Shout Out Sunday

Good morning! I’m actually putting this out on time this week, considering last week’s came out on Wednesday. It’s Father’s Day, and I know that can be really rough for some people. My dad and I are pretty close, but my heart goes out to all the people who might be struggling today. In honor of this holiday, may I wish a happy Father’s Day to Jeff Goldblum only:

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just a little jeff to bless your timeline (image source)

Well, let’s get right to it, shall we?

  1. Lyz Lenz’s piece on “Sex After Jesus” is so moving.
  2. I am obsessed with the Public Goods aesthetic! How is it possible that I only heard of this brand this week? It’s a lot like Brandless, which I’ve talked about on here before, but it seems to be specifically membership-based, like Grove. The older I get, the more I love minimalism.
  3. I’m so into this new trend of alcohol-free bars! I would totally buy an artisinal mocktail. The fun of drinking is just being out with your friends, isn’t it?
  4. I really want to watch the Black Mirror episode with Miley Cyrus, but the mere CONCEPT of Black Mirror scares the shit out of me. I don’t need that “what if cellphones but too much” energy in my life.
  5. How are these baskets only $6? Please give me all of them.
  6. I…can’t stop watching Laura Prepon’s Instagram videos. She has a YouTube channel too, if that’s more your speed.
  7. I caved and signed up for another year of Amazon Prime for the cheap Kindle books and to watch Fleabag. I’m a monster. And I’m aware that I will inevitably buy the jumpsuit.
  8. A meme was going around Twitter last week to share a photo of yourself as a child that has the same energy of you as an adult. My post is…on brand.
  9. Modcloth’s dresses are on sale but you’ve gotta act fast since sizes are going!
  10. I started a “Words Wednesday” series where I’m going to post a piece of creative writing weekly. Check out last week’s post!

Songs of the Week:

Lazy Line Painter Jane” by Belle & Sebastian. This has been one of my favorite songs for years and years, but I saw it on someone else’s Spotify playlist today and all of the feelings came rushing right back to me. A perfect jam.

Does He Love You?” by Rilo Kiley. This week’s creative writing piece will be a short story based on this song (if I can finish it on time!) I’ve been planning to get a tattoo that says “I am flawed if I’m not free” for ten+ years…should I finally just do it?

Back next week with more! TTFN!

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So Fresh and So Clean Clean

If you know me personally, you know that I am a bit of a freak for organization.

One of my long-term life goals is to start a professional organizing service, but unfortunately, with the popularity of Marie Kondo and The Home Edit, the market is a bit saturated (also, I have literally no idea how to start a business). A clean home/workspace brings me an immense sense of calm, and has been an invaluable tool in maintaining my mental health. Cleaning and maintaining a household is hard work when you’re severely depressed, but it’s just those little actions that can help to lift you out of a funk*.

I decided to compile some of the things that have helped me conquer the chaos, because so many articles online rely on the reader to buy expensive products or have limitless free time, and, babe, we’re not all IG influencers. I’m out of my house for work 50 or more hours a week. If you search “entryway organization” on Pinterest, you get images of million-dollar homes (I don’t know how much houses cost, to be fair). I don’t have the time or resources to have a Pinterest-perfect home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love and cherish my space.

Here are some of my favorite tips, tricks, and products for keeping a chaos-free home!

