Back to the Basics | 30 Day Minimalism Challenge, Days 8-13

By the start of my second week I am starting to feel more aware of my surroundings and the effects this challenge is having on me and my daily choices. I find that I am putting more thought into each move I make rather than relying on my impulsive feelings and gut reactions. This is new to me. I am the reason that checkout lines in grocery stores are so profitable. I walk into a buying situation and I am immediately distracted by things that were not on my list but somehow they ended up coming home with me as a deemed “necessity”.

My biggest failure during my second week is that I was not as reflective as I would have liked to have been with the challenge. When I started this journey, my expectation was that I would review my notes each day and reflect on the items of the challenge to measure what I was doing and what I was not doing. I find that when I am not organized and focused, my life really does spin out of control. I know this is common sense, but my lack of self-discipline masks this from my logic on a daily basis. Its like I go through the motions and don’t even realize that I am defying common sense! So, I’d like to spend week three focusing on developing my self-discipline. I believe this challenge is actually challenging people to do just that – develop some dang self-discipline! My method to attack this madness – slowly! – is baby steps.

  • CHECK-IN 3x/day – how am I doing? Am I staying focused on my daily needs?
  • EVALUATE how I am feeling at each check-in to gauge my efforts and adjust.
  • MEDITATE. Start out small – with 5 minutes of quiet.

While my lack of organization in the project makes it seem like somewhat of a flop – I am comfortable by the small victories I have had with checking my internal voices. We are very close to finishing our kitchen renovation and the timing could not be more perfect – my oldest babe starts Kindergarten next week, and with it a new chapter of chaos.

So I want to know your tricks! If you have been living a more minimal lifestyle – how did you get over the transition hump? How did you stay focused and motivated? Thanks in advance for sharing!

Back to the Basics | 30 Day Minimalism Challenge, Days 3-7

Days 3-7 seem to be a blur for me. It is as if I blinked and it was Tuesday of the following week. I have had some victories over the past few days. My number one victory is following #10, No email or social media before lunch. I would have to say that while this is a difficult feat in our tech-savvy world, I am ever so mindful of this habit now. My instincts still reach for my phone as my internal alarm clock jolts me awake at 4:32 am every morning, but I now freeze as I touch the phone and withdraw back to my pillow. I am finding it difficult to hold of from the email before 8am – as the business I am in depends on being reactive to inquiries immediately. But my personal world waits. And I am enjoying the peace that it is bringing me.

Another victory has been instilling a morning ritual (#6). I decided to tackle this one before really starting on an evening routine because I am much more a morning person (hence the fact that I automatically wake up at 4:30am).

I also took a super-long walk on Sunday morning. I think I was gone for well over an hour. I finished listening to The Minimalists’ Everything that remains on Audible. I am not sure if my walk would count for (#19) “practicing mindfulness”, but I am counting it for myself. There is something so satisfying about feeling like you are the only person awake and alive when I wake up with the sun on a walk.

I have also discovered that TV has become a crutch for me. I like to have it in the background while I am cleaning or doing mindless chores. We have a lot going on right now and last weekend we spent inside our home working on house projects. Next weekend I am going to be preparing to send my oldest baby off to school for the first time, so I imagine I will be deep in organization mode trying to prepare for the beautiful chaos of back-to-school.

Since today is going to be mostly a computer day for me at work, I plan on taking my break-times as reflection — is anyone else like me in that I have to fully commit my focus to reflection? — I want to study what my stress triggers are (#26) and then evaluate my top priorities (#9). I believe this will help me get into a better mindset for my weekend of prep and organization.

Tomorrow will be another fly-by-the-minute day as I am headed to a town in North Alabama to see a good friend of mine who is headed to Texas to start a pretty lengthy treatment for a health concern. No matter your spiritual preference – good vibes sent her way would be greatly appreciated.

TAG | 25 Facts About Me

1003570_10101919504614435_1907611018_nFor me, starting to blog is like starting a new book that you just can’t put down. I’ve entered into a new world and every door I open increases my desire to learn more and see more. Tag videos on YouTube are some of my very favorite videos to watch – mainly because you get to know the people you follow on a deeper level. I’m pretty new to Bloglovin’ so I’ve been spending a lot of time (probably too much time) exploring all of the beautiful and creative blogs that exist! I stumbled upon The A Style yesterday and saw this tag and thought it would be appropriate for new-ish blog. So here we go!
 
