where I feel like my time could have been better spent (I’m looking at you, Twitter). Do you ever feel guilty for not doing the thing that you know you should be doing but really don’t want to do it? It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to stay focussed and motivated to write blog posts, let alone log into WordPress. I am very behind on replying to comments, visiting other blogs, and interacting with other bloggers. It has become more of a chore which is not a good thing, especially since I still need to flex my writing muscle. Blogging can be a lonely path but it’s the path I choose to take.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-REFLECTION 🍵💕

If you have been following me on Twitter @hellokitty8404, you’ll know that I am struggling to find significant meaning and purpose as I am grappling with difficult circumstances in my life right now. I use Twitter mainly for habit tracking and weekly updates. It has gotten to the point where I am more of an open book on Twitter than I am on my blog, which is kinda ironic considering that social media is the thing that kills productivity and keeps us distracted in this already highly distracted world.

If I have the slightest chance of succeeding as a hobby blogger, then I need to have a list of habits that help me stay focused, especially when writing is the last thing on my mind. Even though I no longer need to focus on studying for exams (I graduated in December 2020), I understand that working on a writing project or reviewing notes for work requires a similar level of discipline and focus. If you have a similar desire to be the best version of yourself, then you too will need to learn how to develop strong discipline skills and a constant desire to learn new things. Personally, I feel like this list I have created below ↓  applies to university students as well as ambitious Millennials. Let’s get started, shall we?

6 HABITS TO STAY FOCUSED IN A DISTRACTED WORLD: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

1. Log Out of Social Apps. You have no reason to be on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Log out before these addictive apps take you down a rabbit hole that not even Alice in Wonderland wants to explore. Once you’re an active member of these apps, it becomes even more difficult to leave – good luck with that. Seriously. Don’t kid yourself. 5 minutes turns into an hour. An hour turns into 3 hours. Using your smartphone? Even worse. It’s almost impossible to put the phone down so I suggest hiding it so it is out of sight, out of mind. Log out of the messenger apps too while you’re at it (texting is just as addictive). These apps have no place on your phone which brings me to my next point.

2. Take a Social Media Hiatus. I promised myself in January 2017 that I would not download any more social apps. I seldom keep social apps on my iPhone and use my phone for what it is: a phone. There seems to be a new app released every 6 months and it’s exhausting trying to keep up with them all. This is similar to having a second job but this “job” doesn’t pay your bills. So unless it is a passion with a purpose, why bother? Btw, I am still taking a hiatus from Facebook and Instagram and have no immediate plans to return to these platforms. You can still follow me @serene_hilz so that you’ll receive updates when I eventually decide to return to Instagram. I haven’t posted anything new in years but my thoughts remain the same about social media. Thank goodness I’m done nursing school! 👩‍🎓

3. Go to Bed When You are Tired. Tired at 10 pm? Go to bed. Don’t make the same mistake as me where I end up laying on the couch at night, mindlessly playing Candy Crush or watching dumb TV shows on Netflix. I enjoy staying up late at night when it’s quiet and there are no distractions, but at the same time, extra sleep is really important for mental health and concentration the following day. Nights when I do not get enough sleep, I end up sleeping in and wasting the following day or week playing “catch up.” Go to bed and take cat naps if this is an option for you.

4. Make a Plan every day. This one seems obvious. My MIL suggested that I get a planner. Planners can be purchased from a Dollar Store and it doesn’t have to break the bank. I also bought a journal to write in whenever I am not using the notepad on my iPhone. It helps me stay in the present moment and keeps me focused on important tasks. When I complete a task, I highlight it in bright yellow which gives me a sense of accomplishment. The dopamine rush I get from doing this is much healthier than the brief adrenaline surge from Facebook or some other addicting app. At the end of the month, I review everything I completed plus I don’t feel the temptation to wander mindlessly through my notes, older blog posts, etc.

5. Email is Your New BFF. Forget texting and FB messenger. I once used texting as a way to have deeper conversations with online friends. I thought that these conversations were meaningful but I don’t have a record of them; only a virtual footprint 👣 If I want access to my past conversations, they are buried among hundreds of thousands of text messages that probably won’t be looked at again. I like e-mail because I can keep the important files and discard the rest. The email I use is the same one I had since I was 12 so if a classmate or long-lost relative needs to contact me, they can. Looking back, I remember when we used to send chain mail to our e-mail contacts. It’s bittersweet digging up old emails but I have deleted the majority of them.