  • Actually KonMari your house. I know it’s controversial because most people have hoarding tendencies (way to generalize, Chels), but it’s the first step in the process and you can’t skip it. If you’re drowning in things, you’ll never get a real handle on your home. This is a blanket solution to your too-much-shit issues, since it applies to every room and every category in the house.
  • Sell stuff! Selling your used clothes and bags on Poshmark or at consignment stores can make getting rid of things into a game. I know people who’ve had luck with housewares on LetGo. You might as well get cash money as a prize for organizing.
  • This article on how to deep-clean your fridge is totally invaluable. It’s got to be done! I guarantee your mayonnaise has expired.
  • The dollar section at the entrance to Target! This section varies seasonally—it could even have different products in it week to week—but it almost always has storage solutions like bins, boxes, and jars, usually in adorable colors. P.S. Speaking of storage solutions, The Home Edit just dropped a collection at The Container Store and it is #goals.
  • Do the dishes while you cook. Nothing is more discouraging than finishing dinner only to face a massive pile of gross dishes. The best hack for this is to…
  • Use dishwashing gloves! Using gloves in the kitchen has changed the game for me. You don’t have to touch any food remains or wash your hands fifty times as you clean. Even though I use natural cleaning products, I still worry about residue on my hands from cleaning sprays, so this has spared my hands a lot of grief!
  • Reusable bags for every damn thing. I bring a reusable bag or two with me every time I go into a store. These fit everything, and they fold down into practically nothing. People have an inherent tendency to hoard tote bags (guilty), but if you narrow it down to a few you really love and actually use them, you spare yourself ever having to contend with those gross plastic bags ever again.
  • *very Oprah voice* EVERYTHING GETS A BIN. These are my personal favorite at the moment—I took everything in my office and separated it into categories (stationery, notebooks, sentimental items, etc), and it has made things so easy to find!
  • Containers, dispensers! Decant all your stuff into reusable containers and then just buy refill packs or concentrates. If you have, for instance, your dish soap in a glass bottle, then you can tell at a glance exactly how much you have, and won’t be tempted to buy extra “just in case.” Look under your sink and tell me how many extra bottles of countertop spray you have.
  • Take inventory before every trip to the grocery store. Seems like a pain in the ass, but how many bags of lentils do you need? Utilizing bins, containers, and turntables in your cabinets and fridge will make this a total breeze. Also, this spice rack is a game-changer if you’re like me and have every spice known to man.
  • Laundry gets taken out of the dryer, folded, and put away on the same day. This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you set a pile of underwear on top of the dresser because you’ll fold it and put it away “later,” it’ll still be there in a week, minus the ones you’ve plucked from it to wear (am I the only person that does this?). Laundry is my least favorite chore because it is never and can never be finished, but the quicker it’s out of sight, the quicker it’s out of mind. If you hate laundry too, the KonMari is crucial—when you have fewer articles of clothing, everything has a clear and designated place, so putting away your clothes is a breeze. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually do a capsule wardrobe…
  • Set reminders on your phone to water your plants. This is a new thing I’m trying. Pick a day a week, or month, depending on your plant’s specific watering needs. I have let so many plants perish from negligence, including a spider plant my husband managed to keep alive for the better part of a decade. Dead plants kill the visual vibe of any space, but living plants are good for the air quality in your home and make you seem like a classy adult who has her shit together!
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this is why you’ve got to water your plants. look how droopy and lopsided he is! i’m hoping i can bring him back to life.

I’m sure I could come up with a million more tiny things I do each day to keep my living space under control, but the above are tried-and-true methods that have taken me from being an absolute slob (just ask my parents) to a person who’s fiercely proud of her home. If you live with a partner (or kids), it can be hard to adjust to new routines, but I promise that in due time, they’ll see the myriad benefits of a clean space and get into it too!

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too many drawer dividers is just not a thing.

I apologize for the quality of the photos—I just used my phone and didn’t clean up beforehand—I wanted to show pictures of my actual day-to-day house, post-organizational implementation. It’s never perfect, but it’s always colorful.

*In no way am I endorsing the idea that you can “cure” depression by cleaning your house. That’s nuts. But since small tasks can be so overwhelming to those of us who deal with these issues, accomplishing them can be genuinely uplifting.

*somewhat* back on my bullshit

So I know I literally just posted a list of shit that I like, but now that I am “somewhat back on my bullshit,” I can’t stop.

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Here’s the home & beauty edition you’ve all been waiting for!

