Re-Setting Minimalist Mindset

Overwhelm is something that I have felt often. Much of my life has been spent trying for perfection and attempting to do it all. The unnecessary busyness, hustle and constantly feeling like I’ve fallen short has been enough to take my breath away.

Minimalism is my go-to when life just gets out of control. I was on my minimalism kick last year and then everything got chaotic again. My body began giving out, my mind was spinning, and my body got really sick.

I’m re-dedicating myself to minimalism because I have to. The switch from chaos/clutter/busyness to being content with less take a while to feel comfortable for me, because I’m so used to having the feeling of stress and a long to-do list. Although, it immediately brings relief, it still leaves me with a feeling of emptiness. That emptiness feeling can sometimes backfire, and make me go back to my old ways. My old ways of filling my time with unnecessary tasks, spending, and obsessing.

It’s totally worth the work because at the end of the day, all I’m really trying to do is to feel comfortable in my own skin and to feel relaxed in everything that I do.

Here’s what I’m currently focusing on in my minimalist re-set:

Less Social Media

I deactivated my Facebook account last year and it was wonderful. It didn’t take long to forget about it. Now that I have reactivated my account, I’d like to keep it open, just check-in less. I do love feeling connected and to use it as a means of entertainment, but nothing else. Once I start feeling like I have to compete with others, or when I feel like my life is not adding up to others – it’s time to unplug.

Decluttering and Cleaning up my Home

Ok, I’m a pro at decluttering. I am not scared to get garbage bags and chunk it away. However, when I lose sight of my ‘why’ I tend to go back shopping and over spending. Instead of rushing through my cleaning and decluttering, I am working on really doing this mindfully and soaking up the idea that this is a lifestyle, not a one time purge (I’ve made this mistake A LOT).

Staying with the Moment

One of the main reasons I am re-setting my minimalist mindset and doing less is because I have been going through the motions. Not truly listening and hearing my loved ones. I’ve been so exhausted and glassy-eyed recently that I literally ‘look through’ my loved ones when they are talking to me. Folks, I do what I do for them. My exhaustion and busyness is no longer an excuse to not hear what someone is telling me, not taste my meal, and to forget whether or not I brushed my teeth in the morning.

Doing Less

I gave up my side job. And although my money is way less now, I  already feel SO much better. That little additional paycheck is not even close to worth the stress it was bringing me. My resolve? Buy less.

Drinking More Water

I don’t eat many carbs a day. Sugar and start make me feel bad. However, I am addicted to diet sodas and Splenda sweet tea. I’ve been getting a lot of headaches and feeling pretty run down lately, and I am certain that the amount of artificial sweetener and dehydration is playing a part. So, I’m going to keep water with me during the day instead of sodas.

Teaching My Children More Independence

I’ve always been pretty big on this, but they are getting a little older now and at the age when they can help around the house a lot. Basically, if they can do it themselves, I am going to encourage them. I have been slipping on this because it takes less time for me to simply do the task then to walk my children through the how-to or raise the bar on my expectation as a parent. Now that I am giving up my side job, getting my house organized, and focusing on the moment, I can walk them through a task and have more patience with their reluctance than I could when I was working 12+ hours a day. I can not slack on this anymore because ‘I’m too busy’ because #1 it’s exhausting me having to do everything and #2 it is one of my main goals as a parent to teach my kids independence.

Loving Myself, My Body, and Practicing Self Care

This really needed to be at the top of the list. I’ve neglected my body and mind for far too long. I’ve spent waaaay too much money on beauty products and clothing trying to ‘feel pretty’ when in fact, I didn’t need to. Also, I need to raise my girls loving their body and showing them that the American Standard for beauty is ridiculous and will really, really mess with their self esteem as it did mine. I’m trying to un-do these feelings. As a matter of fact, I only wore mascara today to prove a point to myself. The No Makeup Movement is probably something I am going to experiment with and explore hard and heavy as well. Because we are all beautiful and deserve to love ourselves.

Wow, that list was long but I have a heavy heart and a lot of physical and mental clutter to process. All of these things are totally attainable and I am 100000% on board.

I also want to help others feel good about themselves, their belongings, and their life. Truly, less IS more.

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No Poo: Holy Hairballs!

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HOLY HAIRBALLS!

I woke up this morning to some fierce curly, scraggly bedhead as you can obviously see in the top picture.

Hmph. How in the world can I tame that beast?

