Lifestyle

August WrapUp: Birthdays, Books & Getting My Life Together

I can’t believe we are wrapping up another month. I’m another year older, having turned 31 on the 9th & I’ve been trying my best to live more in the moment & enjoy the simpler things. This summer has been a time of healing & rest due to the sudden burst of grief after my wedding. Planning a wedding right after my dad passed away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. They say not to do anything huge the first year of grief, but I went a head & went full force into wedding planning mode. So, now I’ve been playing catch up & focusing on my own wellbeing these last few months. But I’ve also managed to incorporate tons of fun before the summer comes to a close. I want to thank LifeWithDeanna for inspiring me to write this blog post & start my own version of monthly wrap ups. If you haven’t checked out her content / blog please give her posts a read! She’s been one of my favorite bloggers at the moment!

What’s Been Fun This Month…

Towards the end of July, Todd & I went to a lantern festival in the city. Although it’s not an August highlight – I wanted to mention it because it was a wonderful experience that I highly recommend. When you arrive – you are given your own lantern to decorate. You are encouraged to draw any future wishes, past remembrances or anything that defines you. Once the sun went down – hundreds of us let our lit lanterns go into the water & watch them float. Be sure to check out my reel on the lantern festival here for a more in-depth look.

For my birthday, Todd & I ventured to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore the weekend before & ate lunch by the water. It was a rather hot one thanks to the continuous heat wave, but we cooled down by walking through some of the town shops & I took a slice of Smith Island cake to go.

And on my actual birthday, we met up with my mom & brother for dinner at Glory Days [ they have the best burger sliders ] & I got a free ice cream sundae. It was a much needed low key celebration & I was so glad we could all celebrate together as a family. Although, I’ve been spending lots of “me time” this summer for healing – I’ve chosen to lean on these two for most of my support along with my husband of course. I’ve learned it’s better to have a small group of supporters instead of tons.

On a separate note, if you are interested – I can share my thoughts on grief & how the process has been from my personal experience in a blog post.

My favorite birthday gift hands down were these custom book jackets from the brand Nerdy Ink. We all know how much I love the A Court of Thorns & Roses series! And these new covers are so beautiful on my new bookshelf.

For those who aren’t familiar with the state of Maryland – we are known for our steamed crabs [ especially during the summer ]. We enjoyed a weekend pool party / crab feast. It was fun because we literally knew one person [ but were able to meet tons of new people ]. We all sat around a long table, picked crabs & told the funniest stories. We ended the evening with a bonfire & roasting marshmallows.

Towards the end of the month, we celebrated my brother’s birthday in Annapolis. I surprised him with a Better Call Saul law school sweatshirt. All three of us – my husband, my brother & I are huge fans of that show & are so sad season 6 was their final season. Have you watched it?

find this on etsy

What I’ve Been Loving…

It’s been a long time coming but my books are no longer stored on the floor of my office. I finally have a proper bookshelf & I’m obsessed with it! Here it is >> my bookshelf . It’s already filled with tons of books [ many that still need to be read ]. I’m especially looking forward to starting the Throne of Glass series soon! * update – I have started Throne of Glass & am 20 chapters in! – fantasy is officially my favorite genre *

I’ve been creating more of a capsule wardrobe & decluttering / replacing a few clothing pieces. I updated my shorts with a few pairs of Levi 501’s & they are the best fitting shorts I’ve ever owned. I bought two pairs of blue denim as well as a white pair. If you are interested in seeing my fall capsule wardrobe in a blog post, let me know in the comments.

What I’ve Been Reading…

After finishing ACOTAR at the end of July – I was in a bit of a reading slump until I discovered a series my husband recommended which is the Red Rising trilogy. I talked about the first book in my July reading wrap up.

