2019 Goals

It’s a new year and honestly, it feels like a semi-new me too. After a difficult 2018, I am so ready to conquer new things and focus on creating my dream life. With the enthusiasm of a child in a candy shop, let’s talk about our 2019 Goals!

Laura Rahel 2019 Goals Paying off Debt, Saving Money, Simplify Your Life

For the first time ever, I am finally ready to take the advice of countless high achievers out there and really limit my focus and goals in 2019. They say if you choose only one or two things to focus on (instead of 10 or 20 like my usual new years goals and resolutions haha) that you are far more likely to achieve measurable progress in those one or two goals. And because I’m ready for a life change, I’m listening to the professionals this year and really limiting my focus for the year. Watch my goals video to hear more or check out my lifestyle YouTube channel here.

If you’re more into words than watching videos, here’s the nitty gritty of my 2019 goals. There are only 2 of them!

My 2019 Goals

1. Simplify My Life

2. Be Responsible With Money

Obviously there are lots of steps I can take within each of those goals to achieve them, but for the sake of being narrow in my focus, these are the 2 main areas I’m going to try and make progress on in 2019. What do these goals look like when broken down?

Well, being responsible with money means getting out of debt, spending less money, and saving more money. So I’m going to be doing some fun challenges this year to help me with those goals. I’m super excited about it and have already shared some videos about this goal on my channel. Make sure you’re subscribed over there to see my monthly savings and no spend challenges, my monthly budgets, and end-of-month progress check-ins!

The goal of simplifying my life is hilariously enough, a more complicated goal with more steps. It looks like healing for me, and making healing a priority by going to counseling (trying new forms of counseling because I am super interested in healing old neural pathways that were created in times of trauma and continue to cause anxiety in my present day life which is absent of trauma.) It looks like minimizing my anxiety by creating routines and habits that make me feel good mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’m not adding pressure to myself to go to yoga everyday or meditate daily, or anything like that. That would be a separate goal. But keeping the goal of simplifying my life in my focus all the time means I will more than likely choose these things that help me to feel at peace and content more regularly, without making them the goal. (They are simply a vehicle to help get me to the real goal- being content.) Of course, simplifying my life also means decluttering my environment too, and I’m excited to share that journey on my YouTube channel throughout the year. Simplifying my life can be broken down into a lot of different actions I can take, but for now, I’m trying to keep the perspective zoomed out and not worry about the little things and little goals within the larger one, and instead just be driven by the large goal.

I would love to hear what your 2019 goals are, especially if we have any in common. Let me know what they are in the comments below.

Until next time, xo, Laura

My 2018 Fall Capsule Wardrobe

The last couple of years I have gotten more into minimalism and ethical living in different parts of my life. It has been a way for me to simplify some things, spend less money, do more good in the world, and be more intentional with my actions and my purchases. One major category this has impacted is my wardrobe. After doing a year long capsule wardrobe in 2017, then taking a break from it for most of 2018, I’m finally ready to try a season capsule instead of a year long one!

So today I’m sharing my 2018 fall capsule wardrobe with you! YAY! Cue all the confetti because fall is the best and the clothes are super cute. The best part? My entire fall capsule wardrobe costed less than $40, using a lot of things already in my closet and making a few smart second-hand choices to fill in the gaps of what I was missing.

If you want to see and hear more about that, make sure to watch the video down below where I share my fall second-hand clothing haul for my fall and winter capsule. Now, let’s get to the good stuff- the cute outfits in my closets for the season.

My 2018 Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Here’s a look at the quick video I made sharing my capsule wardrobe for this fall. Below I’m sharing photos and outfit details!

Outfit 1

Details: Leggings are from Aerie last Christmas, Boots were $8 second-hand from a couple years ago, Sweater was $13 second-hand. This new-to-me sweater is one of my favorite purchases this season!

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Under $50

Outfit 2

Details: Top was $4 thrifted this season, Jeans are Levis that have been in my wardrobe for a couple years, and the boots were $8 second-hand a couple years ago.

