How To, Lifestyle

Simple

“Keep things extremely simple.” This is my new mantra for life. It’s good to sometimes switch it up. I love everything about this, it’s so easy to over think and over plan, I know I’m doing it right now. My boyfriend and I laid down for a nap and even though I wanted to sleep, I just couldn’t. It wasn’t happening. I had so many thoughts racing through my head. What to write about, what to pack for vacation, what to wear, daydreaming, everything. I was getting anxious just laying there. Plus, he was drooling on my head. Anyway, he’s still asleep on the sofa and I’m outside in the sun writing. 

Life can get very complicated, even when it’s not. This happens when the thoughts in our heads start to go crazy. And, when you have anxiety it can make it so much worse. We get busy, we over think, we over plan, we come up with crazy scenarios in our minds, the list goes on. So, how do we make life more simple? How do we act on “keep things extremely simple?” Here are my ideas.

How To Keep Things Extremely Simple

1. Give yourself a deadline

When making decisions or working on a project, give yourself a deadline to have it done.

  • Making a decision 

Give yourself 30 seconds to make a damn choice. For the small things, anyway. If you’re like me you’re wondering whether you should write or if you should clean. I could spend hours trying to decide. But, I gave myself 30 seconds to choose. And now I’m writing. For the bigger things, set a time you think appropriate. If it’s something like, whether or not to buy that sofa from Ikea, give yourself an hour. If it’s something like, going on vacation, give yourself a day. Just whatever you do, make that choice by your deadline. 

  • Projects

If your project doesn’t already have a deadline, create one for it. Whether it’s studying or whatever, create a deadline to have it done by. For me, I like to repaint furniture. So, I usually set a deadline to have it done by the end of the day, or the next day (depending on the size of the project). If I don’t do this, I could spend all month painting an end table. 

2. Simplify your home (or apartment, bedroom, etc.)

When our living spaces are messy, our minds can be messy. It’s kinda like a back and forth thing. A messy living space can create a messy mind. But, a messy mind also tends to create a messy living space. Just, get rid of the clutter. 

3. Three box (or pile) decluttering

Boxes keep things more organized, but I can’t currently get to any of my boxes. So, I’m using piles! When going through things, set a box (or pile) for things to get rid of, things to keep, and one for maybes to go through again at the end. I’ll be doing this today, if I can get my ass going. My best friend’s daughter is raising donations to earn a party for her class, the kid with the most donations gets a gift card. So, there’s my motivation to get rid of as much as I possibly can. I’ll probably go through my closet a third time, just to be sure. 

4. Ask yourself this question when going through things

“Do I truly love this thing?” I truly love my sign that says “Good Vibes Only.” Okay, I spent $70 on that damn sign, it ain’t going anywhere. But something I do truly love would be, well, I can’t think of anything. Damn. Guess I’ve got a lot I can get rid of. The only things I can think of that I truly love are my photographs on the walls. 

Anyway, ask yourself that question with EVERYTHING. Get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. My rock collection brings me joy, but only certain pieces so, some of that can go. Things I’ve painted bring me joy, but not all of them. Then, there are books I’ll never read, they can go. If something doesn’t make you happy, set it free. Donate it. It could make someone else very happy. 

5. Keep on cleaning

While you’re at it, clean out your closet. Go. Through. Everything. Even the pile of junk on the top you try to ignore. That crap you’ve stuffed in a box (or in my case, a suitcase), go through it. You never see it, obviously you never use it, get rid of that shit! For some reason, I decided to keep a box of cheap ass Valentine’s decorations. Those can go. 

6. While you’re at it, might as well do this

I mean, by this time you’re on a fucking roll. Might as well clean the kitchen! And I’m talking CLEAN it! Go through the pantry, go through the fridge. Get rid of old food, donate the things you can. We’re all guilty of having that one thing in the fridge that expired ages ago but we ignore. Go through the damn food. 


7. Okay, so now you’ve got some free space

Or, maybe you don’t and you need to clear out some more space. Sorry, guys! But, there’s a reason “Man Caves” are so popular. Everyone needs a place to escape to. So, create your own little space within your home. Even if you live alone, create a space that’s relaxing. Right now, I’ve kind of made the patio my own space. It’s where I spend most of my time. It’s where I do 100% of my blogging. It can get messy, but I’m working on it. 

