konmari closet cleanout.

i jumped on the bandwagon this summer you guys. i jumped right on the konmari bandwagon and i’m not ever getting off.

life changing

over the fourth of july, i needed a book to read at the cabin, so i decided i’d read one that might help me organize my life. enter: the life-changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo. there are a lot of people who swear by the ideas that this book covers, and i thought there was no way that any of it could be that different from anything you’d read in real simple magazine. we’re talking about organizing our stuff people, how life changing could this be?

answer: very, very life-changing.

i had previously been slowly getting rid of clothes that i haven’t worn in months. i’d see something and throw it into a bag in the corner of our room, and bring the bag to goodwill every few months. it was fine, and i was getting rid of things, but i still felt like i had nothing to wear, like there was too much clutter. with the way that the book suggests you declutter your closet (and your bookshelves and bathrooms and knick-knacks, etc.), you do it all in one fell swoop. you take all the clothes in your entire house, including jackets and shoes and accessories, and you look at and touch all of them, one by one. you register how each piece makes you feel, and if something makes you happy or brings you joy, you keep it. if it doesn’t spark any kind of happy feeling, you get rid of it. simple as that.

i was very nervous to buy into this practice wholeheartedly. what if my feelings were wrong?? what if i got rid of something that i really loved or needed? what if i got rid of too much? but then i stepped back and realized – i’ve been wearing the same combination of shirts and pants since amelia was born. i wasn’t wearing more than half the clothes i owned. so i jumped in with both feet and i never looked back.

and what i found was surprising for me. turns out, i’m more than okay with wearing the same things over and over. in fact, it makes me happy to put something on that i know i’ll look good and feel comfortable in, versus trying to decide if today is the day i’ll finally look good in that racerback tank (spoiler: i will not ever look good in a racerback, it’s just not genetically in my future). also turns out, i’m a BIG fan of neutral tops. black, grey, beige, white, stripes or no stripes, anything that will match everything is my jam. unless it’s bright green, which i also favor, but that’s because i see it as a neutral too. this is good news for when i want to buy new things…really cuts down on my options, but in a good way. and as for work, i’ve streamlined my options so much that i now have a work uniform (i’ll give an update on that soon). getting ready each morning takes no time at all.

now, i haven’t been brave enough/haven’t had the time to devote to apply this wondrous method to other areas of my life like books, kitchen, knick-knacks and what have you, but I’m just waiting for a long winter night when i can dig in and dclutter some more. turns out, minimalism agrees with me. i should have known that before, i hate shopping and i hate having to figure out how to organize all my things, but it took a different way of looking at my clutter to realize it. konmari had some things i don’t abide by, like the way she talks to her belongings. and right now, i’m just not capable of getting each and every thing back in its “home” every night like she suggests, but for the most part, her theory works for me. it isn’t going to work for everyone. not everyone is meant to be a minimalist. some people are good at having a lot of things, and you guys, you shouldn’t do this method.

but for me, it’s a real good thing.

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photo source: 1

october goals.

so, confession time. i am addicted to reading other people’s “monthly goals” posts. addicted! there is something about seeing people put their goals, large and small, in writing, and then hearing whether or not they achieve those goals that is so mesmerizing for me. maybe because i’m a compulsive list-writer in my private life, or because for the last year my personal goals have really been put to the wayside, living vicariously through others’ goals has been amazing.

but now i’m ready to put my list writing to good use and get back on the personal goal train. let’s call these posts an experiment for now. it may be incredibly humiliating to get to the next month and realize i’ve done literally nothing to complete the goals for the last month, but i’m going to give it the good old college try until the end of the year before i decide if this will be on the permanent rotation. i’ll be sharing my monthly goals the first saturday of the month, as well as the progress (or failure) of the prior month’s goals. hopefully some of you have the same weird addiction as me and get a kick out of these! any encouragement is appreciated, please and thank you.

goals header

  • finish the updates for the first year of amelia’s baby book. i am THIS.CLOSE to being done with the entire first year of her baby book, i can just taste it! i’m missing a few photos that i never printed out because i am the worst person in the world when it comes to having physical evidence of special moments. i have a photo album that i was going to make to commemorate my semester abroad and it’s sitting in our basement, piles of photos ready to go, but i’ve never gotten around to pasting them in there. so yes. this needs to happen.
  • weigh myself. yea, this is a weird one. i weighed myself at the beginning of the month and had a heart attack when i saw the number. i may have weighed myself at the gym, at the end of a long day, after eating a chipotle dinner, so it may or may not have been accurate, but it was terrifying nonetheless. and normally i don’t think about the number, i mean i don’t even own a scale, but since i’ve started focusing on getting myself back into shape, it IS a helpful measurement. i’ve been too nervous to do it again so at some point in october i’ve got to get over the fear and do it.
  • start christmas shopping. okay, i promise that i am not one of those people who wants christmas to start the day after halloween. in fact, i refuse to decorate or listen to christmas music until at least december. i am the worst procrastinator when it comes to buying gifts however, so i am hoping if i make this a goal, whether i just make a list of what i need to get in the next three months, or if i see little sales here and there and make early purchases, this will keep me from having to brave the malls two days before christmas or paying for rush shipping.
  • have a staycation with Mister Man. this is me trying to make a silver lining out of a bummer situation. we were actually hoping to go to las vegas together in october, because neither of us have ever been, and since we’re not getting any younger, we just don’t know when we would get there in the future. but….we waited too long to look for tickets and now our only option would be to pay $1000 to get there. yea. right. so my goal now is to plan a staycation so we can relax and have fun together, just here instead of there.
  • run a mile without stopping. i don’t know. this seems like a goal i should have. don’t hold your breath on this one. (go ahead, laugh at me. i know some of you eat one mile runs for breakfast, but i hate running with the fire of a thousand suns so this is me trying to think big. whatever.)