Fall Second Hand Ethical Capsule Wardrobe

Outfit 3

Details: My trusty Levis jeans a few years old, Boots were $8 second-hand from a couple years ago, top was from SheIn last Christmas.

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Outfit 4

Details: Leggings are from Aerie last Christmas, Top was second-hand from a few years ago around $10, Heels were $25 from H&M earlier this year.

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Outfit 5

Details: Pants were $40 from Abercrombie from a few years ago, Heels were $25 from H&M earlier this year, Jacket was $15 second-hand in my most recent thrifty haul (video of that at the end of this post!)

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Outfit 6

Details: Pants were $40 from Abercrombie a few years ago, Top was $15 from Marshals earlier this year, shoes were $25 from H&M earlier this year.

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Outfit 7

Details: Pants were $40 from Abercrombie a few years ago, Boots were $15 from a second-hand store a few years ago, Top was $4 from Goodwill in my most recent second-hand clothing haul (video at the end of this post!)

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Outfit 8

Details: Jeans were $40 from Abercrombie a few years ago, Boots were $8 second-hand from a couple years ago, top was $12 thrifted a couple years ago.

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As you can see, I’m using the same 3 pairs of bottoms in all the photos, I’m using the same 3 pairs of shoes, and most of my tops were already in my wardrobe. I added a few new tops second-hand from my most recent thrifty haul and I’m sharing that fun video down below if you want to see what I bought, what I spent, and what those cute items look like. Overall it’s a super cute, relaxed, and affordable fall capsule wardrobe for me this year and I could not be more excited about it!

I hope you have enjoyed this peak into my wardrobe and my life a little bit. I’m excited to be sharing more of my actual lifestyle with you because it’s changed dramatically over the last few years! All of the changes have made such a positive impact on me and I want to share them with you in case they offer an opportunity for you to better your life too. <3 :)

Do you use a capsule wardrobe? What’s your take on minimalism? Leave me a comment down below and let me know!

Happy Saturday friends!

xoxo, Laura

Simplifying My Closet

When I am stressed out, I like to clean. Cleaning gives us control over some aspect of our environment. Makes us feel productive and distracts our mind, if only a little, from our problems. When I got home from work this morning, I felt extremely overwhelmed by my bedroom. As usual.

When you work as much as I do, tasks like laundry and dusting take the back seat to sleeping and showering. That combined with my need to craft often, my room was a disaster zone.

Today I decided to tackle my closet because I'm moving and my next closet is about 1/3 the size of my current closet. My current closet is already full. Meaning I need to get rid of 2/3 of my things. So I got to work on it.

SIMPLIFY

Simplify your life. Simplify your closet. Here are 3 steps.

 1. Go through all of your jeans. Make three piles. 1) Keep 2) Give away 3) Maybe. Try on everything in the third (maybe) pile and put each item in either the "Keep" pile or the "Give Away" pile depending on how you feel about it once it's on your body.

 2. Go through everything hanging up in your closet and things in your dresser. Leave it hanging if its a "Keeper." Take it off and fold it into a nice pile if its a "Give Away."      

 3. Go through all of your shoes, bags, and accessories.

RULES FOR DECIDING

1. Do you wear it often? 
Clothes are only worth their cost if you wear them often. If not, you don't need it.  Its taking up precious space. Get rid of it. If you haven't worn something in the last 6 months, you aren't going to wear it again. Its a "Give Away."

2. Does it fit well?
I have an issue with clothes. I always buy jeans that fit great in the fitting room, but after wearing them for a couple of hours, they loosen up in the hips and are constantly dragging down. Time to give those ill-fitting babies away. The third picture above, is my pile of "Keep" jeans. Believe it or not, I had twice as many before dividing these up this morning. I kept 19 pairs of jeans. 

