Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Being a Multi-Passionate Minimalist

I've always been a "jack of all trades" in terms of knowing and experiencing a wide array of things. I love dabbling in things that interest me and sometimes that dabbling turns into a passion. I also love sharing my knowledge and experiences with others if I feel they'd benefit from them. A few years ago, I made the cutest cupcakes and sold them as a side business. I was passionate about it for awhile, but the truth was I hated dishes and I dirtied a lot. Before you knew it, I burned out and really haven't done much cupcake making sense (other than for personal friends and family members' special events). That was at the same time I was very deep into this blog and also working a full-time job I loved and being a children's and youth pastor.

For awhile, I think people thought I was wishy-washy. I'd start something and find out a little ways into it, it wasn't something I wanted to do long term. I was over it and moved on to the next thing. People focused on this and highlighted it as a negative which always made me feel bad about myself. I enjoyed trying new things, though. So while I regretted that people thought I didn't finish what I started, I loved being able to experience different things that interested me (even if it was for a short period of time).
A past creation...

Wedding cupcakes I made back in the day...
Flash to a few months into my marriage and my husband got to experience this side of me firsthand. Though, instead of harping on me for not continuing certain projects or highlighting it as a negative, he introduced me to the term "multi-passionate". He sees this part of me to be a positive and loves my sense of adventure and desire to try things other people may not take the opportunity to try. That does mean I keep plates spinning a lot. I started a business last summer (KHC Medical Billing Advocates), I've continued making clothes for coffee (Dress Up Your Cup), I love anything crafting related and typically gift people something I've made, I'm really into this blog and chronicling the present phase of life I'm in, my husband and I are both very active in ministry, I love to travel and am constantly planning my next trip and now I'm taking a journey towards minimalism.  Add to that the fact that I'm a very devoted wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I love that I get to experience all of this!

One of my passions now...Dress Up Your Cup!

Most people would think being multi-passionate doesn't fit well into the minimalist lifestyle. I'm learning the opposite. I'm getting rid of all the "noise" (anything left over from passions that have died out or anything I was never really passionate about to begin with). Now, more than ever, I can focus on the smattering of passions I have without having them drowned out by needless distractions and obligations. Minimalism looks different for everyone and I'm sure there would be many people who see this life I've chosen as chaotic. But to me it's really living and if that doesn't make me a minimalist, then you can just call me a "decluttered, multi-passionate enjoyer of life."

Monday, March 27, 2017

My Minimalist Journey: Classic Cold & Cool Weather Wardrobe Capsule

When I first started this minimalist journey, one of the first places I started pairing down was my closet. Now, I'm not one of those women who has enough clothes to last for months without re-wearing something. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm way more into purses than clothes and tend to choose comfort over fashion almost every day. However, over the last few weeks, I feel like I've built a wonderful cold/cool weather wardrobe and wanted to share. These ideas you're about to read do not include pajamas, underclothes, purses or jewelry as those will need to come at a later date. I'm really just buying myself time to figure out what I really need and find important. So far, I've narrowed it down to what I really love in that department, but I'm not sure if I really need everything I love. More on that later. For now...

2 Wardrobe Capsules

I know I've seen a lot of people have clothes capsules for every season. But, in an attempt to be as minimalist as possible, I decided to have a cold/cool weather wardrobe and a hot/warm weather wardrobe. I'd assume I'll be in the cold/cool weather wardrobe at least until May, so I'll focus on that now and focus on my warm weather wardrobe.

Bottoms

I started with bottoms and they became my foundation of the capsule. I figured if I could do solid bottoms, then I could get creative on patterns and colors for tops and accessories. So, I have the following:

1.) Charcoal Slacks
2.) Beige Slacks
3.) Charcoal Skirt
4.) Beige Skirt
5.) Dark Jeans
6.) Light Jeans
7.) Work Jeans
8.) Black Maxi Skirt

The only thing I was missing was the beige skirt, so I hit up my favorite online consignment ThredUp. (By the way, if you click on that link, you get a $10 credit to use how you'd like...you're welcome). I did a quick search on the site and quickly found this simple beige Halogen pencil skirt for $8.



Tops

I also kept my tops pretty versatile. I don't do many patterns anyway, but I had a couple in the mix. I did pick up the burgundy tunic from Khols on the clearance rack for about $10. I needed something not black or grey, so that happened.

1.) Chambray shirt
2.) Blue Sweater
3.) Brick Red Sweater
4.) Salmon Sweater
5.) Cream Sweater
6.) Striped Charcoal/White Tunic Blouse
7.) Burgundy Tunic Blouse
8.) Navy Blouse
9.) Black jogging sweatshirt
10.) Sea foam Fleece Pullover

Dresses

I could probably use less dresses, however my husband would disagree with this. So, I went with 6.

1.) Little black dress
2.) Black, flowy party dress
3.) Eggplant lace dress
4.) Green casual dress
5.) Boutique Aztec neutral dress
6.) Blue casual dress

Shoes

1.) Black flats
2.) Beige flats
3.) Black closed toe heels
4.) Nude closed toe heels
5.) Black boots
6.) Brown boots
7.) Grey Sketchers Go-Walks

Scarves

1.) Beige solid
2.) Dark green solid
3.) Beige with lime green pattern

That's a grand total of 34 items (not including purses or accessories). They all mix and match really well! Some of these items I will also try to include in my warm weather capsule; like jeans, skirts and a few light fabric blouses. Building my capsule literally from the bottom up really helped me figure out the best way to mix and match the rest. The good news was I pretty much already had what I needed with the exception of the beige skirt and burgundy tunic. I spent a grand total of $18. However...I sold nearly everything else. As I mentioned in previous posts, most things I sold on Facebook yard sale groups and everything else will go in our garage sale with more brand name items being shipped off to ThredUp to make a few dollars on. Believe it or not, I've had quite a bit of success selling my clothes and out of the $153 I've made so far for my minimalist vacation challenge, nearly half of it has been in clothes. With that, $18 was a good investment to round out my closet.

