Spring Cleaning | Your Closet

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Cleaning up after a long, cold winter can bring a sense of renewal as exciting as that first breath of spring air.   There’s just something invigorating about making the windows letting the sunshine in and clearing out the cobwebs that lures us into the spring cleaning ritual each year.

A good place to begin is your closet. It will help to motivate you to get to the rest of your house cleaned, and it will also give you the chance to donate some things to people who need them more than you.

I did a big purge. And I mean BIG. I got rid of 80% of my clothing in an effort to begin to live simpler. Here are some questions I asked myself when deciding on whether to keep an item or donate it:

  • Have I worn this in the past 3 months?
  • If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?
  • Do I need this? or is there something else that does its job better?
  • Does it fit me… better yet does it look good on me?
  • Does it go with at least 4 other items in the closet?

If I answered no to any of those questions, it was gone. Someone else needs it more than I do.

After going through my clothes, I turned to my shoes. I recently had surgery on my foot and I most likely won’t be able to wear heels again. I got rid of all heels and any other uncomfortable shoes that just sat there. I also threw out broken flip flops and shoes with holes in them {why did I even have those?!}

Then I looked at my purses. Holy man: purses galore. I hadn’t used probably 90% of them in years. So guess what I did? That’s right – gone.

I ended up donating 14 bags of clothes & accessories to a local women’s shelter. Do you even know how good it felt to do that?

Not once have I wished that I had kept a certain item. Also, my laundry is so much easier and I actually do it more often. I used to let my laundry pile grow and would end up having to do 6 loads. Now, I do one small light and one small dark each week. Everything has a place and my clothes are no longer strewn across my bedroom. Plus, since I know everything looks good on me, I don’t do 12 outfit changes in the morning before work.

It’s amazing what a difference it has made on my life and on others’ lives. There is no better feeling than that.

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Eating Raw

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I came across the YouTube channel FullyRawKristina. She has been eating completely raw for almost 9 years! This blew my mind because you literally cook nothing, yet she makes dishes that are comparable to everything from lasagna  to shortcake. She explained all of the health benefits and her experiences. It has interested me so much. I don’t know if I’d be able to completely commit, but I could at least incorporate raw eating into 1-2 meals per day.

Go check out her channel. If anything, it’s food for thought (ha- get it?)

 

Photo Credit: CompFight

Mission and Vision

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When a business is started, a Mission and Vision Statement are usually produced to keep the business on track. Sometimes, these statements change as the business evolves. This seems like a good idea for businesses, but what about for humans? What about personal vision & mission statements to keep us on track.

The thought came to me while I was at work examining the company’s development over its 60 years. The statements never changed. I got to thinking about the necessity of these statements. Almost every business I have worked for has had statements such as these. Then I thought, well why don’t I have these statements for my personal life?

What are Mission & Vision Statements?

Well, a Vision Statement defines the optimal desired future. It provides long term guidance and inspiration to employees & leaders of the company. Essentially it is the “big picture”, the end result. For example, Alzheimer’s Association’s Vision Statement is: “Our Vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”

A Mission Statement defines the present purpose of the organization and answers three questions: what it does, who it does it for, and how it does what it does. This is usually the statement that changes the most. As the economy changes, the company needs to evolve. For example, Target’s Mission Statement is: “Our mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.”

Cool, but what does this have to do with me?

You are your own entity. You are, in other words, a business. Why shouldn’t you have mission & vision statements?  This is a good way to think about your goals in life, your passions and your purpose on this earth. Many of us don’t think about things like that. We just go on living a “normal” life.

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So, here is my challenge to you; think about what your Vision & Mission Statements would be. I don’t have either for myself… yet. It’s not something that is easy to come up with. It requires a lot of thought; that’s the whole point.

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Get thinking! See what you come up with.

 

Photos courtesy of Compfight

6 Questions That Will Change Your Life

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I came across a website. I know, big surprise right? Well, this website is awesome. It’s called Tiny Buddha.

An entry that I found to be very inspiring is called “6 Powerful Questions That Will Change Your Life Forever”. Of course this intrigued me.