  1. I bought dishwashing gloves and it has CHANGED EVERYTHING. I snagged these from Grove, and it has made cleaning even more of a joy than it already was.
  2. I started using Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo and I LOVE IT. I’m more of a co-wash gal (I use New Wash, in case you were wondering), but this makes my hair feel squeaky-clean on those occasional real washes. Get it at Grove or Target!
  3. I got this face wash as a free gift with my Grove purchase (seriously, bitches, sponsor me), and I really like it! It smells great and it feels like it’s actually exfoliating my face (hormonal breakouts are a bitch). It’s soooo cheap at Target and it’s 95% natural, so it’s a no-brainer.
  4. These storage bins are LIFE. I just bought a few for my fridge and I fully plan on buying even more of them until my fridge is so organized that I get 5150’d.
  5. Target sells Native deodorant now! I’m dying of happiness. This is hands-down the BEST natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. Fuck aluminum and parabens! You don’t need them! Once your body adjusts (give it a few weeks), you’ll never go back to normal deodorant in your life. It’s a bit pricier than traditional deo, but it’s worth every penny. I’m finishing up a tube of unscented right now, but next up is Lavender & Rose!
  6. Target also sells Quip now! I’m sure there’s some back-alley, evil, corporate downside to all these indie brands being coopted by a big store like Target, but choose to see the bright side, which is the amount of exposure these great companies are getting! Quip is my new favorite thing—it times your brushing with 2 minutes of vibration in 30 second intervals, and LET ME TELL YOU, no one brushes their teeth for long enough. I am a fastidious brusher, a person who has famously been called out by a roommate for “brushing your teeth more than anyone I’ve ever met,” and even I do not brush my teeth for a thorough two minutes every time. Get on it!
  7. This Grove set is out-of-control cute. My husband keeps asking me which one is the hand soap and which is the dish soap, but it’s worth the annoyance to have my kitchen sink look this cute.
  8. I started actually using a probiotic every day, so I’m basically immortal. I take Lovebug’s Here’s the Skinny, and it’s available at drugstores!
  9. I’m so excited about this month’s Oui Fresh Beauty Box. I can’t wait for this HAN cheek & lip tint—I’m obsessed with their super-pigmented eye shadow.
  10. I tried Hello Fresh after cancelling my Blue Apron account (I had a great discount code), and while I really like the service, the portions are a little meager compared to BA. HF also does a bit more of the prep for you—garlic cloves come PEELED—which makes the prep faster overall. Meal kits aren’t super practical for my lifestyle right now, but if they fit into your budget and your schedule, these are both great options! Here’s my Hello Fresh referral link!

I’ll leave it there! Now to actually make one of my Hello Fresh meals and finish watching this truly godawful Hallmark Christmas movie!

 

 

 

I Discovered A Thing!

We live in a terrifying age. Targeted ads online are getting way too omniscient and precise. I don’t know that I’ve ever Googled Mrs. Meyers or Method (my preferred cleaning product brands), but I guess my general online vibe is bougie-hippie, because today, on Facebook of all places, they got me!

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inspiring af product photography

I use Facebook for three things—to promote my side hustle gigs, to post my wedding pictures, and to use the “On This Day” feature to scrub my social media accounts of old posts (advanced Twitter search is also great for this). Not that anything I posted as a teen is particularly embarrassing, but I don’t need “proof” that I was really into Kate Nash in 2010. So many status updates of no-context song lyrics—it was a simpler time.

But today, as I was giving the ol’ Timeline a cursory scroll, I saw a promoted blog post offering a free Mrs. Meyers kit. I’m not one to usually fall for this stuff, but I had to at least check out if it were legit, right? I visited the (actually super cute) blog, and read the sponsored post. It was advertising a website called Grove Collaborative, a Blue Apron-esque monthly delivery service for green cleaning and beauty products. At the present moment, they’re offering a 60-day free trial of their VIP service, which includes free shipping and a bunch of free goodies with the purchase of $20 worth of products. I think the VIP service is typically $40/year—I might give it a go when mine renews in July.

Today I placed my first order and got $50 worth of products for only $20! Free Mrs. Meyers lotion, hand soap, and dish soap, and they tossed in free sponges and a glass spray bottle! I’m excited to try out the wood & steel cleaners—I’m the queen of using all-purpose sprays on everything, but I think it’s time to grow up and take better care of my things!

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Grove Collaborative comes to my life at the perfect time—I’ve been in the process of switching to all-natural products in every aspect of my house and home, from whole foods to makeup, so having a delivery service bringing me organic cotton tampons and essential oils, for example, is a great way to keep me from Target impulse buys! Because, as we all know, Target is a death trap for the wallet. I go in for toothpaste and leave with a new bedroom set. It’s insane! The items on Grove Collaborative’s site are all also a tad lower in price than they are at Target or your local grocery store, which is another great way to save money. As far as I can tell, you only need a minimum of $10 worth of products per monthly shipment, so only order what you need, when you need it.

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these are a few of my faaaavorite brands—shop mrs. meyers, method, and seventh generation!

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Oh, and before I forget to mention it, if you provide a phone number, Grove Co. sends you a text to remind you of your next shipments! This is a huge boon to me, since I can be spacey about subscriptions (for instance, we’ve only gotten Blue Apron boxes by accident because I forgot to cancel…oops). Oh brave new world, with such services in it!

Click here for my referral link to get $10 off your first order!

*note that I am not in any way affiliated with Grove Collaborative, but would obviously love to be!

**all photos via Grove Collaborative and linked in the text of the post