My no poo journey has been crazy the last few weeks. My hair has it’s own personality and zip code apparently. I can never predict what I will find in the mornings because it has different looks, body, curl, oil, frizz, tameability each and every day. It’s like I get to open a surprise gift every time I look in the mirror.

So, from the bottom-left pic was my hair natural yesterday. I did a no poo, water only rinse last night and let air dry. I slept with it in a loose, high bun then woke up and BAM! There was no hope or scrunching that could make this presentable for the work day so I flat ironed it. You can see by the pics that the transformations go from one extreme to the other.

I really hated to do that but I wasn’t left with much of a choice. I didn’t leave the heat on long and really just knocked it back a little.

My hair today (pic on bottom-right) has a lot of body but feels like straw. It’s so dried out. It’s crunchy-fried, seriously.

The hair transition is intense and 99.9% probable that it will happen should you decide to go poo free. But, if you are like me and what you have been doing in the past just isn’t working – it’s worth a try.

Tonight I plan on brushing with my boar bristle brush really good to distribute the oils and just doing a water rinse again.

Enjoy Food: Roasted Sesame Seed Edamame

It’s nice to take time to slow down and enjoy a filling, colorful food. For so long I have eat on the run or I’m famished by mealtime that the food is scarfed down without any thought.

My diet is pretty simple. I don’t eat sugar, so most of my meals are meats and veggies. This allows me to experiment with new recipes and ingredients like: cauliflower mashed potatoes or roasted sesame seed edamame or learning how to cook using coconut flour.

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It takes a little creativity sometimes, but the results are amazing.

I’m no picky eater and love to expand my palette. I’m a long-time lover of edamame (salted straight from the pod is delicious!) so trying them roasted with sesame seeds was pretty much a no-brainer.

You should try it: 

  • (1) bag frozen & shelled edamame
  • (1) tbsp olive, grapeseed, or sesameseed oil (or really, whatever oil you prefer)
  • (2) tbsp sesame seeds (my new addiction! so good)
  • salt + pepper to taste

Thaw edamame under warm water. Put on baking pan – I use wax paper to keep food from sticking: totally optional – and toss ingredients. Roast in 400* oven for 15 minutes. Eat + experience bliss.

I really loved these with the grapeseed oil, salt + pepper, and sesame seeds prior to roasting the best. I couldn’t quit eating it! It was amazing roasted too, though.

15 Things You Should Stop Putting Yourself Through

This has inspired me and it outlines pretty much all 15 things that I want to change and how I want to view my life. Slowly, I am getting there.

I didn’t want to lose this list because it has serious empowerment behind it. I will come back to it again & again.

Very nicely written and speaks to my entire heart & soul.

Our Better Health

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

A lot of people put themselves through unnecessary pain because of the many unhealthy thoughts, beliefs and behaviors they have. They are so unconscious of their unconsciousness that they blame outside forces for how unhappy they are… They want the world to stop hurting them, when in fact they themselves are hurting themselves.

We are the center of our own personal universe. The thoughts we think, the words we speak, the beliefs we hold and the things we do, they all set the tone for how people, and life in general will treat us… If we want the world to stop treating us unkindly, we have to make sure that we ourselves stop doing the things that cause us pain and…

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No Poo / Lo Poo Honey Rinse: Feeling Rebellious

The driving force behind my reasons for simplifying is easy: I want to free up valuable time to focus on what matters most in my life, like:

  • Extra snuggles with my daughter
  • Relaxing and enjoying quality time with my husband
  • Creating memories in a peaceful home
  • Learn new things: Yoga & experimenting with sugar-free meals
  • Time to read more books & drink coffee on the front porch swing

I don’t want material things, actually. Since my late teens I have strived for things. But, behind it all was just me – searching for peace and happiness.

Life is finally calming down some as I get back control of my time and have been following my heart.

One of the reasons I am switching to a lo poo / no poo hair routine is to save time primping and to also learn to love my God-Given body and features.

That sounds like an easy task and we all know we should love ourselves no matter what, but it’s not that simple.

My goal is to put my focus on things that truly matter to me, and less focus on trying to enhance my looks for other people to judge me.

Once we love ourselves and get out of our own head and break the cycle of negative thoughts, we can and will find more happiness. I know this because I am focusing on it and starting to finally experience it!

When you want to change something about your life it’s time to take action.

It’s scary to get out of our comfort zones and change up routines. But, when it gets to the point that what you keep doing just doesn’t work — try something else.

This is why I have chosen to experiment with natural hair care. As of 2 weeks ago I would have never ever ever ever ever considered this.