This month I read:

Golden Son by Pierce Brown: the second book to the Red Rising trilogy. This one is my favorite because of the epic ending! Wow – I couldn’t stop reading this fast paced sci fi action novel. Highly recommend.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown: the final book to the Red Rising trilogy. Epic action just like the other two, great character building & a shocking ending.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry: I have a bit of an unpopular opinion about this book. I don’t think I’m the biggest fan of this author. Although I did enjoy People We Meet on Vacation as a lighthearted summer read – I just don’t enjoy her writing & find the story lines to be a bit cheesy. Sorry not sorry.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: if she writes it, I’m going to read it. I loved this summer read based in one of my favorite places – Malibu, California. It tells the story of the Riva Family & the past POV of their parents. I loved following the character growth between each kid, their backstories & how the past & present can repeat itself. This has gotten me excited to read TJR’s newest release, Carrie Soto Is Back which is dropping this month.
Flock by Kate Stewart: I’ve seen the Ravenhood series all over social media & I basically went in blind. I had no idea what this story even was about & quite honestly – I’m still a little confused. But I’ve heard the second book Exodus is way better. This is a nice summer filler read with tons of spice. 🌶🌶🌶🌶 So, I’m not mad about that at all. If you are into morally grey love triangles, this book is for you.
The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: I’ve had this book on my shelves for months & I was in the mood for a thriller since fall is approaching. And honestly, this was an extreme let down for me. It started out strong but immediately became anticlimactic & predictable. And the ending just fell flat. I’m wondering if some of their other books are better?

What I’ve Been Watching…

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin: I’ve actually never seen Pretty Little Liars before this spin off [ don’t come for me ]. But I’m loving this spooky mystery that airs every Thursday on HBO Max.

Love Island UK: My husband & I loved watching the newest season of Love Island UK. I was a huge Ekin Su fan. The US has their own version, but the accents and “banter” of this version drew us in. So entertaining! Hulu has all the seasons available. Which past season should we watch next? Because after following these couples for 60 episodes, I’m missing them like crazy!

A Discovery of Witches: I believe this series is based on a book trilogy. We decided to watch this after doing a bit of research on Reddit & I’m obsessed with it! Any show that has witches, vampires & demons- I’m all for it! And I felt like it would be perfect with spooky season approaching.

What I’ve Accomplished…

Mind Beauty Simplicity’s views have skyrocketed this month after publishing a collaboration with a few other minimalist creators in the community. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, click here. In this collaboration, content creators who live the less is more lifestyle shared their reason for living this way. It’s a fascinating read & hope it inspires more people to downsize their lives a little more. I’m excited to announce this post was mentioned in Courtney Carver’s weekend favorites series on her blog. Be sure to check that post out here.

I’ve also been into creating reels on Instagram. As we know, the algorithm on this platform is rather finicky at times. But I’ve managed to reach almost 50k views on some of them! I’ve been trying to change up my mindset with this platform & just having fun with it connecting with other creators. All in all, I don’t expect tons of growth with this platform, but it’s something I want to maintain to built friendships with other minimalists & creative souls in the community.

What I Want To Work On…

I want to work on being more present & limit my screen time even more than I already do. I’ve been reading a lot more to combat that screen time which I share in this blog post here. My husband & I both will spend a few hours every evening reading together. We turn on a vibey screen saver on Youtube [ like rain or a cozy cabin ] & just enjoy each other’s company. I also hope to read a few more books in the months ahead with the weather getting colder.

I also want to practice having more gratitude & not let other people’s opinions affect my behavior. I’ve been embracing the power of my alone time & enjoying my own company. It’s been the best form of healing during this phase in my life. Although I enjoy time with others – I also need time to recharge & prioritize myself. In the past – I would always put other people’s needs before my own & I want to change that some moving forward.

What I’m Looking Forward To…

I’m obviously looking forward to the Halloween season & honestly – the cooler weather! I’m so tired of this heat. I’ve purchased a few fall decor items already & can’t wait to decorate our house soon!

We do plan to go to the beach for one more weekend [ Labor Day weekend ] before the summer ends to celebrate our 8 year dating anniversary. We’ve only been to our local beach town once this summer [ which is quite different for us ]. And with this heat, the only place to really go to cool off is the beach in my opinion!