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picking raspberries.

i’ll admit, during the early days of summer, i let my garden go rogue. i didn’t prune, i didn’t thin out, i didn’t weed. the tomato plant went AWOL over the fence and the swiss chard withered and died. i had a baby who didn’t like being worn anymore (i miss those baby wearing days), what was i supposed to do? when you only have one hand and you’re holding a baby in the other, your activities are limited to dusting and stirring and playing with said baby.

things have changed a little since then. these days i can take care of my garden with both hands. my baby is still there, only now she’s a toddler. she’s walking around and helping her mama pick the raspberries and tomatoes. i like to think that it’s not a coincidence that those are two of her favorite foods. i like to think that she loves them so much because when she eats them, she gets a warm, fuzzy feeling and remembers the afternoons she’s spent with me in the yard picking her “rahburry” and “trrrmate”.

i love watching her pick the raspberries. she knows that the red ones are the ones you want, and that you have to look underneath the leaves and branches to get to the fruit. i think i’ve seen her put maybe one raspberry in her bowl when we’re picking, only to eat it (plus half my bowl) a minute later. she’s not the world’s most efficient picker, but hey, you get what you pay for. and she makes up for her lack of output with her surplus of sassy smiles. plus, look at that face.

picking raspberries

i wouldn’t want anyone else by my side while picking raspberries.

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grandpa’s white chicken chili.

i’m back at it guys. i’m cracking open my grandpa’s cookbook again, and continuing to work my way through his soup recipes. if you aren’t familiar with this project of mine, here are some posts to catch you up. fair warning: due to the time of year and the deliciousness of these recipes, you will want to drop everything you’re doing and cook them. and that’s okay, i actually encourage that.

white chicken chili title


coffee date.

i’ve avoided making this a regular thing for long enough. i’m just going to give in to the inevitable. i love coffee; i love talking at to people; so coffee dates it is. we’re going to make this a regular thing you and i.

you know how all the healthy lifestyle magazines are always saying, “make your friend dates a chance to be active – go hiking, take a workout class or do something else active with your girls”? yea, well that’s all well and good, but i’ll work out on my own time. i prefer my girl time to be spent over brunch, happy hour, or a good cup of coffee. i suppose we can take a walk with our coffee if the weather is good enough – not too hot, not too cold – so imagine we’re walking if you like. otherwise, curl up on your comfiest chair with your beverage of choice, and let’s do this thing.

it’s still a little too hot for sweaters and scarves, but i can’t give up my hot beverages at this time of year. i’ll be having a skim latte with a half shot of almond syrup. i’d get a pumpkin latte, but i’m trying to pace myself. i can’t burn out on them before october! question for you: have you ever tried pourover coffee? i tried one the other day, and i have to say…i don’t get it. can someone explain it to me? am i not hipster enough for pourover coffee? help.

almond latte

speaking of things that are too hipster for me; let’s talk about having cool hair. now, i don’t have what i would call “mom” hair. but i certainly don’t have what i would call “cool” hair. once upon a time i had bangs, but then i realized that i have curly hair and don’t like to spend more than five minutes fixing it. bangs gone. i work in a fairly conservative place, so fun color is out of the question. and frankly shaving off any part of my hair = seems silly considering my lifestyle. i just think that i’m destined to have the same hair forever. can we agree to just call me classic?


can i stop the conversation for a moment to show you this photo of amelia taking all of her dad’s credit cards out of his wallet? it’s just so hilarious, and we both think this is a foreshadowing of things to come…

amelia and wallet

i want to get a bit sentimental with you for a moment now. because you have been so incredibly wonderful to me this week as i introduced “everything with love”. i have been thinking this over in my little heart for a long time now – an embarrassingly long time. we’re talking a year or so. i have felt so pulled to the message of it, and it finally came together to fit just right. and your response has been more wonderful than i’d ever hoped it would be. thank you for that. thank you a thousand times. i have the biggest smile on my face.

thanks for coffee. i love myself a good chat with a friend on a saturday morning. let’s do this again soon. i hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of perfect fall weather and lovely times with people who make you happy (throw a beer in there and you have my perfect day). tag your weekend coffee date activities with #withloveandcoffee so i can make sure to follow you all and keep up with your weekend fun. coffee dates are a two way street people!

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