Monday, December 11, 2017

5 Things to Toss Before 2018

As you're setting New Years Resolutions for yourself, make sure one of those is to declutter your home. It will help you destress having a clean environment to come home to.  Here's a list of some things you should consider tossing.

1. Old Bras
Bras are supposed to be replaced every year, and even less than that if you wear the same bra frequently. Washing machines wear them down. You don't want to wear a bra that has lost its slack and is supportive. My favorite bra is Victoria Secret's T-Shirt  Lightly Lined Wireless Bra and I no longer have to push wires back in. It uses molded foam to replace an underwire and have the same support as one with a wire. It's so comfortable I don't feel I'm wearing it and can sleep in it.   They give me lift and full support. I recently bought two new colors and immediately noticed a difference from the same bra I bought last year so I knew that bra had to go. You can donate your old bras to these organizations: Free the GirlsSoma, and Bra Recycling. 

2. Nonstick cookie sheets
The coating eventually wears off and if you've used the same pan for years it probably looks run down and the nonstick coating scratched off.

3. Trendy shoes you've only worn once
When I built my shoe closet I made a resolution that whenever I buy a new pair of shoes it has to fit inside it. That means one pair of shoes has to be tossed anytime I buy a new pair. If your New Year's resolution includes cleaning out your closet, consider tossing those trendy embellished booties you only wore once. Still keep all your old sneakers and Uggs? I think your feet will thank you if you tossed them. Zappos will take your old sneakers and donate them to people in need. I do this every time I buy a new pair of sneakers online because then I already have the boxes to put an old pair in to mail off.

4.  Clothing 
If you have clothes you haven't worn this year, chances are you aren't going to wear them again and it's time to say goodbye.  If it still has a tag on it, you know it's never going to work out. Not your size - bye! Are there items you've been meaning to donate? For me it's my old clubbing dresses, special occasion dresses and old workout clothes. You can either donate in one of those charity boxes around town, sell them to a thrift store, or I use an online one Tradesy.

I started using Tradesy in last year and have had really good luck with it selling about one item a month. It's super easy and way less stressful then selling on ebay. The way it works is you get an email when something sells and you confirm if you still want to sell it. Tradesy's fees are that for all items less than $50, it will incur a flat commission fee of $7.50. Sold items with a selling price of $50 or more will have a 19.8% commission rate.You can use your funds to buy stuff from their website or withdraw it from your paypal account for a 2.9% transfer fee. You have the option of using Tradesy's shipping kit for $10 which the seller pays for. After your sale is confirmed, Tradesy mails you a polybag and a pre-printed mailing label with tracking. Listing is free and your listing remains up indefinitely.

5. Bath Rug
I know mine needs replacing since the plastic on the other side is coming off and I can not put it in the washer one more time as the bottom peels off something terrible in the wash. If your rug is like mine and has weathered down over time or lost its fluffiness then it's time for a replacement. They are only meant to last two years. You also can't see the mold that has gotten deeply embedded in your mat. And from a design standpoint, it may be fun to get a new rug anyways.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Blanket Scarf

With the cooler weather coming in, it's starting to feel like winter will be here soon. This time of year I get excited about breaking out my scarves as they instantly change the look of any outfit. Remember the third piece rule? Blanket scarves have been around for a few years now but I hadn't added one to my collection yet. Although I think most of us would agree they seem intimidating at first since there's so much fabric to fold. I did a blog post on scarf folding back in 2014, but this is a whole new ball game. KellyintheCity has an excellent diagram on multiple ways to tie a blanket scarf, I use the Classic method. I keep seeing on pinterest that the go to accessory for the season is the comfy blanket scarf so I've rounded up a list below of some affordable ones you can add to your closet. I got mine from the Accessory Concierge but I don't see it anymore on their website. This will make a great gift for friends and family as well.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Personal Development Books