However, when we move into our new townhouse we will have a spare bedroom. I’m freaking out about this. I’m so excited. I tried to convince my boyfriend to let me turn it into a giant closet or fully my office, but we shall compromise (I’ll still have the patio to myself mostly). We’re going to share the space, but have our own spaces within the room. This works for us because we get along so well and I honestly like hearing him talk to the TV when he plays video games. As of right now, the plan is to turn the closet into a game room. That way, I can hide it when I don’t want to see it. I’ll do a whole blog post on this when the time comes, but for now, we plan on putting a tv in the little closet and we will have a sofa and coffee table outside of the closet. I might put something decorative on the doors so it looks nice when they’re closed. On the other side of the room will be my desk and my vanity. Win-win. 

8. Okay, we’re done with the cleaning. So, write a list in your new space. 

Write down a small list of things you love to do. Mine would be:

  • Writing
  • Spending time with Steven
  • Browsing DIY projects
  • Doing DIY projects
  • Shopping at Goodwill

Keep it somewhere you will see it. Return to it when you say you’re bored or you need inspiration. It can be as long or short as you want it to be, but remember, we’re trying to keep shit simple here. 

9. When you’re feeling overwhelmed 

No matter what is causing you to feel overwhelmed, family stress, work stress, anxiety, depression, whatever it may be, start saying “no.” Take a week, yes, an entire week and say no to everything. Any requests anyone wants from you, any plans wanting to be made, say “no.” It’s okay to plan them for the following week if you want, but think of this week of “no” as your own little mental vacation. You’re not fucking available. Sure, stick to the things you already agreed to if you want, don’t be a flake, but for anything new, the answer is no. Simple. 

10. Take some time to relax

Start each day by relaxing. This may even give you something to look forward to if it’s hard for you to wake up. I’ve been doing this for months now. No pressures, just relaxing and giving myself time to wake up. Even if you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, do it. Even if you live in a house with a ton of other people, wake up before them. Or, let them know you need to be alone during this time.

Here’s what I do to relax on a normal weekday:

  • Up at 5am
  • Coffee in hand
  • Ass on patio chair
  • Boyfriend sitting next to me
  • We look at Facebook and StumbleUpon and share cool shit we see
  • I get more coffee
  • We continue to chill
  • I take him to work
  • I come home and keep on chilling
  • Then, I start my day. 

My boyfriend does this, too. He gets up about half an hour before I do and walks the dogs, makes coffee, and watches the news. He likes his news. I love that. 

11. Take a break

This is something I don’t hardly do, but really should. Take a break from technology. Turn it off, put it in another room, whatever. I don’t know what there is to do while doing this, maybe read a book, take a nap, go for a walk, sit there silently staring at your turned off phone until the hour is up. 

For me, there isn’t much else that interests me to keep my mind busy enough while my phone is off. Plus, I never know when my boyfriend gets off of work and I have to pick him up. Sometimes it’s 5pm, sometimes it’s 9am. It’s always a surprise. Which is actually really frustrating when I’m trying to work. But, for me, I take a break from stupid Facebook. Facebook just stresses me the fuck out sometimes. There’s so much stupid shit on there. Sorry, passionate about this one. I’m actually tempted to create a new Facebook just to clean it up a bit. But, I like all the photos I have on it. So, just take break from it, and don’t be an ass and announce it all over Facebook. Nobody cares. Take an hour break, take a week break, whatever. I usually just try not to go on in general unless I have a notification or something really important to share. Or, if I’m just super fucking bored. 

12. The three things

Make a to do list, only list three things. This one is super popular, and I love it. I’ll be honest, sometimes it takes me three days to do those three things, but it helps. Like today, my three things are:

  1. Make a grooming appointment for my fur baby
  2. Do laundry
  3. Deposit a check 

Keeping with honesty, it took me until 1pm to call the groomer’s. I was over thinking and made it seem like this giant task that I just couldn’t do. I went to fill out my mental health bullet journal and decided I wanted to add that to my daily done list. So, I called and made that appointment and added it to my done list. I have yet to do the laundry or deposit that check (which I can simply do on my phone). 