I was a twice a day shampoo washer, a twice a day blow-dryer, and an every day flat iron user. Thousands of dollars have been wasted on hair potions, creams, conditioners, extentions, and frizzers. And to top it all off, I had to tease my hair at the roots and sometimes down the shafts to get any body at all.

Then, it all changed when my hair started breaking off at the roots a few weeks ago.

It only seemed like the next step to change everything about my hair care. Since I am stopping fighting my life and going with the flow {and enjoying it} why not use that mantra with my hair?

I’m in love with the results so far. My natural hair is not perfect, but neither am I nor anyone else. I feel rebellious just being me letting it all hang out & my hair and body do what it wants when it wants to.

I’m tired of fighting. Truly, I feel free.

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Pic on left is before I started no/lo poo. It was flat ironed and dried out – also teased like no body’s business just to have that little bit of volume as well as ‘back comb product’ and hair spray to keep give it the tiniest lift at the roots.

On the right is freshly lo poo’d with Burt’s Bees shampoo + raw honey rinse the night before, slept on {up in a bun & soft elastic hair tie}, un-brushed proudly, barely hand scrunched, & air dried.

I’ve been tweaking my routine and experimenting with my natural hair, so I have done several different options. It’s been kind of like this the last week and a half:

1. I stopped using reg shampoo/conditioner and washed with Burt’s Bees shampoo & conditioner. Left my hair heavy and oily and gross the next day as my hair wigged out and started transitioning. No hair dryer or flat iron/curling iron: only air dried.

2. Washed my hair another day or two with Burt’s Bees and it still felt too weighed down. Then tried washing with water only {no poo!} and loved the result. My hair was curly, less frizz, and had natural body that I didn’t even know existed with my hair. No hair dryer or flat iron/curling iron: only air dried.

3. Continued washing with water only. This worked well for about 3 days. My hair had lot’s of hold and body and held natural curl pretty well. On the second day, I added the tiniest drop of grapeseed oil {all I had on hand} to the bottom of my hair only, because my ends were crispy-dry. It helped moisturize and curls bounced back up.

4. Hair started smelling like stroooong hair smell. I couldn’t handle it! Added essential oil {lemon & lavender}, but still – yuck.

5. Purchased a cheap boar bristle brush to help distribute oils.

6. Brushed hair for the first time in about 4 days with boar bristle brush before washing it. I used my Burt’s Bees Shampoo and also did a raw honey wash/rinse afterward. It cleaned my hair really well, made it soft and curly and smelled fresh while still having body. It’s a little frizzier than it was yesterday, but I am only going to be doing a no poo {water only} wash for the next few days so I expect the frizz to be more controlled by tomorrow.

Considered doing the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse that’s so popular but kind of hesitant now because I could get a whiff of the raw honey rinse as my hair was drying. It was pleasant and sweet. People say you can’t smell the vinegar, but I’m not too sure – although, haven’t tried it yet.

My hair is different each day. It has a different personality and shows when it wants too. I am loving the body and curls so far. As of now, I do not plan on going to back to reg shampoo any time soon since I’ve made it through a good bit of transition and the oils are getting better.

I’m a believer for now! I plan on experimenting and playing and learning to love my natural locks.

I’ve yet to use any curling iron or flat iron, but I may try to add a little curl before I clean my hair again just to see how it does!

Have you ever considered doing this? If what you are doing now isn’t working for you – it may be time to experiment and try something else.

All Natural Soap: Gonna Try It – Patchouli Zum Bar

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Indigo Wild: Zum Bar Website

Perhaps my dry, itchy, bumpy, splotchy skin is due to all the freakin’ harsh soaps I have been slathering on every day. Currently, I am using hubs Irish Spring bar soap because we have like, 10 left and also I guess my laziness is in rare form.

Unfortunately, my skin is in some rough shape.

Look, I hate lotion. Always have. It is only when it is a critical necessity for me to even put it on. So, my skin is dried out.

In the past, I have been to dermatologists and doctors with my splotchy skin. They say it’s a type of fungus (ew!) that can really only be treated with a pill that they will not give me because apparently it wrecks your reproductive system. I even begged before and their answer was no, slather Selsom Blue shampoo -yep, the stinky, sticky, bright blue one- on your skin and leave it. Treat 3 times a day for however long it takes. Yeah, I did that one time and quit.

Anyway.

Sometimes exfoliating helps, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s worse in the heat, and sometimes it’s not even on me.