What is your middle name?: My given middle name is Curtis. I know. It’s unattractive and boyish. Not something I would have chosen for my girls. I legally changed it to my maiden name when I got married. So glad that chapter of my book is closed. It does, however, still exist on my college diploma, which hangs in my office.
What was your favourite subject at school?: Theology. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Catholic Schools and I was always fascinated with the deep thought required in all of my theology classes. Props to my teachers who encouraged such thinking!
What is your favourite drink?: Beer. If I had to choose a fav, it would be Hoegaarden. I love it. I also love the huge craft beer movement that is going on in my town right now. So many different varieties! And I love shopping local!
What is your favourite song at the moment?: It would have to be Slumber by NEEDTOBREATHE. I’m slightly obsessed.
What is your favourite food?: Ice Cream. No doubt.

What is the last thing you bought?: A dishwasher. Life of a homeowner…
Favourite book of all time?: The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Takes me back to being a teen.
Favourite Colours?: Red. If you are into the psychology behind this, read more here.
Do you have any pets?: We have a dog. His names are: Charlie, Charlie Brown, Charles in Charge, BoBo, Buddy, Dog!, Bub. He is old. He is our original baby. He used to sleep between my husband and me in a queen sized bed. He is now blind, can not eat table scraps, and has a HUGE mass of fat on his undercarriage that can not be removed because its tangled in blood vessels. Poor BoBo.
Favourite Perfume?: Very Sexy by Victorias Secret.
Favourite Holiday?: Thanksgiving. I love food.
Are you married?: 7 years strong!
Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Yes. Italy twice. Spain twice. Caribbean a few times. Mexico a few times. Canary Islands once. And I stepped into France for about 10 minutes. Spain is my favorite. I love you. I hope to see you again soon.
Do you speak any other language?: I fell in love with a boy from the Dominican Republic when I was 16. *Sigh, young love!* That will make you want to learn a language like nothing else. I then majored in Spanish in college and spent a couple of semesters in Spain. So I would say my Spanish is good enough for a basic conversation. I can read and write fluently though.
How many siblings do you have?: I have an older sister and a younger brother.
What is your favourite shop? So many to choose from! It all depends on what I am shopping for. Food – Whole Foods. Clothes – Gap. Makeup – Ulta.
Favourite restaurant?: Oh, Hot and Hot. Let me count the ways…
When was the last time you cried?: I have three kids ages four and under. I cry a lot. Mostly because I am tired and don’t know how else to react.
Favourite Blog?: If I had to honor just one, it would be Essiebutton. But there are LOADS of others that I am in awe of.
Favourite Movie?: I have issues with watching movies more than once, so I am going to skip this one. I do love movies though.
Favourite TV show?: I’m really into Sherlock right now. I will also watch the crap out of Criminal Minds. Criminal Minds is probably my only exception to watching a show or movie more than once.
PC or Mac?: Mac
What phone do you have?: White iPhone 5.
How tall are you?: I would not use “tall” as a descriptive word for me. I am short. Lets just leave it at that.

Can you cook?: I repeat. I love food. Which translates over to cooking. Love of cooking is something my husband and I share. I love him only slightly more than I love food.

El fin! I really enjoyed this tag! I hope you did too. Share with me if you decide to do this tag as well!

xo, Cissy

YouTube Has What?!

About 6 months ago I did a google search on Dave Ramsey’s “envelope system”. My husband and I decided to hop on the “Money Makeover” bandwagon. We are pretty fortunate that we aren’t in terrible shape. But we’ve been what Dave calls “normal”. We financed our TV and our mattress. Because who wouldn’t – zero per cent for 5 million months??? Ha. Anyway… we love his ideas and his program. But we both had NO CLUE how to create an “envelope system” for our family’s budget. So, I turned to Google. Oh Google, you are so much a part of my education. Much more worthy than my college degree. (ROLL TIDE). Ok, maybe not more worthy than my degree, but definitely a major contributor.