13. Focus on one thing 

When life gets complicated, or you’re making it complicated, focus on one task. Just one. Pick something off your to do list, or something else, and focus solely on that thing. For me, there are two things I can focus on one at a time. Writing and painting furniture. Find something you can focus on and do it. Ignore the bullshit. 

14. Zone the fuck out

When life is overwhelming, zone out from it. Escape reality, in a healthy way. I’m not talking go get drunk or high but, something mindless. Video games, a book, a nap, writing, painting, walking, running, watching tv, whatever the hell you want to do. My favorite way is to write posts like this one. Just zone out from life, ignore every little thing, and just enjoy your time. Reality will always be waiting for you when you return. 

What are some ways you like to make life more simple? Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

How To, Lifestyle

Realistic Ways To Start Your Day (Other Than Working Out)

Lately I’ve been reading different lifestyle blogs and self-improvement blogs and I’ve seen a lot of things like, “What successful people do in the mornings.” Honestly, I haven’t read them because I know what they’ll say. Get up earlier, drink water with lemon, work out, blah blah blah. 

But let’s cut the bullshit here. No matter how much lemon water you drink in the morning, it’s still the morning. So, if you’re trying to start your days off on a better foot, here are my ideas for better mornings. 

1. Get Up On The Right Side Of The Bed

Start your day with a positive mantra. Something you tell yourself first thing in the morning other than, “ugh, I have to do *insert annoying thing here.*” Make it something simple, something that really gets you motivated, and make sure it’s positive! 

For me, this morning my mantra was, “Awh, he made me coffee. Now, wake up and drink the damn coffee.” My mornings usually start out slightly lazy. If I have it my way, I wake up energized and instantly go make coffee. But that usually only happens on the weekends. During the week, my boyfriend is up before I am and I usually lay in bed while he takes the dogs on a walk. This morning, I remember waking up and him telling me he was going on a walk, then I fell back asleep for a while. 

Some good mantras would be, 

  • Keep things extremely simple
  • I’m beautiful 
  • Today is my day
  • Have an open mind and open heart

2. Don’t Hit Snooze

Yeah, you caught me. This morning I technically hit snooze instead of getting up when my boyfriend woke me up. Some days I wake up to his alarm, others it’s not that easy. 

But just don’t do it, get up right when you intend to. It’ll make you feel accomplished first thing in the morning, and that’s a great feeling. A little tip: set a second alarm for 5 minutes after that first one just in case you fall back asleep. Also, have your alarm clock far away enough that you at least have to walk to the end of the bed to turn it off. 

3. Relax With Some Coffee

Or tea, if that’s your thing. But take some time to relax first thing in the morning, give your brain a chance to catch up and wake up. 

  • Spend time with your significant other

Set aside some time with your partner to enjoy that morning coffee together. Steven and I usually drink some coffee and scroll through social media showing each other cool shit. This morning we had a competition to see who could find the cutest dog. Also, he tried to convince me we need another dog. 

  • Spend time alone

Even if you have to wake up first, spend time alone. Or, if you live alone then, yay, wake up whenever the fuck you want (or need to).  This was one thing I always thought was awesome about my dad. He would always wake up to have enough time to read the Bible before going to work. And with me and my mom under the same roof, that alone time was necessary for his survival. 

  • Spend time reading 

Set some time to read while drinking coffee. I probably won’t do this, if I lived alone I might. Alright, who am I kidding. The first two hours of me being awake my mind can only process memes on Facebook. But, in a perfect world, reading sounds nice. 

4. Watch The Sunrise

This will forever and always be on my lists of things to do. I’ve mentioned it before, and will keep mentioning it. There’s just something about the sunrise that is so peaceful and beautiful. Enjoy it. Do it every day, or at least once a week. I usually catch the sunrise on my way to dropping Steven off at work. But, sometimes on the weekends I accidentally wake up with enough time to catch the sunrise. I didn’t used to be a morning person, but having to wake up at 5am every day has made me one. Ah, the things we do for love. 