I’ve learned that it’s just a part of me by now, but what if it has to do with the chemicals I add on my skin every day?

Possible.

So, I am excited to try this Zum Bar all natural soap and see if it makes a difference. It would be ah-maz-ing if it clears up my skin as well as moisturizes naturally.

And, with the intro on their website saying “You’re gonna have a happy ending with Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Soap” how can I resist, really?

It’s 100% pure essential oil with goat’s milk. Easy enough.

I chose this one to start because it smells really earthy and delicious and I’m into that so…

Here’s what they say:

PATCHOULI

For all who enjoy rich, earthy smells— think freshly potted plants, autumn leaves and mud baths. Just a bit hippie-ish, but still delish. An ancient remedy for everything from nausea to eczema.

Yep- that’s what I’m searching for!

Also, I’m still doing the Caveman Regimen on my face and it is working out really well! Redness is going away and the oil is starting to wind down. I use only water to wash still, but have added a soft baby rag to gently wipe my face. The improvement on my face in only a week is what has inspired me to go natural on my body. Hope to see the same results! We shall see.

*this is not a review or anything. I am trying this on my own free will and will let you know how it goes.

No Poo: Hair that Smells like Hair – Pics & Weekend Updates

Ladies, imagine only taking 15 minutes to shower and primp in the mornings instead of 45-60 minutes. What would you do with your extra time?

I either use that time to be productive: put dinner in the crock pot or to chill: sip coffee on the front porch or do a little yoga.

My journey to simplicity has been a messy one, but the one thing I can say is that I love with a fiery passion extra time in my schedule. It recently dawned on me that I have been spending at least 6 hours a week on primping before work. That is almost a full nights rest or a full days work-for-pay.  Time that is being used to get ready for work. Work to pay for the beauty products and make-up that I keep using in this vicious cycle.

Ew.

When I think of it that way it really makes me question why I am putting this kind of time into my daily routine.

I can still do the same amount of paid-for work without going all out on my looks, so why then am I wasting time on primping?

Which, let’s be serious. I love dolling up and stuff like that. A lot of girls do. But, at what expense?

I had fun this weekend experimenting with my lo poo and no poo routines. In the beginning I was using Burt’s Bees Shampoo & Conditioner. I didn’t love-love it. It felt a little waxy and of course my hair started getting oily during the transition.

So, I figured I would attempt using no poo at all. Simply water and that’s it.

The result was aweeeesome!

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I had double the natural body upon air drying. And a lot of natural curl. I have never, ever had this kind of body and curl naturally.

Sold!

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Above is the closeup of the curl and body.

I’m starting my second week of going natural and it’s been interesting. I’ve enjoyed it, but I am also way out of my comfort zone.

My hair is not as oily at this point (still more oily than usual), but that is OK. It gives me a lot of body and grit to work with, naturally. I used to have to tease my hair to get body at my roots — not any more that’s for sure!

I have not used a hair dryer or flat iron/curling iron in several days now.

My hair air dries and it is pretty funny how depending on the day, my hair does it’s own thing!

Here’s me air drying after rinsing my hair with water only. This is about the 3rd day of only washing my hair with water. Not as curly & starting to dry out at the ends. I ended up adding the tiniest dab of grapeseed oil to the ends & it helped bring the curl back and moisturize.

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Today it is unusual because I actually smell my hair. It’s not nasty or funky or gross, it literally smells like hair.

I’m not digging it – at all. I added lavender essential oil this morning, but the scent went away pretty fast. Now every once in a while I get a whiff of hair.

TONIGHT I AM WASHING IT! LIKE, WITH SOMETHING BESIDES WATER!

I’m trying a raw honey mixture. This will be the first time and I am excited to see what it does.

All in all so far I love using water only instead of the natural Burt’s Bees shampoos.

But, this hair smell though…

I hate to eat my words, but I am pretty sold on giving up chemical products. This is really working out well as far as body and texture goes! Very happy with the results! Plus, my oils are evening out so I am not so self conscious.

Also, I am still using my all natural body soaps – Zumbar and doing the Caveman Regimine with my face (water only). Loving them both and my skin is slowly improving.

Past no poo journey posts here:

Week 1 Update

Switching to Natural Hair & Face Care

Reason I’m Switching to Natural Hair Care

I have yet to tell anyone what I am doing and so far no one has even made a comment on my minimal make-up: cinnamon on my cheeks and mascara or eyeliner – no foundation and hair: no poo, air dried, no heat or style.

Perhaps I am the only one paying attention and wasting time in front of the mirror?