6. Classical and Chillstep. If you have a hard time staying focused like I do, try listening to
music. Not just any kind of music, preferably instrumental music. My muse is classical piano music, Lofi, and Chillstep (it’s an acquired taste). YouTube makes it incredibly easy to stream playlists so I recommend starting there. I also used to be into this weird sub-genre called Nightcore, which is another acquired taste. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I even made my own Nightcore songs and upload them to YouTube. At one point, I was so bored that I spent a few weeks pretending that I was DJ Hilz or something.

Note: You can find my YouTube channel @hellokitty8404. I guess people seem to like this music because my channel currently has 538 subscribers to date, and my most popular video has 269,712 views. 💁‍♀️


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

The world is full of distractions, especially in this digital world, and it is becoming more and more difficult to stay focused. I believe that if you are able to implement my list in your own life, you will be able to focus on the task at hand. ✍📝

If you enjoyed reading this blog post or would like to share some nuggets of wisdom with me, please join the conversation below ↓ in the comments section. I know I haven’t been the greatest at replying to people in a timely manner but I want to get back into blogging again. However, I am always open to discussing this topic with like-minded people who are also motivated and driven to succeed!

P.S. You can now easily save this blog post on Pinterest by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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5 Things I No Longer Buy

(◔_◔)っQuestion: What are some items that you no longer buy?

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this blog post which made me reflect on my own life and spending habits. My intention was to answer her question in a timely manner, but we all know how long it takes me to post a blog post response. Bee is a 30-year old blogger who runs a popular blog called Mind. Beauty. Simplicity. She writes blog posts about intentional living, self-growth, lifestyle, and anything in between. I recommend checking out her blog and following her if you haven’t done so already.

These days, I am on a similar journey as Bee. When it comes to living intentionally, I am still far from perfect but I have learned to be more mindful about my spending and to avoid buying things that aren’t going to add value to my life. Keep reading if you are interested in learning what I added to my list! 🙌


•✽ 5 THINGS I NO LONGER BUY ✽•

1. Bath & Body Works I have nothing against Bath & Body Works. In fact, it is a great store and I still like their products. I am wiser now that I am older, but when I was a teenager, my life revolved around this store. I was in love with their products and the shopping addiction got pretty bad whenever there was a sale, which was pretty much every week 😆 I would buy all sorts of things: lotions, shower gels, candles, fragrance mists —you name it. When I couldn’t go through the products fast enough, I would make lists of the products that I wouldn’t have to replenish. The lotions and body mists lasted so long to the point where they would expire and end up smelling horrible. Once I realized that I was wasting money, I stopped shopping at Bath and Body Works.

2. Subscription Boxes These days, subscription box services are catering to everyone’s tastes. You can pretty much guarantee that the subscription box model isn’t just limited to food and books – there are monthly boxes for everything from candles to clothes. Want new socks and underwear but don’t want to think about it? There’s a box for that. And as tempting as these subscription boxes are, it is important to note that these services usually charge an upfront fee as well as recurring fees each month. I cannot justify paying a high price for items that I might not even like or use! 🤦‍♀️

Note: I want to make a clear distinction between subscription boxes and subscription services. We have access to Netflix and at one point, we paid for a Spotify account. We are thinking about renewing the Spotify subscription since my husband regularly uses that platform. We also have a Costco membership and I finally upgraded to a Premium WordPress Plan last year. When I was in nursing school, I subscribed to www.nursng.com after failing a clinical rotation in Spring 2019. At one point, I also subscribed to www.coursehero.com and even uploaded my own summary notes to share with other students. Subscription services are valuable tools when used for their intended purpose.

3. Bottled Water When you stop and think about it, it is pretty insane to pay for water when you can get it for free out of your tap. Sure, bottled water isn’t bad for you; there are worse things that you could be drinking such as soda or beer. If you are not active enough to need a drink with extra electrolytes and if drinking from a reusable bottle helps reduce your plastic consumption, then why would you bother spending money on something that is so easily accessible? The water you get from your faucet is much more affordable and safer for you. Also, by using a reusable water bottle like this one, you’ll be saving money as well as doing your part for Mother Earth. 🌎

4. Starbucks Did you really think that I was only going to throw shade at Bath & Body Works? I also like the fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks, especially their Frappuccinos. The vanilla whipped cream is absolutely divine! ❤ Plus, if you are anything like me, I do not go to Starbucks just to order a basic cup of coffee. I usually go to Starbucks to spend money on these fancy, empty-calorie Frappuccinos which typically cost around $5.50 -7.50 CAD. I prefer to save these treats only for special occasions rather than treat myself every time I go to the mall or local Starbucks coffee shop. ☕💕

If you are a coffee drinker like my husband, getting a good cup of coffee doesn’t require waiting in line. It just requires learning how to make a good cup of coffee at home. Next time you are shopping, skip the Starbucks line and make coffee at home. If Starbucks coffee is your thing (for the record, MCDs coffee is my thing), you can buy the coffee beans and make it at home for a fraction of the price. Even Costco sells Starbucks coffee beans. There is really no excuse to buy takeaway coffee anymore.