5. Turn On The News

Logically, this is probably a shitty way of starting your day because, I mean, hello, the news is horrible! But, there’s something about learning gardening tips on your local news station at 6 in the morning that’s oddly satisfying. Also, you’ll feel more knowledgeable (did I spell that right?) watching the news and learning what’s going on in the world. That is, until you hear Trump speak and then your IQ drops 10 points. 

6. Fill Out Your Mental Health Journal

If you started a bullet journal or mental health journal, spend some time in the mornings checking in on yourself. It’ll help you feel more connected throughout the day. 

7. Journal Your Hopes For The Day

You can’t really journal about your day first thing in the morning, but writing out your hopes or goals for the day may be nice. A little reminder of what you want out of the day in order to feel accomplished. 

8. Plan Your Day

I haven’t done this in a while, but it’s one of my favorite things to do. I love writing to do lists and making plans for the day. Helps you stay on track and know what to expect so you have a little fewer surprises. And that helps with anxiety. But, don’t over do the planning, because that can bring anxiety as well. Try sticking with the three most important things to do that day, then add on any other little things you need to accomplish. 

9. Check Inspiring Social Media

This one is more my style, it’s a lot simpler than reading a book. Find an app that has motivational quotes, or follow interesting things on StumbleUpon, or even follow some inspiring people on instagram. Get your day started on the right foot by being inspired first thing in the morning! Or, you know, looking at cat photos. 

10. Get On Pacifica

This is something I need to start doing more often. Pacifica is an anxiety and depression app. Mostly, anyway, a lot of the other users have different mental health issues. I love this app because they created a hope Board to keep track of your hopes and there’s a place to combat negative thinking. You can set goals, post to a community, and track your habits. And no, this is not sponsored. I have no sponsors. Anyone wanna sponsor me?! Kidding (but, seriously). 

11. Eat A Good Breakfast 

If you can, try and have a big breakfast in the morning and a small dinner at night. But, realistically, only a 1950’s housewife (or moms on TV) will have pancakes and French toast and fruit and shit out for breakfast. Eat something healthy, fruit, yogurt, a bagel, whatever. 

12. Write Down 10 Things

This is something I swear by, and used to do all the time. I’ve gotten lazy. But, starting your day out listing 10 things you’re grateful for is an amazing way to get in a good mood in the morning. You can also do this at night and make it day specific. 

13. Listen To Music While Getting Ready

This one is pretty self explanatory. Just put on your favorite motivating music and get your ass ready to conquer the day! 

What are your favorite ways to spend the morning? Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

How To, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Ways You Can Show Yourself Some Love


Recently I wrote a post asking you if you love yourself. In, Do You Absolutely Love Yourself, I mentioned ways you can tell if you’re loving yourself or not. I also included a few tips as to how to start loving yourself. Well, I felt like expanding on that for you all and giving you a few of my ideas on how you can show yourself some love. 

Loving yourself is so important. I mean, you spend 100% of the time with you, so, why not love yourself? It can be such a hard thing to do, a lot of us are very critical of ourselves. But, sometimes I wonder why. Like, if you’re doing the best you can, what else is there to expect from yourself? But, trust me, I’m so incredibly hard on myself. Especially when I’m depressed. So, I need to be listening to my own advice as well. 

My ideas for loving yourself

1. Accept yourself for who you are

Just do it. Just accept yourself. Flaws and all. It’s the flaws that someone else just might love. I didn’t have a great relationship with my ex boyfriend but, one thing that was good was that he admired my fucked up teeth. Something I hate about myself. He liked them because I didn’t care what other people thought of the tooth that never fully came down or what others thought of my crowded mouth. 

Accept your physical beauty, and your inner beauty as well. Accept the passion you have, the things you love, the ways you express yourself. Accept and love yourself for who you truly are, and then be that person. Don’t be someone else. I tried that once, I tried to be someone I wasn’t because I thought she was so adorable and I wanted to be like her. It hurt me in the long run and then I ended up having to rediscover myself. Turns out, I don’t really like old classic movies and I’m not obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. Although, I should be. 

2. Enjoy the time spent with yourself 

For a long time, I hated being by myself. I couldn’t stand to be alone with my thoughts. And sometimes, I still fucking can’t. And that’s okay. But, I’ve come a long way. Today, I was actually kind of excited for my boyfriend to go to work because I now have guilt-free time to myself. Sometimes, I feel guilty for spending all day on the patio alone while he plays video games. But, hey, it’s cool that we can just hang out by ourselves while in the same place. 