What about you? What are some staple items you have in your wardrobe? What are some things I might be missing?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Minimalist Library: 7 by Jen Hatmaker

So, after reviewing some awesome Netflix documentaries that relate to minimalism, I figured I'd review a book I finished a couple of weeks ago. The book is "7" by Jen Hatmaker. I had a friend last summer who mentioned I'd probably like Jen Hatmaker's books because not only are they faith-based, but incredibly sarcastic (which is right up my alley) and funny. I found the book on my local library's ebook app and decide to give it a read. That was when my husband informed me her books were recently pulled off of Lifeway's bookshelves because of some questionable comments she made on Facebook (Google it if you're interested). Despite that tidbit of information, I decided to go ahead and read it confident in my ability to cut through anything that was unscriptural if necessary. 

I found this book to be very thought-provoking and really didn't find anything I disagreed with from a faith standpoint. While this book is faith-based, it is also very practical and Jen's voice throughout is entertaining and funny. For this book, Jen decided to set aside 7 months to boil her life down to 7 things for 7 different areas of her life; each for 30 days. She focused on clothes, shopping, food, stress, media, possessions and waste. For instance, for 30 days she only wore 7 articles of clothing. Another 30 days she only ate 7 different foods. While the project seemed so overwhelmingly difficult in each area, she pressed on and made it through the 7 months and each of the areas.

The majority of her focus was on people in other countries who have to live on so little. She pulls in scripture to even more solidify the focus of less. For me, going minimalist was more about getting rid of the stress and distractions in my life. I wanted to spend more time enjoying life and my family and less time worried about taking care of my stuff. Then as I started getting rid of things, I was reminded of so many places in the Bible that talk about the idea of living with less. Jesus himself sent the disciples out and told them not even to bring a bag with them...they had to live on the hospitality of those around them. This book helped solidify those same thoughts. Now besides going minimalist to simplify and de-stress, I'm also doing it so that I can free myself up to do the things God has called me to do. Every day I let go, I'm a little lighter and freer to be and do more than I ever could before with things holding me down.

Do you have minimalist read suggestions? Or maybe a book you just finished that helped challenge you?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How to Be a Minimalist Prepper

One of the traits my dad and I share is the love of prepping. Growing up in the Midwest meant the threats of ice storms that would knock out power and leave you stranded for days in the winter or strong thunderstorms and tornadoes that had the capability of changing life as we knew it in the spring and summer. Now, with increased threats of terrorism to add to the mix as well as other natural disasters, being prepared is important. The idea may seem counterintuitive for a minimalist, but bare with me! Here are a few ways in which you can still be a prepper even as a minimalist.

1.) Go with your gut.

A couple of years ago while living in West Virginia, I just had this strange sense that I should stock up on water. After drinking spring water out of the gallon jugs, I would fill them up with tap water and store them under the kitchen sink. Poor D likely thought I was a lunatic. But, any thoughts of the such were short-lived. One day while dining out, I noticed the water I got from the fountain at Panera smelled like licorice. It also had a funny taste. About that time, D started getting text messages from friends saying not to drink the water. Turns out, there was a chemical spill at the town's water intake that ended up contaminating the water supply for weeks. And guess what? I had about 15 jugs of clean water under my sink! For the next few weeks, we used it for dishes, cleaning and bathing.

Listen, if you live in the Midwest, you're likely not going to need to prepare for a hurricane. Chances are you know where you live and the chances of things happening in that area. Go with your gut. If you have a feeling you need to prepare for something, then do that. I also credit God for my ultimate discernment at this time. I've known that as a pretty failsafe method.

2.) Multipurpose!

When prepping for certain things, it's good to go multipurpose every chance you get! Items that can be used for more than one thing take up a lot less space. One of my favorite multipurpose gadgets is a Flashlight-Radio-Phone Charger. It stays in our emergency kit for power outages or inclement weather.

3.) Keep it small and together.

It's really not helpful to have emergency items at various places in the house. In an emergency, you're not going to have the time to run all over the house and gather the stuff. Plus, it's just clutter when it's strewn about. Take a small container and fill it with small items you'll need. For instance, in ours with have the multipurpose flashlight, a couple of emergency candles, a compact camping stove, water tablets, matches, lighter, ponchos, bottled water, a couple protein bars, Sterno cans, and a deck of cards. It's in a small plastic container that's about 2 feet by 1 foot under the sink. It's quick to grab and has food, water, and shelter (poncho) as well as the means to heat food/water, ways to stay informed and light and power source. This would also work well for a backpack so it's easy to grab (which is what I'll end up switching to once we're in our new place.

If you keep it within reasonable parameters and keep it small, there's no reason you can't be prepared and be a minimalist at the same time. What about you? Have you ever been through a situation you needed to be prepared for? Were you prepared? How did things turn out?


Monday, March 20, 2017

Our Minimalist Journey: The #minimalistvacation Challenge

Want to take a vacation? Pay off debt? Or just find some peace of mind? How about making my journey OUR journey! I'm inviting you to take my #minimalistvacation challenge. Join me in purging your things for cash to fund your next adventure!

I've started a Facebook group here and will be with you every step of the way if you join in! Share your struggles, your successes and ask for input! I fully believe all of us could have $1000 in each of our pockets in just a few short months. I personally plan to share all of the resources working for me on the journey and would love to hear what's working for everyone else.

You can also follow along with me on my Instagram where I've found a great network of other on their journey to a minimalist lifestyle.

What do you say? Do you accept the challenge?