5. Alcohol This is an easy one to add to the list because I was never really a fan of alcohol. I don’t understand the hype around it, I don’t like how it makes me feel, and I don’t crave alcohol like some people do. Sugar on the other hand is a different story, which you can read about here. Personally, I think that there is too much sugar in alcohol, which is not limited to Vex, Smirnoff, and those cocktails with cute little umbrellas! I am tired of harping on the fact that alcohol isn’t good for your health and overall wellbeing. When you think about it, what kind of benefit does consuming alcohol bring? None that I can think of…. so yeah, I seldom drink alcohol 🙄 I would suggest cutting out alcohol from your budget if you are looking to save some money. It is an easy way to pocket extra cash without feeling like you are missing out on anything. There are other ways that you can socialize with people: going for walks, playing board games, or setting up a game night at home. Remember, you don’t have to stop socializing altogether.

👉 Image: I went on a trip to NYC with Nick and his friends, but I don’t remember what year this was 🤷‍♀️

Choosing to live a simpler, more intentional life is a conscious decision that affects each and every choice we make. Try thinking about the things that you can live without, specifically things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. What are some items that you no longer buy? Let me know by joining the conversation below ↓ I look forward to reading your comments.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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De-crapify Your Habitat: The Basics

Ever since we moved into our new house, we have been in the process of making this place feel like home. The previous owners did a great job renovating the place, which won my heart since the minute I stepped through the front door. Each room was pleasantly inviting and tastefully decorated.

Since the day we moved in, I have been trying to re-create that same feeling. It is incredible how a seemingly large, empty room looks so spacious when nothing is occupying that space vs. having a house full of crap stuff. So this begs the question: how do we keep our new house organized and my stress levels in check? 

Home Sweet Home

Cleaning has always been a challenge for me and I feel like I have ADHD when it comes to cleaning and organizing, because I have such a hard time focusing on any given task. I never understood people who actually enjoy taking part in cleaning rituals or people who have picture-perfect homes, like the previous house owners. Since moving last month, I have unintentionally manifested secret junk drawers. They appear out of nowhere and the universe seems to think that I need them in my life.

Personally, I do not think that my family will ever learn how to keep a house tidy like Marie Kondo, or learn to love cleaning/organizing despite our best efforts. My fantasy self would suggest otherwise. My fantasy self adheres to a list of rules that will change your life, such as the one I am going to share with you below ↓ Take my list with a grain of salt, since I have yet to figure out how this list has made any lasting impact in my personal life. I’ll go on these cleaning sprees until I burn myself out, only to relapse and become mentally lazy.

Disclaimer: I created this list from a bunch of different sources and kept it on my phone, untouched for years. And like any organizational expert such my fantasy self would tell you, one also needs to focus on removing digital clutter. Therefore, I am releasing it into the universe so that I can finally delete it from my phone, once and for all. Welcome to my little corner of the internet! 👼

Does This List Really Work? 🤷‍♀️

(✿◠‿◠)Why don’t you try it for yourself and let me know if it works! 

1. Make your bed every day.
2. Put toys in a designated spot; use a storage system if that is an option.
3. Garbage belongs in the garbage.
4. Remove the dishwasher after wash cycle is complete. Load the dishwasher as you go and clean the counter top when you are finished cooking. Aim for #sink-zero every night.
5. Keep the bathroom countertop clutter free if possible. Wipe down with antibacterial wipes. Wipe the toilet and scrub the toilet.
6. Do one load of laundry every day. (2-3 times per week for us)
7. Keep kitchen countertop clutter free. Spray antibacterial in the sink.
8. Vacuuming the floor and heavy duty areas (kitchen and dining areas) once every day. Keep the floor clutter free and remove clutter as you go.
9. Shoe organization. Get some cheap storage baskets with a nice lining and/or a shoe rack!
10. Take care of the mail as soon as it enters the house.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