3. But don’t isolate yourself 

Sometimes, I like being alone a little too much. And I tend to isolate myself. This has cost me a lot of friendships. Still remain in contact with people, go out and have some fun, get your mind off of things and keep your relationships strong. 

4. Eat Well

Eat those greens, eat that protein. Take care of yourself. As I’ve said before, I totally suck at this. I could sit down and eat a whole pizza to myself, and have before. But, we all need to work on getting in our fruits and veggies. 

5. Still eat that cake though

Just because you’re eating better doesn’t mean you can’t have that slice of cake, or bowl of ice cream, or cookie. Plain and simple, still enjoy life. 

6. Do some yoga

I also totally suck at this. You know, a body at rest stays at rest. Well, it’s super hard for me to get going. But I’ve done yoga daily before and the benefits are so worth it. My go to for yoga is the YouTube channel, Yoga With Adrienne. 

7. Pamper yourself

I mean other than shopping, because shopping can become a bad habit to feeling better. I’m talking stay at home pampering. Or, if you can afford it, go to a spa. My favorite way to pamper myself is to put a badass bath bomb in the tub and give myself a facial while soaking in the warm water. But, pampering yourself can also mean taking a nap. Whatever you feel like doing. 

8. Quit that damn bad habit

I got a lot of bad habits, I’m no stranger to them. And I bet you had at least one pop into your head as soon as you read that. Quit it. Mine would be to quit chain smoking. Especially while writing. To be honest, I don’t think it’s possible to quit fully anytime soon. But, I do have a plan for the future. When we move into our new townhouse I’m going to turn the spare bedroom into a half office, half game room (I want to turn it into a giant closet but, no my boyfriend won’t let me do that). But, I’m hoping if I have a pretty enough office, I’ll spend less time outside writing and smoking and more time inside and writing. Also, switching to drinking more tea and less coffee might help. We shall see!

9. Actually do the things you love

Just make time for it! For me, I love to write so I’ve made plenty of time for that. But, I also love painting furniture and things. I need to make more time for that. 

10. Talk kindly to yourself

Simply put, if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself. 

How do you show yourself some love? Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

How To, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Do You Absolutely Love Yourself?


Loving yourself is so freaking important. Although, I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with it. A lot. Especially when depression has its grip on me, or it’s that time of the month. So, you know, almost always. But when I’m with a clear mind and I’m being grateful for all around me, I’m pretty happy with myself. 

My biggest challenge is to accept the way I look. I don’t look the same as when I was 16 (see picture above) and I don’t even look the way I did a year ago. The biggest change is gaining all my weight back that I had just recently lost. I fell into a pretty bad depression and basically stopped eating anything at all. I was surviving off of half a pop tart a day. That was it. Caffeine and nicotine kept me alive. But, I lost all the weight I had gained in Tennessee. It was great. Then, I got into a relationship with a man who loves to eat. Helloooo tummy! And fuller face, bigger butt, and bigger boobs. I ain’t complaining about that bigger butt, though!

So, how can you tell if you’re loving yourself? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. You think you’re loving yourself but then you take the time to think about it and you realize that maybe there’s more you could be doing. 

Signs You’re Not Loving Yourself

1. You don’t feel free to be yourself

I’m partially dealing with this right now. It’s hard to explain. I’m just not allowing myself to be as passionate and open as I once was. Honestly, I think I’m holding back because I’m still in a newish relationship. While it feels like we’ve been together forever, we’re still learning about each other. And I’m kind of afraid he’ll make fun of me for how passionate I am about photography. Even though there’s no logical reasoning as to why I think he’d make fun of me. He’d more than likely smile and think it’s cute. But, we’re going on vacation soon so, he’ll be seeing that side of me. 

2. You don’t spend time with yourself

You just don’t. Every minute is spent with someone around. Whether you’re at work, with your family, or hanging out with friends. Alone time has helped me love me. Being with my thoughts after a busy day keeps me connected to myself. If you can’t stand to be alone with you, you might need to work on some things (advice below).