Here are the questions and I thought I would share my answers. Go check out that post… it may just change your life forever.

What do I absolutely love in life?

  • Music
  • Cooking
  • Nutrition
  • Learning
  • Documentaries
  • Being outside
  • Writing
  • Photography

What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

  • Overcoming an eating disorder
  • Overcoming depression/anxiety
  • Meeting the love of my life
  • Keeping a strong connection with my family

What would I stand for if I knew no one would judge me?

  •  Freedom
  • Anti-money
  • A brand new society

If my life had absolutely no limits and I could have it all and do whatever I wanted, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

  • Travel the world
  • Take pictures of the world
  • Constant learning
  • Be around people I love
  • Never feel pressured to go to work

What would I do if I had one billion dollars?

  • Travel the world
  • Learn
  • Help others around the world
  • Wake up when I wanted to
  • Do whatever I wanted that day
  • Create: make things with my hands: paintings, art, sculptures
  • Write a book
  • Change peoples’ lives

Who do I admire most in the world?

People who are genuinely happy with their lives – not one specific person

 

Photo credit: compfight.com

Earth

Earth

Earth.

Our home, our life force, the cause of evolution. This planet is pretty awesome if you think about it. It gives us everything we need. However, humans are taking it for granted and ruining it. Just look outside your window. Go ahead. See that road? We put it there. It gets in the way of our planet’s other species. See that building? It didn’t grow from the soil. We put it there.

Now, I’m not saying that buildings and roads need to be demolished and that they are the cause of everything bad. No, no, I’m not that radical. All I’m saying is that we need to be more conscious about what we’re doing to the planet. We are beginning to understand nature more. Our technological advances have enabled us to go to the bottom of the seas, the top of mountains and everywhere in between. And we’ve come to a conclusion: nature is amazing.

Since we have learned so much over the last while, movements are surfacing that fight to protect the Earth & nature. While some of these movements are to the degree of extremeness I was trying to avoid earlier, most make perfect sense. The main goal of these environmental movements is to educate society on protecting the natural world. There are such simple changes that every one of us can implement – it honestly makes a difference!

You’re in? Awesome. Try these:

  • Buy what you need – this reduces unnecessary waste.
  • Buy things second hand – this is another method of recycling (which we all know is good)
  • Use LED light bulbs
  • Take the bus, or ride a bike – the weather is getting nice, why not spend it outside!
  • Choose organic, locally grown foods
  • Hang your clothing to dry
  • Turn off taps while brushing your teeth
  • Use non-toxic cleaners in your home
  • Recycle – even things like batteries. Your city should have a battery collection location

Even if you just adopt one of the above changes, you will make a difference. I guarantee that.

Since today is Earth Day, take a moment and really think about our planet. I’m serious. Look at pictures of the wonders in nature. Sit outside for lunch. Feel the sunshine or the rain. Take a moment to deeply appreciate what we’ve got here.  Without it, there would be no us.

Crackers

Crackers

I made my own crackers because I ran out of crackers, but still had hummus left! Instead of going out to the grocery store, I decided to give this a try! And successful it was. Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup ground chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 450°F – move the oven rack to the slot second closest to the bottom

Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour

Mix the dry ingredients together

Add the oil and water and stir until a sticky dough is formed

Divide the dough into 2. Set one half aside.

Sprinkle flour onto your work surface, lay out the dough and sprinkle a little more flour on top

Roll it out thin (about 1/8 inch or thinner), and make sure it’s even

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small rectangles

Transfer the cut dough to the baking sheet. Pull the pieces apart so they don’t bake together

Prick each cracker a few times with a fork so that the center doesn’t rise/bubble

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn

Repeat for the other half of the dough.

 

I added salt to the top, but next time I’m going to add herbs like rosemary or basil. You can also add poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc. to make sure the toppings stick, brush the dough with water and add the toppings before cutting the rectangles.

These taste really good! I’m really impressed, and they cost less than packaged crackers; plus they’re so easy to make.