From my Google search, I came across the YouTuber DebtisDum. I was hooked. Like, the kind of hooked that happens when you taste cinnamon-sugared pecans. I just could not stop. How could I have gone through 31 years of existence and not known about the wonderful world of YouTube?

After combing through DebtisDum’s video library and educating myself on all things Dave Ramsey (which I highly suggest for anyone of sound mind to do as well), I looked over to my “suggested videos” box. My next YouTuber was Alejandra’s organization videos. My life is a chaotic mess at the moment and I needed some steady ground to help kick me in the rear to grab ahold of. So, I was naturally attracted to a video about home-organization. From my viewing history on Alejandra’s channel I was suggested to go check out Organized Jen.

It was all over after that. Organized Jen sealed the deal. I was officially hooked – never to be broken (unless YouTube has a complete makeover).

Now, I’ve never been into fashion or makeup. Ever. I have always worn eye makeup (since probably my junior year of high school), but those were mere attempts at fighting off the terrible consequences of a baby face – say, of a 12 year-old. What kind of 16-17 year-old wants to look like they are middle school. It was tragic to say the least.

So fast-forward to early fall 2013. I am 31. I only owned one foundation – a Bare Minerals powder that I’ve owned since right before my wedding in 2007. In addition, i had maybe 4-5 makeup brushes that I had absolutely no clue how to use or what their purpose was. I thought money spent on makeup products was wasteful for me. Unless of course we were talking about some serious mascara or eye liner that would add a few years to my baby-face.

While I was making my way through Jen’s video library, I noticed she had another channel called the Busy Bee Buzz. It was suggested to me by YouTube that I go check it out. I will do anything YouTube tells me to do. There it was – a beauty favorites video. And she was completely real and down-to-earth. She wasn’t a make-up artist, or someone in high-fashion. Needless to say, I dug it. Not only did I dig it, but I was inspired. I wanted to be able to share my thoughts and feelings on the things floating around in my head.

So now jump-ahead to present day – I started this blog today. I made the jump after reading a blog post on the 18 things highly creative people do. It says they take risks. So, this is me, a working mother of three, jumping in face-first. I hope you enjoy.

Thank you YouTube for the education and the challenge.

Sick of Being Sick… the woes of managing three kids under the age of 4

I’m really hating the fact that for my first blog I am called to write contains negative content about being a mother. I try – most of the time – to stay optimistic about our current situation. Having twins when your oldest is only 3 is no joke. I understand that I am stating the obvious. People tell us all the time, “I don’t know how you do it!” Yup, BINGO! You win the prize! Because, we don’t know how we do it either. I also was naive enough to believe that because we chose to breastfeed, our kids somehow were enabled with superpowers. Our kids will never be sick – being glued to my breast pump is totally worth it.

OK – breastfeeding IS totally worth it. If not for just the money savings.

IMG_1020

Sick babies are so pitiful!

I digress. Back to my pity-party. I’ve decided – when we become millionaires – we are moving to Hawaii. I never want to see weather that dips below 65 degrees again. It invites sickness, depressing gray colors in the sky, and empty wallets (thank you America – for selling the holidays). We have managed to have one sick human being in our house for the past 4 months! How does that happen? Why don’t people wash their hands everywhere that go?!? Don’t they know that I don’t sleep through the night because of a constant state of sick-child? Geez.

So, new moms, if you are discouraged by my post. Don’t be. It’s just the reality of the situation. What I failed to mention earlier, is that I am OBSESSED with the emotional pay I receive from being a wife and a mother. It’s like a drug. I am addicted to the high that comes from my babies locking eyes with me or hearing my oldest say “I lush you mommy”. I would lay down on railroad tracks if someone said it would give my girls a better life. Which it wouldn’t – but the metaphor popped into my head so I went with it. IMG_1328

AGAIN, breastfeeding is worth it. If you work, or plan on returning to work, pumping breast milk is worth it. That is all I will say about that.

To the people with kids, without kids, oh heck – to all people: WASH YOUR HANDS! Or I will come and personally wake you up on an hourly basis at night.