Lifestyle, Minimalism

10 Things I Do Now That I’m A Minimalist

Ever since I decided to practice minimalism & live a more intentional & simple life, I’ve noticed so any wonderful changes. My perspective on life is quite different now that I don’t revolve it around consumerism & “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Although it may seem abnormal to go against the grain & live happier with less, I strongly believe EVERYONE would benefit by just simply adding one of these changes into their lives. Here are 10 Things I Do Now That I’m a Minimalist

1. I Look For New Experiences

When I stopped wanting for the next trendy piece or expensive item, I realized adding these things into my life left me feeling empty. Or, they would bring me joy for a short period of time but I would quickly want the next best thing. Instead, I look for new experiences to enrich my life & help me grow. And when I talk about experiences, I don’t just mean extravagant vacations overseas. I also mean local adventures like hidden hiking trails, new restaurants & activities. Simply trying a new drink on the Starbucks menu counts as a new experience. I’m more inclined to spend money on these forms of happiness than material items that just sit in my home because it’s another story to tell. It’s an added memory that makes us who we are or want to be.

2. I Actually Use Up Products I Buy

I try to adopt the rule of using what I have before I purchase a new one. It’s not to say, I don’t have a few backup products in the hall closet; but most duplicates are essential to daily living. I no longer experiment too often & I stick with what works. You know the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” That’s the mindset I try to keep when advertisements try to entice me with something new & trendy.

3. I No Longer Try To Keep Up With The Joneses

Comparison & competing with people is honestly so exhausting. You can never really keep up. And why are we so wired to prove things to people? We need to feel more content with the lives we create for ourselves. In a world where social media snatches joy from right under your feet, we can’t allow ourselves to see highlight reels as the only depiction of success. Wouldn’t it be more refreshing if people showed all sides to the story? And if you still find yourself comparing yourself to other’s feeds, maybe you need to consider getting rid of the platforms that aren’t serving you well. For instance, I deleted my Instagram & haven’t looked back since.

You Might Also Like: Social Media Detoxes Are Good For the Soul

4. I Enjoy The Little Things

I used to feel like my life had to be so extravagant. I had to spend tons of money, visit the most fancy locations for what? To show people I can? To make myself feel more whole? This year has taught me happiness can be found in such simple ways. I embrace that type of life now. I’ve become a real homebody. I don’t go searching for things to fill a void any longer. I’ve become a stronger person this way. And like I said about experiences, sometimes the more simple moments are the most precious.

5. I Have Better Relationships With People

I was someone who focused on my own happiness harder than others. Not in a spiteful way either. More like an oblivious way where I would stay in my own safe bubble. Now that I’m more aware, I ask people how they are doing more often. I listen to their stories instead of quickly telling them mine. I listen harder instead of being a burden. And sometimes keeping things to yourself is ok. There’s a difference between vulnerability & word vomit. Those who practice a minimalist lifestyle, tend to focus on decluttering material items. But the decluttering process can be useful for all aspects in your life. When you choose your friends wisely, the ones that remain can be the best ones for you.

6. I Know Who My Real Friends Are

I love the friendships that are there for your highs & your lows. The type of friends who love coming over your house, sit on the floor with a glass of wine & talk about life. Each stage holds different phases of friendships. They change & you evolve as well. Rarely does anything ever stay the same. Find the tribe of individuals that encourage you & show off your best self. Let go of everything else.

7. I Show More Confidence

When I was a teenager, I would get myself so upset if my outfit wasn’t perfect. I was too much of a try hard & honestly the outfits weren’t that great. I worried about not being pretty enough, not having the latest trends or whether people would notice of my boots were knockoffs. Now that I’m older my fashion sense has improved so much. The only reason for this is my sense of confidence has improved. I don’t own the most unique clothing pieces. But I know what works for me & I rock it.

You Might Also Like: How I Boosted My Confidence During a Pandemic Year

8. I Save Money

The amount of pointless purchases I’ve made in my life is astronomical. I try to be more intentional with my purchases. And no, the joggers from Target were probably not on my NEED list, but during quarantine, they were an essential. When I do decide to treat myself, I appreciate it more. Before, I would spend so often that I stopped being grateful. “Oh that $50 Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlight Palette? Trash! And like that palette, it just sat in my drawer untouched. I try to maintain the mindset of purchasing items that are purposeful, fit in my capsule wardrobe or would truly benefit me evolve as a person.