We also have a few weddings to attend this fall which is exciting – one in Virginia & another in Pennsylvania. 2022 has been the year for weddings! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my wedding series.

I hope you had an amazing month in August. Feel free to share what you’ve been up to & what you’ve been loving lately in the comments. Here’s to a new month of possibilities! Let me know if you enjoyed this style of blog post & if I should continue it.

-B

blogmas, Collaberations

Will You Be Your Own Valentine? Valentine’s Day As a Day For Self- Love

Within our society, Valentine’s Day is still seen as a day for lovers to celebrate their relationship. For many single people – including myself – Valentine’s Day is one of the days where they feel even more lonely and it can be really hard to struggle through. But why should Valentine’s Day only be for lovers? Let’s turn this day into a day for self-love!

Hi, my name is Chloë, I own a lifestyle blog over at chlodoeslife.com and today I got the wonderful opportunity to write a guest post for Mind. Beauty. Simplicity. 

Valentine’s Day = Self-Love Day

Something I see too often in today’s society is that we don’t take enough time to love ourselves. We’re always in a hurry with a thousand projects going on at the same time and often neglect our own needs in the process. Our bodies are temples and we need to take care of them. 

Organise A Spa Day

Depending on the budget you have available, either book a trip to the spa or create your own at home. Go to the store and buy some products that will help you relax. I personally really love Nuxe or Rituals, but there are plenty of other (more affordable) brands that will offer the same type of products. 

Vanilla and lavender are two scents that are often associated with relaxation. Fill up your bathtub, put some bubbles in it, turn the lights off and light some candles. Grab your favourite book and take all the time you need to feel relaxed and taken care of. Your skin will feel refreshed and your mind will feel more at ease.

Cook Your Absolute Favourite Meal

Or have it delivered at your front door if you really don’t like cooking. Food is fuel for our bodies and we are allowed to give in to our cravings. Take time to prepare your meal and carefully slice every single ingredient. Drink a glass of wine in between or any other drink you like and savour the moment. 

This day is all about you and you only. You love this meal and deserve to have it. Your body is grateful that you’re taking care of it. It will lift up your mood instantly and help you enjoy your own company. 

Put On Your Favourite TV Show

Or movie, if you prefer them. Grab your favourite snack from the cupboard and enjoy it as if it were your last one. Taking care of you includes giving your body the things it’s been craving. Enjoy watching your favourite movie or show to the fullest and try to not think about all the other things you still need to be doing. 

Whilst relaxing on the sofa or in your bed and watching your favourite things, put on a face mask. Nourish that skin and let it glow. Become the best version of yourself all from the comfort of your own bed. 

Treat Your Body Like A Temple

Love it today, love it tomorrow and love it every day. The only person that ever needs to love you and like you is you. You need to be happy with who you are. Other people’s opinions of you don’t matter – as long as you love yourself, everything will be okay. 

These were my tips on how to spend your Valentine’s day as a day for self-love. I hope you liked them. Head over to my blog if you’d like to read more from me! Thanks again to Mind. Beauty. Simplicity for letting me write a guest post for your blog! 

Yours truly,

Chloë  

Chloë Blogger & Digital Content CreatorChlo Does LifePlease note I keep my blog & social media next to a full-time job, so there might be a delay in my response. I always try to get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding! chlodoeslife@outlook.comchlodoeslife.com
Lifestyle, Minimalism, Minimalism

10 Things You Can Do Besides Scrolling Through Social Media

One of my ultimate goals for this year, that I mentioned in my Mindsets To Leave Behind This Year post, is to be online less often. As a blogger, it’s easier said than done where most of the behind the scenes work with promoting comes from social media. But with the help of scheduling tweets & Instagram posts ahead of time, I’ve been able to be more intentional with my time & allow myself a break from the digital world. This idea of being online less often came to me when I was reminiscing of my childhood. I’m a part of the generation that had the best of both worlds – a life without internet & a life with the internet. I still remember the days it would take me 20 minutes to watch a 2 minute Youtube video thanks to good old dial up. But the one thing of my childhood that sticks ot is the fact I played outside far more often than any kids do now. And so, I thought although social media & the internet are huge parts to our lives, it’s nice to unplug once in a while. Here are 10 Things You Can Do Besides Scrolling Social Media