Since moving into our new house, I am still in the process of de-cluttering a lot of rooms. I have seen other bloggers post before and after photos which is a nice idea, but my after photos look just like my before photos. A preschooler does an excellent job of re-crapifying every nook and cranny. As I dig deeper into my strong desire to keep my home clutter-free, I am learning more about myself in the process. It took me years to finally realize that clutter heightens my already high anxiety levels. When I eventually figure out how to de-crapify my habitat once and for all, I will be the first one to write a ground-breaking blog post about it.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

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No Shows Really Blow

My laptop is still causing problems so I haven’t been posting as often as I would like. Thank you for being patient with me as I attempt to solve these issues (thank you, handyman husband, for your help in this matter). I am in no hurry to buy a new laptop as I am taking the Frugalwoods Approach to live on a simple budget and making do with what I have.

Kijiji is a Godsend

Some of you may know that I recently embarked on a Kijiji journey as a way to embrace minimalism. I am forever grateful that such a platform exists for us Canadians, where we can attempt to hand our crap over to the next guy in exchange for cold hard cash. The truth is summed up perfectly in this famous quote:

b6e33-o2bo2bh2bh2bl2ba2bl2ba2b-2bc2bo2bmRather than pawn off overpriced junk like the majority of people like to do, I intend to sell my sentimental items at significantly reduced prices because donating was out of the question. These things are still dear to me and have a value attached to them, so knowing that there is a risk that these items could end up in the landfill if I were to donate them makes me feel uneasy. Knowing that someone actually wants to pay money for these items helps me let go of both my physical and mental clutter which is preventing me from discovering my true passions and desires in life. It is my way of saying goodbye to these things in a respectful way, which is a concept that Marie Kondo emphasizes.

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We all gotta start somewhere. During the decluttering process, you might benefit from reading this book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

But Then Again, No.

The thought of meeting a stranger doesn’t have to be scary as long as you listen to your intuition and take measures to protect yourself from the scammers and creepers. If anything feels off to you, listen to your gut because it’s probably right. I cannot stress how important it is to have a buddy with you if you are selling to a stranger. Never go alone because you don’t know who you’re dealing with.

🍁 Protect yourselves, my Canadian friends! 🍁

If someone tries to lowball you by offering to pay a price that is significantly lower than what you listed, kindly tell them to GTFO. Seriously, you’ll get good at saying NO to people. I block lowballers because I cannot deal with people who do not take me seriously, and why should I? Lowballing is rude, especially when I have listed my prices competitively low, to begin with. Also, I get the sense that people who cannot pay my asking price don’t actually have the money which is a red flag.

Last but not least, be prepared to be disappointed. People will inevitably bail on you at the last minute or fail to show up at all, hence a “no show.” This actually happened to me yesterday evening. I did not encounter issues with my first customer but my second customer was a different story. She texted me 10 minutes before meeting up to see if I was open to an e-transfer, mind you, for an item I was selling for $7.00. I refuse to do e-transfers because I prefer simple transactions involving cash. Cash is a language everyone understands; either you have it or you don’t.

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All the new Canadian bills looking pretty. Photo credit by Reddit User Zingledorf

I thought her request was suspicious as I proceeded to tell her that there are ATM’s where we were meeting. She gave me some lame excuse as to how she doesn’t have time to go to the bank and get the money. Not to mention that my husband and I drove 30 minutes out of our way to meet her at a location she requested, which was clearly a mistake on our end.

Anyways, I was aggravated by her bailing on me so I ended up stuffing my face with Bulk Barn treats which is something I regretted afterward. Bulk Barn is another Godsend store in Canada, for those who choose to eat their feelings when their emotions get the best of them. In my case, I felt a mix of frustration, anger, and disappointment which translated into sour cola gummies, sour berry gummies, sour cherry gummies and clusters of OMG goodness (not entirely sure what they are but they’re divine). Fortunately, the prices are reasonable and you control how much you buy since everything is weighed.

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Enjoying the beautiful Cotton Candy Sunset last night while typing out the rough draft on my balcony. Sometimes I need to reconnect with nature to overcome writer’s block! 🌸

If you are Canadian, I am curious to know whether or not you have tried Kijiji as a buyer or seller. If you aren’t Canadian, have you used Craigslist or other apps like Let Go? What were your experiences like? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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My Favourite Things

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I was inspired to write this blog post after reading Rebecca’s blog post called My Favorite Things. She runs a blog called Minimalism My Way and I encourage you to check out her blog. If you would like to learn more about minimalism, she provides a detailed explanation of what minimalism is.