You Might Also Like: How To Save Money The Intentional Way

9. I Have Gratitude

That house you live in. The nice bedding you sleep on. The pets you own. Never take those things for granted. I used to have the mindset of always wanting the next best thing. Although I do own less, I’ve learned to really appreciate what I have. I still love owning nice things. I just don’t let them define who I am or my happiness. I try to keep things into perspective & prioritize the people, animals & experiences I have in my life above all else.

You Might Also Like: I Wrote in A Gratitude Journal For An Entire Year

10. I Live A Happier Life

Minimalism wasn’t the end all be all cure to my life but it has made me happier. I thought I knew what happiness was before, but I’m more enlightened. I didn’t realize I used material items to hide from my problems, my emotions & people. In no means am I a perfect person. I am still a work in progress. But I will say practicing this lifestyle has helped open my eyes to the important parts of life.

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-B

Lifestyle

How To Have a Minimalist Wedding

Our wedding was held on a “heat wave” of a day in Oklahoma surrounded by 75 of our friends & family. What started out as a rather large affair of inviting over 200 guests, slowly turned into the more intimate event I had always pictured for myself. Now, if you are unaware – we actually officially tied the knot on February 25th at our local courthouse. But on May 14th, we exchanged our own vows & hosted a much larger occasion which turned out to be a beautiful day!

As I’ve said before, I’m someone who had always pictured myself eloping to Vegas or some tropical destination, but of course – within all relationships, you need to compromise a bit & when my grandmother agreed to host the wedding at her estate, [ during a time where finding venues was rather hard thanks to the pandemic era we are still in], I felt it was the perfect sentimental way to bring together two families. Personally, I always thought I was going to be the type of bride who would love wedding planning since of my Type A nature & love for organization. But boy was I wrong! To be completely transparent with you, I’m so glad the wedding planning process is over. And although there are definitely many things we could have done differently, I couldn’t be happier with our wedding day. And I’m so grateful how intentional we remained throughout the process. Here’s how we kept our wedding minimal & ways you can implement minimalism into your special day.

Check out this blog post: How to Remain an Intentional Bride

Keep The Guest List Small

The fact we had a destination wedding & one during a pandemic definitely helped us keep our guest list to a low roar [ although we didn’t necessarily plan it that way]. By having less guests, it was easier to visit each table & have conversation with most of them. It’s so important to acknowledge those who have traveled all this way to celebrate you, & having a smaller guest list helped with this factor. A great way to keep the guest list smaller is limiting the number of guests per person. Really take into consideration the history you have with said guests, whether you know them well enough or if you’ve stayed in touch.

Only Family in Wedding Party

We decided early on to simply have family in the wedding party [ siblings, SIL’s & BIL’s ] because it was a lot easier in coordinating with everyone in terms of fittings & other wedding details along the way. We still invited all our closest friends & got awesome photos together. But this way, the stress of contacting more than seven people made the process a lot smoother. We knew family formals was a huge part the photography session, so having everyone match seemed like the smart move.

No Guest Favors

We nixed the concept of favors completely because I feel like most people leave them behind. Instead, we focused on items for the wedding party or family members with guitar themed socks for the guys, getting ready robes for the girls & my mom as well as matching earrings for the bridesmaids. My husband also chose to gift decanters to the groomsmen & his college friends [ which quite honestly was a TSA nightmare ]. We tried to have the mindset of choosing gifts they could use after the wedding.

No Kids Allowed

A tradition we completely ditched was not having a ring bearer or flower girl. We actually had a no young children policy because of the travel aspect. Although we love our nieces & nephews very much, we felt this was the better option for our situation. It allowed us to have a shorter ceremony & to party all night long.

Personal Sized Cake

Instead of a large wedding cake, we opted for a personalized red velvet cake & an array of favored cupcakes for the guests. This is such a perfect idea because you rarely eat the entire cake anyway. And I think we had tons of cupcakes leftover.