Read A Book

My TBR list for this year is so long! I plan to do a What I Read in 2022 at the end of the year because reading as become a huge part of my life. It’s a great way to shut off the world & be at peace for a little while. I’m trying to read at least two books a month – one fiction & one “self improvement” or motivational book. I feel like the more I read, the more growth I have. I gain new perspectives & a sense of clarity that helps me tackle obligations.

Listen To a Podcast

My favorite podcast at the moment is Mood by Lauren Elizabeth. She focuses on self growth, self care & our moods [ hence the name ]. I find her so motivating & inspiring. And listening to podcasts are quite relaxing while I’m running errands, taking walks or biking & cleaning.

Get Moving

Whether it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, a yoga practice or a hard core workout – getting active is always a healthy habit to establish in our daily routines. I find so much clarity during these sessions even if it’s only a 20 minute walk outside. Taking in your surroundings & the sounds of nature really ground ourselves & literally bring us back to Earth.

Get Lunch With a Friend

Put your phones away & be as engaged as possible during these outings. Nothing bothers me more than two people sitting at a table just scrolling through their phones & not giving a crap about their company. We need to learn to be more present especially when we specifically plan get togethers. These moments are a perfect excuse to unplug, let that call go to voicemail or read that text later. Having true conversation where we actively listen to each other is a habit we all need to relearn. This will allow you to strengthen said relationships & create amazing memories.

Write A Blog Post

This is obviously directed to my fellow writers, but writing is rather therapeutic whether it be for your site or just for recreation. When we write, we reflect on our thoughts & dreams which ultimately help us grow. If blog posts aren’t your thing, you can start a gratitude journal or a manifestation journal. Not only is it a form of self care, it’s also interesting to read the passages back later on to see how you’ve changed.

Have a Game Night

I love playing board games & having a game night with a group of friends or family. Some of my favorite games include Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, Scategories, & classic card games. This kind of goes back to childhood roots of those non-technology days.

Listen to Music & Dance Around

When I was a teenager, I had this blue stereo system with CD racks on both sides on my bedroom dresser. As an activity, I would blast The Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears, dance around my room & even jump up & down on my bed with my hands up in the air trying to touch the ceiling. As a dancer in high school – I would practice all the time on routines & choreography. As an adult now – I wish I did this more often because it truly boosted my mood back in the day. Ever since we started wedding planning, my fiance & I have even spent the evenings practicing our first dance together.

Start a Home Project

The pandemic actually turned us into home improvement connoisseurs. We became the biggest homebodies & I don’t know if it’s just because decorating your own home is a lot of fun or quarantine made us notice every problem in the house. I will say – painting or putting together furniture is quite satisfying. We even renovated our backyard which caused us to be outdoors a lot more often. Yay, Vitamin D! And when you see people or they visit your home – it’s fun to tell them about our home projects & the end results.

Learn Something New

Not to sound like a cliche – but knowledge is power. Even I’ve considered going back for grad school because I honestly miss learning. I think we can learn new things every day though – through reading, listening to podcasts or watching a how to Youtube video. Just getting out & experiencing life without starring at a screen can allow you to gain so much knowledge.

Clean The House

I personally love cleaning the house, organizing & decluttering. There’s something so motivating about this routine. Not only this but a clean home can truly spark creative & productive inspiration. Anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed even, I will clean. Do a load of laundry, organize your closet, vacuum or even scrub some dishes. A clean home makes me feel like I’ve earned some downtime or self care.

Surprise Surprise – there are tons of things you can do besides spend hours scrolling aimlessly through social media. I’m sure you [ who is reading this ] can think of other activities.

-B