I think that we share a lot common. We both listen to The Minimalists podcasts which originally inspired Rebecca to write her blog post. Rebecca writes:

I was listening to a podcast earlier from the Minimalists (those guys who made the Netflix documentary) that gave me the idea for this blog post.  They have a really great podcast that I highly recommend to anyone interested in the idea of minimalism.

Personally, I think that this idea is fantastic because it makes me think about things that are most essential in my life. Looking back a few years ago, my list has changed quite a bit. People have the misconception that I still have an obsession with Hello Kitty which is not true. I stopped collecting Hello Kitty stuff years ago because I got bored of collecting and the clutter gives me anxiety. Everyone is unique so it’s understandable that we different tastes and preferences!

When you think about your favorite things, I want you to consider these questions: What things truly spark joy in your life? What items do you use the most? What items can’t you live without?

Here is a list of my favourite things which are in no particular order. Similar to Rebecca’s list, I also chose 5 items to include in my list of favourite things.

Coffee Mug

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This is definitely my favourite mug by far. I bought it from Bed, Bath and Beyond because it was on sale. I wanted a nice, tall mug for my coffee and this mug has served its purpose for 3 years and counting. I also like that it wishes me Happy Birthday everyday  because why not celebrate 365 days of the year?

Essential Oils

img_3353-1Can you tell that I really like the essential oils from The Body Shop? I have other essential oils but these ones are the best in my opinion. I first discovered them at a friend’s house and I’ve been hooked ever since. The scents are refreshing and different than what you would typically find elsewhere: boring lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

Please do not burn these scents using a candle and traditional clay diffuser. For best results, they are meant to be diffused in water. In the background, you can see the diffuser that I use. 🌱

My Cat

Meet Timon, the latest addition to our family!

My daughter and Timon the cat posing for an Easter photo.

We recently adopted an 18-month domestic short-hair cat from the shelter and named him Timon after the Lion King. I got him to help me cope with my depression because I know the therapeutic benefits of owning a pet. Timon brings me a lot of joy and I’m generally happier these days because of the cat.

PS4 and Okami HD

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Screenshots of the game taken on my iPhone. It took me 60 hours to beat the game for PS4. I did not collect all of the stray beads but I collected what I could.

I cannot express how much I love this game but it’s A LOT ❤️ I had this game for PS2 and loved it so much that my husband bought me the PS4 version so I could relive the nostalgia. The HD makes this game even more beautiful than it already is. The soundtracks are pure bliss to the ears and the artwork is easy on the eyes. There’s a lot of demons and evil things lurking this game so I wouldn’t recommend it for really young kids. In summary, you are a wolf God your job is to rid the evil and restore everything to normal using your celestial brush techniques.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Adult Coloring

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Adult coloring postcard I completed and sent to a lady living in a retirement home. I never heard back from her and still think about her to this day.

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Another adult coloring postcard that I mailed to a friend for her birthday! 🍍

Even though adult coloring is more of an abstract concept than a thing, I felt that adult coloring deserved to be included in my list of favourite things. This hobby is something that I personally enjoy doing and it brings me joy. Personally, I don’t collect adult coloring books or use them because they add unwanted clutter to my house. Instead, I try to buy adult coloring postcards, cards, and stickers (I’m not making this up!) to color and mail to pen pals who are living in Canada and the US. I hope to send mail to other countries one day but I haven’t had the energy or the mindset to adult color my worries away in the most recent months.

What are some of your favorite things? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Goodbye Materialism, Hello Happiness

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2017 was the year that I finally set myself free from materialism and it was the best decision I ever made 🙌.

Believe it or not, there was a time when I spent [most of] my birthday and Christmas ca$h on materialistic items in an attempt to momentarily feel happy. Over the years, especially during my college years, I learned that wasting money on impulse purchases not only burns a hole in my wallet but my bank account takes the final blow as a consequence for my poor decisions.

Luckily, I learned the value of money from an early age. My parents taught me that money does not grow on trees and if I want something badly enough, then I need to work hard for it. There is a misconception that only children are spoiled, selfish brats, which may be true for some kids, but I do not consider myself to fit that stereotype. Honestly, it infuriates me when people assume that I possess this quality just because I “appear” to be spoiled, whatever that is supposed to mean.