The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey; 2017, 240 pages
Super Soul Sunday is Oprah's new television show. Organized into 10 chapters - each one representing a powerful step in Oprah's own spiritual journey featuring selections from the most meaningful conversations between Oprah and some of today’s most-admired thought-leaders. Visionaries like Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, and Shonda Rhimes share their lessons in finding purpose through mindfulness and intention. World renowned authors and teachers like Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hahn, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer, explain our complex relationship with the ego and the healing powers of love and connection; and award-winning and bestselling writers like Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Elizabeth Lesser explore the beauty of forgiveness and spirituality. I listened to the audiobook which includes a entire conversations between Oprah and each leading thinkers as they engaged the whole world in a brilliant conversation. It's a very thought provoking book!

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris; 2014, 256 pages
After Nightline anchor Dan Harris had a panic attack on live television, on Good Morning America at the time, he decided he needed to do something about the voice in his head. He started practicing meditation as he found it increased calm, focus, and happiness. It's a very compelling introduction to meditation.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson; 2016, 224 pages

This book encourages you to embrace conflict, to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, and to be confident in finding out what you truly believe in, then standing up for it. This is a brilliant handbook on how to do well in life.
Then Mark moves on the importance of feeling pain and having problems. These are necessary aspects for growth. You cannot ever get anywhere without failing. Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; “Travel is a fantastic self-development tool, because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves. This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live."

 "We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond."

"It turns out that adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults."

"But a true and accurate measurement of one’s self-worth is how people feel about the negative aspects of themselves.”

"We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities."

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find -- and Keep -- Love by Amir Levine, Rachel Heller; 2010, 304 pages
The book reveals how an understanding of how attachment theory can help us find and sustain love and the impact that our early relationships with our parents has on the people we become. The author describes how attachment theory can be applied to romantic relationships. There are three types of attachment: secure, anxious, and avoidant. According to the authors, 50% of the population is securely attached, 25% is anxious, and 25% avoidant.

 *ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner's ability to love them back. The premise is that your childhood, but also any experience you had afterwards with intimate relationships, lead to certain attachment patterns.

*AVOIDANT people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.

*SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

 The book provides a lot of examples and checklists and inventories so that you can figure out what's going on in your relationship, how you might be exacerbating the problems, and give suggestions about how you could respond instead. And that was a real eye opener!

The author said, “We hope that you will use the relationship wisdom distilled in this book, from more than two decades of research, to find happiness in your romantic connections and to soar in all aspects of your life. If you follow the attachment principles we have outlined, you will be actively giving yourself the best shot at finding—and keeping—a deeply gratifying love."

The Big Leap - Gay Hendricks; 2009, 224 pages
The book explains how to eliminate the barriers to success by overcoming false fears and beliefs. According to Hendricks, we subconsciously set upper limits for ourselves. We believe that things can only be so good, and then only for so long. When circumstances get too good for too long, we start to believe that we don't deserve them, or they won't last, so we subconsciously upset our own apple carts.  The foundation of the book is the fact that we are all born to win, but when we get a feel for winning, we back down and go back to our comfort zone. Hendricks also offers some ideas of how we can operate in our genius zone more often. Essentially, the book helps you learn how to jump from mediocrity to excellence. Here are a few quotes I liked from the book: "Worrying is usually a sign that we’re Upper-Limiting. It is useful only if it concerns a topic we can actually do something about, and if it leads to our taking immediate and positive action."
"Money arguments never have anything to do with money, they are always about something deeper in relationships."
"In my life I’ve discovered that if I cling to the notion that something’s not possible, I’m arguing in favor of limitation. And if I argue for my limitations, I get to keep them."
"Criticism and blame are addictions. They are costly addictions, because they are the number-one destroyer of intimacy in close relationships."
"Make a careful study of your worry habits, when people drop their addition to worry, I see a lot of lives change."

Related posts:
Playing Big as a Woman
No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline
The Gratitude Diaries
The Magic of Thinking Big

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