3. You’re not respecting your values

This one I’ve struggled with a lot in the past few years. I’ve done a lot of things that go against my values to make people like me. I started drinking to make people like me. I started smoking pot to make people like me. I started sleeping around to make people like me. I did drugs to make people like me. I’ve gossiped to make people like me. The list goes on for miles. The truth here is, those people aren’t worth it. No one is worth disrespecting your values for. And I’m glad I’ve learned this. 

4. You’re not eating right

Whether you don’t eat at all, like me, or you only eat junk food, it’s a sign you’re not loving yourself. I’m going through this right now. I stopped eating for a few days because I thought it’d give me the bikini body I want for my vacation next week. It won’t. I was starving myself for nothing. And that’s not okay. You gotta love yourself, you gotta feed yourself good things. Today, I had to force myself to eat pizza. At least I ate something. 

Now, you’re probably wondering where the hell do I go from here? If you’ve realized you may not be loving yourself, that’s okay. I got your back. There are long lists of ways to love yourself. I’ll be posting a piece on that soon. But, here’s some tips that go along with what I’ve said so far. 

How to start loving yourself

1. Express yourself (be free)

Forget what others are thinking! Express who you truly are. If deep down you’re a total metal head, go out and buy a Memphis May Fire tshirt (or any other band, they’re just my favs). If you love to paint, paint something and share it on Facebook! Do something to express yourself, and make sure people see it. Let them know you don’t give a fuck what they think. It’s time to be you! Unapologetically. 

2. Quality time (hang out with yourself)

Spend some time alone. Just you. Don’t go out shopping alone, don’t go to a coffee shop, there’s people there and who wants to be around people? Sorry, love/hate relationship with the human race. Anyway, lock yourself in your room, go sit out on the porch, wherever you feel like being yourself. And then, do something to get to know yourself. Journal, write, do whatever. I’ll be posting a journaling piece here soon as well. 

3. Respect yourself (keep with your values)

Don’t lower yourself to please someone else. What matters is how you feel about yourself at the end of the day. Can you truly be happy with the choices you’ve made? Think about it. 

4. Make yummy food (eat right)

This is the hardest one of all, especially if you’re me. I mean, who the hell wants to start eating right when you’ve been indulging in Fritos and cake and so much coffee? But, I heard you feel better when you eat right. I don’t have any tips for you here, when I do eat, it’s not perfectly right. But, I’m more focused on making sure I eat something, anything. I am cutting back on the junk, though. 

-Liz

DIY, How To, Make-Up, Uncategorized

How To: Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

I’m one of those people, you know, the kind that has never a day in her life cleaned her make-up brushes.  Ever.  Yeah, it’s something I should be embarrassed about but, a lot of people don’t do it.  There’s those of us who just aren’t that into make-up, they don’t think to wash their brushes because it’s just not that important to them.  Then there’s some of you reading this who are in the fashion/cosmetology industry and your jaws just dropped and you gasped.  How could someone not wash their brushes?!  Well, if you’re like me, it’s because you just didn’t know how.  I have some brushes that have years of make-up on them, then I have some that are fairly new.  I decided that I would try out a DIY make-up brush cleaner, and let you all know how it worked!  And by the way, it WORKS!  Like I said, years of make-up on these things; they’re all clean now!

DIY Make-up Brush Cleanser (with products you probably have at home):

collage.jpg

  1. Grab some dish soap, if I had the option I would have used Dawn Simple, that name may be wrong, but it’s the one without dye in it.  Also go ahead and grab some olive oil.  I also put 3 drops of Lavender oil in with the mixture, but that is optional.
  2. Put in the soap and the olive oil, mix together.
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Please ignore my chipped nail polish!

3. Dip the make-up brush in the cleanser.  I actually had to go back and mix up some more, lots of brushes!  But, if you don’t have too many, you should be fine.

4. After that, swirl the brush around on your hands, get it wet with warm water at the sink, and keep swirling it around until all of the soap and make-up is off.  You’ll notice the water getting clearer.

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5.  Lay your brushes on a clean towel, reshape them to their form, and prop them up so the water does not get into the brush handle. And you’re done!! Yay!

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this simple DIY how to.  If you’d like to see more of these, let me know in the comments!

-Elizabeth Ashley