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Window shopping at the Mall of America in 2017. I left the store empty-handed even though these stuffies are cute. 🍌🎂

Be-grateful_Daily-Inspiration_The-Red-Fairy-ProjectA turning point occurred prior to moving out and living life as a 20-something independent post-graduate just trying to make it on her own, alongside her soulmate. Honestly, I could not imagine my life without my husband. I often wonder, where would I be today had I not met him? Would I still be living with my parents, hiding in my room all day, while caught in a mess of never-ending-drama-infused-quarrels among my friends, especially online? Social media was definitely my fuel for real-time connection, but was I really connecting authentically?

Unlike most of my peers, I try my best to detach myself from ego, likes, and popularity contests. Seeking approval and searching for happiness that is purely ego-driven is a pathetic way to live and sadly, too many people choose to base their happiness on external validation. I see it way too often, especially among my close friends, where their motives are purely ego-driven and they base their self-worth on the number of likes they get on an Instagram or Facebook photo. Personally, I am relieved to have left this realm where I no longer have the need to participate in this glass-ceiling dream of egotistical satiety or having to impress people I don’t like with stuff I cannot afford.

News flash! the ego is never satisfied. 😱

Throughout my young life, I have been trying to please other people and conform because I wanted to fit in. If normal is seeking everyone else’s approval while failing to love ourselves, if normal is relying on external validation such as the number of likes or comments or shallow happy birthday wishes we get once a year from people we barely know IRL, if normal is wasting countless nights dwelling on our past mistakes and wondering why we were ghosted by whatshername, then I don’t want to be normal. I don’t want that extra baggage weighing me down. The moment you realize that none of this stuff matters (external validation) is the moment you will set yourself free and start living a better life.

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I’ve only been to the Mall of America once in my lifetime and I would like to go back one day.

I am curious to know whether or not you embrace minimalism. Also, what are your thoughts about seeking social media validation? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Less Is More

Ever notice that you have more abundance when you stop trying so hard? This is a phenomenon I have been experiencing lately. In a nutshell, if you have less expectations, you’ll naturally attract more opportunities into your life. Here are a few examples: 

Example 1 A month ago I flirted with minimalism and started decluttering my house, thanks to Frugalwoods. To this day, I am still living by these new frugal standards and believe I am starting to form a lasting habit. Even though it’s only been a month, I am feeling significantly happier. New items seem to welcome themselves into our home without my warm embrace, so I am constantly looking for old items to purge. It’s not any less cluttered in our small apartment dwelling than it was before, but I now have a grip on the stuff that naturally has a tendency to cling. And this is VERY freeing.

Example 2 I thought that it would be fun to try selling my unwanted items locally. These days, there are various apps that can assist in such a task such as Letgo and VarageSale. In theory, this concept seems pretty straight forward. 1. Post your items 2. Write a bad-ass advertisement 3. Pray that someone messages you 4. Profit $$$. What they don’t tell you is that small town dwellers will have a difficult time selling on these sites. The reality is that you probably won’t get the messages that you’ve been hoping for and you may end up wondering if your stuff actually does suck despite the great ad you poured your heart and soul into.

I have some good news for you. There is hope and it doesn’t have to be this difficult. Do yourself a huge favor and ditch the apps. Sell within marketplace garage sale groups where people actually congregate. Think Facebook garage sales. Post your ad there and walk away. It’s that simple. People will actually flock to you because Facebook is the place where most people spend their free time and likely stumble upon your stuff.

Example 3 A month ago, I also made the commitment to cut my spending habits which meant no more junk food purchases except for the occasional treat. I am very bad at keeping track of my spending habits so I write everything down. This method helped me see where I was spending money and made me conscious of the junk food I was treating myself to on a weekly basis daily basis. In reality, my “occasional treat” was really my every-other-day treat or days-when-I’m-stressed treat or I’m-freezing-I-need-a-fancy-hot-beverage treat. By slashing my spending habits in half, I also managed to lose a few post-partum pounds with minimal effort.

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Christmas came early this year 😀

Example 4 Opposites attract. Literally. After I stopped buying junk food, we still seemed to welcome a lot of treats into our house from external sources. Mall trick or treating, candy given to me parents, the in laws etc. I mean, look at this candy! This is candy I accumulated without spending a cent. I believe that if treats are given to you, then it is perfectly acceptable to eat and enjoy them without guilt. Savor the moment and all of the good that comes from giving (and receiving). Both sides can be sweet.