3. Is it comfortable?
I don't care if its the cutest pair of heels or jeans that make your butt look amazing. If its not comfortable, it needs to go. If its not comfortable, you won't wear it often. And when you do wear it, it makes you miserable. Hollister jeans for example are very low cut and tight in the knees. Every time I sat down, my butt hung out and the undersides of my knees hurt from the tight wrinkled fabric. Those babies have got to go.

4. Do you have room for it?
I used to think my problem was not having enough storage. I needed to be more clever with how I organized my items. This is not your problem.The problem isn't your lack of space; its your  overabundance of stuff. If you don't have room for it, if you can't store it in a manner that's appealing to the eye and makes everything easy to find, you need to get rid of it. Live within your means and space.

5. Did you have plans to reuse it?
I had plans for a lot of my old clothes. Fun headbands from old t-shirts. Tiny hole in my boots from my dog can be fixed by bedazzling them with metal studs over the teeth impression. The dress that was a little too big could be sent to my sister. Here's the truth about plans. They are the enablers of procrastination. If you have had "plans" to refurbish an item for more than two weeks and you still haven't done it, it needs to go. If you didn't have the time to make it a priority in the last two weeks, you won't anytime soon.

 6. Is it a Maybe?
This is very important. If something has landed in your "maybe" pile even after trying it on, it's a "Give Away." You may like it alright but you don't love it. You won't choose it over the other items you are keeping, meaning you will pass it over every time you get dressed. Don't be fooled into thinking you need it. If its a maybe, its already a "no."

HOW TO "GIVE AWAY"

It's always easier to get rid of things if you get paid for them, so that's where we will start. Here's how to prepare your clothes for sale.

1. Make sure its clean. If any stains appear to soil the surface, use soap and a nail brush (the kind used to clean under your nails in the shower) to lightly scrub the surface. If the stain hasn't lifted within a minute, there is no need to soak it or continue scrubbing. Toss it in the trash. Of the 7 items I found small stains on this morning, only one had to be tossed. The soap and nail brush is an awesome duo. It also works great to clean up shoes. Clean the tops, sides and bottom of shoes you're giving away. Put items in the dryer after you've scrubbed them so they can dry while you continue.

 2. Use a lint roller on every item. Seems little and mundane but I promise this makes a huge difference in how your clothes are perceived by the person whose considering buying them. While you're taking a lint roller to your clothes, if you notice any threads hanging, use scissors to cut it. Never pull the thread. When people see a thread hanging, it gives them the impression that its poorly made or kept. This is often not the problem at all. Threads happen, make yours disappear.

 3. Organize by color. After you've done steps one and two, fold your give away items. Then stack them by color. It displays your clothes in the most visually appealing and sellable way. Notice how fab my give away items look when stacked this way! Together they look so great, I considered keeping them ;)

4. Take your items to the store! I went to Plato's Closet because its the only place in my area that I know of that buys back gently used clothes. It helps that I love brands like F21 and AEO so a lot of the clothes I gave away were right up their ally. And once the not-name-brand clothes were mixed in, in the nicely folded, color coded stacks, they blended right in.

 5. What they don't buy, immediately take to Goodwill or your thrift store of choice. Don't give into the temptation to take the clothes back home and put them back in your closet. Somebody else could greatly benefit from your donation. I highly recommend CHKD Thrift Store. Helping sick kids while simplifying and de-stressing my home? Yes, please.

When I went through my closet and took my "give away" pile to the resale shop this month, I got the largest check I've ever gotton for selling my clothes. Almost $150 for clothes I needed to get rid of. I loved it!

AFTERWARDS

The most important thing to remember afterwards is that this is a way to simplify your life. It is not meant as an excuse to go fill your closet back up! I used to always do this. Sell then buy, sell then buy. Don't. Only buy what you need, when you need it.

If you're getting rid of it, you don't need it, you don't need to replace it :)

Remember this very important, relevant to this time of the year, quote- "Thankfulness is about wanting what you've got, not getting what you want."

Now I need to work on going through some of my craft supplies before I head back into work for the night.

Happy Closet Cleaning!

xoxo, Laura