Simple Florals

I chose to have lots of greenery, babies breath as well as flowers in the shades of white, blush pink & burgundy. Our sweetheart table for example had merely greenery & a few candles over this white tablecloth. The yard itself with it’s natural landscapes were beautiful on there own, so there was very little to add. My favorite feature was our wedding arch or arbor. It gave an elegant yet rustic feel.

Sentimental Touches

One of the commonalities my husband and I share is the importance of sentimental value. Having the wedding at my grandparent’s home was a huge sentiment of course. But we also honored my dad through a bouquet locket of his photo, peonies in my bouquet in honor of my husband’s late grandfather, songs that represented loved ones who were with us in spirit, as well as writing our own vows. As you know, the loss of my father this past year has been a level of grief I’ve never experienced before. But the way he was honored this day was a beautiful thing with my brother & uncle giving the welcome speech & them along with my father’s surgical group walking me down the aisle was something for the books.

The Big Picture

Weddings are all about two families coming together as one & pronouncing your love for one another to the world. To find a love like we have found in each other is something I’m so grateful to have. Like part of our first dance goes, “somethings just go better together & probably always will.” I always knew Todd & I were destined for each other & would tie the knot eventually. And I’m so excited to finally announce I’m a whole damn wife! Here’s to the next chapter of our lives & all the adventures to come.

I’d love to keep the wedding series going, so please let me know what you’d like to see from me. I already have a few ideas in the works including a recap of our honeymoon in Maui as well as a “Wedding Things I Regret” or “Things That Wen’t Wrong” post. Be sure you are following me on social media to see photos from the wedding & Hawaii.

I’m so glad to be back on the blogging grind.

-B

blogmas, Lifestyle

How To Have a Stress Free Holiday Season

Does the holiday season stress you out? Do you tend to place far more expectations on yourself to please the people in your life? Maybe the trick behind easing that stress & worry is to think more like a minimalist. Here are 6 Ways on How To Have A Stress Free Holiday Season

Plan Ahead

I personally love getting most of my holiday shopping done 2 months before December. Why? So I can enjoy the holiday season & not feel stressed out. I’m not a procrastinator whatsoever, so I love planning early. I make a list of who I’m gifting, who we are sending cards to (if any) & the budget around everything else. Having a game plan like this can help you see what is necessary & what can be nixed.

Talk to Family Early

Along with this game plan, you need to discuss with family about gifts early & expectations. If you have a huge family, maybe suggest Secret Santas or White Elephant gift exchanges. Sometimes, you need to openly & honestly discuss your budget & thoughts around the holiday. The earlier you discuss this, the easier and less caught off guard people would be later on.

Have a Spending / Gift Limit

I think gift giving can become rather overwhelming and out of hand if you let it. I know when I’m shopping for a loved one, I tend to find tons of ideas. But I’ve learned I need to limit the amount to save money. And if there are people you can leave out of gift exchanges, do it. Instead of giving material items, you can simply spend more time with the person or surprise them with a future event. If you need gift ideas, check out my previous blogmas post on my Minimalist Gift Guide.

Focus on the Experiences More

You don’t always have to spend money on material items to show people you care about them. Christmas to me, is about spending time with the people you care about. And with it being pandemic times, seeing family & friends may be difficult. So plan a phone call or zoom get together. I remember around Easter, we had a zoom dinner with my boyfriend’s family & it was a great way to see everyone at a safe distance.

Be Intentional With Your Time & Energy

Like everything in life, you have to prioritize what matters to you. And remember, if you make everything important, nothing truly is. Make time for what YOU want to do for the holiday, not what other people think you should do. The holidays are supposed to be a fun time of year. Don’t stress yourself out with too much on your plate.

Listen To Your Heart

Along with being intentional, you also have to be true to yourself. I feel like the holidays can revolve around pleasing your family. And although it is important to honor your family members & loved ones & make time for them, you still need to follow your instinct of how you wish to celebrate. And this doesn’t make you selfish, you are simply honoring yourself as well as others. There’s a give and take with the holidays. But always remember, you can’t please everyone.

-B

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