January 08, 2017

Speaking of closet cleaning: Best tips for paring down your stuff

It's no secret I enjoy cleaning out closets. And now that the maelstrom of the holiday season (and sickness – both baby and I were down for the count) is over, I tackled my closets again.

I'm a big fan of the KonMari method. (Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?) Running through the house, gathering everything in one place, and evaluating it all at once before putting (or giving) it away is thorough. Plus, touching each item to see if it "sparks joy" is not as crazy as it may sound.

All the shoes in one place. 
In the past six months, I've made my way through the entire house at least twice. Books, movies, CDs, memorabilia, clothes, shoes: Everything has been sorted, evaluated and tossed/recycled/stashed.

Interested in doing something similar? Here are my favorite resources/tips if you're looking to pare down:

  • Read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (Obviously.)
  • Want to cull your closet and create a capsule wardrobe? The AEO blog post has excellent tips – and worksheets! (Like the suggestion to make five piles when you clean out your closet: Yes, Maybe, Sell, Donate, Toss)
  • Look for a local consignment store to sell your clothes. It's easier than trying to make cash using social media or eBay. 
  • Don't want to toss old clothes in the trash? Pack up any worn out, stained or torn clothes and take them to H&M! Drop them off at their recycling bin (usually by cash) and they'll give you a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $30.
  • One of my favorite blogs is The Non-Consumer Advocate. Great source of inspiration.
  • Buy less. Save your money. See if you can make do with what you have before needing to buy something new.

November 16, 2016

The Goldbergs

Oh, guys, this is easily the funniest show I've watched in a long time. Maybe ever.

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Set in "1980-something," The Goldbergs is a half-hour comedy about Adam, the youngest (and nerdiest) of the clan who documents his crazy family life on video. It's structured like a typical family sitcom: Problems are presented and resolved in an episode, resulting in the family growing closer together or an individual member learning one big lesson. (You know, like all the shows we used to watch growing up.) However, The Goldbergs is hilarious. Gut-busting, side-aching, struggling-to-breathe funny while still delivering an emotional heartwarming wallop at the end of the episode.

Most of those laughs come from Barry, the middle child, who's a lovable moron. (Keep an eye out for the episode where he decides to learn karate – pronounced ka-rah-tay. Prepare to giggle for a long time after it's over.) That being said, the entire family is crazy: From short-tempered dad Murray and overprotective mom Beverly to popular sister Erica and occasional-voice-of-reason grandfather Pop-Pop, each character has unique quirks and a strong personality that leads to big clashes.

(Fun fact: The Goldbergs is based off the showrunner's family, complete with the vintage video footage to prove it.)

Along with hearty belly laughs, The Goldbergs also has a lot of, well, heart. At its core, it's a show about family, about having each others backs and figuring out life as the kids grow up. It's perfect if you're a big fan of crying while laughing and the warm fuzzies you get from 80's/90's family sitcoms.

November 14, 2016

Going through a major life change? Clean your closet!

Back when my family rented the top floor of a home, I used to stand in front of my sliver of a doorless closet and pull everything out of it, sort through all my junk and organize it into place.

Then, when my family moved to a townhouse, I gained a double-door closet that was torn apart and reassembled on a semi-monthly basis during my teenage years. Every memento was sorted, kept or tossed. Every piece of clothing evaluated for fit and feel, thrown into a donation bag or hung back up. Every time, I closed the doors and walked away feeling lighter – and likely went on to dump a boyfriend or two.

This week I've been on a bit of a tear. Although Hubs gets a little wide-eyed as the donation pile grows bigger and bigger, he doesn't interfere. (After all, his stuff is safe.) I've never been so ruthless: Filtering through my closet twice, sorting through storage bins, skimming every book to decide whether I'd read it again and sitting in silence, mulling over whether I've hit every nook and cranny before I make all the effort to cram the donation bags and boxes into my trunk and drop it all off. (Because, obviously, I can only go once.)

Maybe it's because Christmas is coming soon. Maybe it's because of all the baby's gifts and gear. Maybe it's the prospect of trying on clothes after having him. My postpartum body is different, new. Maybe there's been so much change, it feels easier to get rid of the stuff I know won't fit – the jeans I'm not ready to fight with, the tops that won't button, and the shoes where my toes hit the end. Maybe I don't have time or headspace for the "non-essential" stuff or...

Maybe it just feels great to KonMari the sh*t out of everything.

November 11, 2016

Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin is about Jane, a twenty-something virgin who is accidentally artificially inseminated with a sperm of a wealthy, married hotelier. At least, that's where it begins. (It gets crazier and harder to explain without completely spoiling the plot.) 

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One of my favorite elements of the show is its ability to ground itself in real emotion and authentic relationships amid all the insane telenovela plot twists and turns. Because of this, Jane feels like the most relatable television character I've ever seen. At least, on a personal level. Not so much on artificial insemination/love triangle/long-lost family members/murderer levels.

Jane is perfect if you're looking for fun, light entertainment that isn't dumb. It's endearing, humorous, and respectful. (Odd word to use when describing a show, I know. But Jane manages to weave political statements and religious beliefs throughout the narrative without getting preachy or weird. It's refreshing.) It's especially good if you're a fan of romantic comedies, soap operas, and strong, fully fleshed out female characters.

October 23, 2016

440

That's how many days have passed since my last blog post.

Since then, I've stickhandled my way through some minor life crises and major life changes. Like, getting pregnant, birthing a child and spending three (almost four) months trying to sort out what I'm doing. (Still no answers.)

Funny thing, this whole maternity leave business (Yay, Canada!) has left my fingers itching to tap their way across a keyboard again. Luckily for me (maybe you too), I didn't shut down this blog once during the thirteen or so times I considered it. And I promise this won't become a mommy-blog. At least not all the time.)

I'm back, baby.

(During nap time, at least.)

August 09, 2015

Five years.

This week I drifted through memories of my wedding, considering what I'd go back and say to myself about my husband and our relationship if I had the chance.

Together we navigated job changes and health challenges, disappointment and excitement, grief and joy. We teetered on the brink of calling it quits and soldiered ahead, wary but confident enough in ourselves, both as individuals and a pair, to keep going. We basked in our good fortune to have found each other, our unique compatibility reflected in our bizarre-but-shared sense of humour and the easy way we're naturally on the same page about all the "big stuff." In five years, we changed and adapted. We're no longer the same people we married. 

If I could go back, I'd tell myself to relax. You'll both figure it out. Pay attention to the moment instead of racing onto the next goal/moment/plan. Spend more time focusing on what you two have and naturally are, rather than how you think it should look. After all, you found a good one. 

August 05, 2015

"Georgia"



My husband surprised me with birthd-iversary tickets to last Saturday's Taylor Swift concert. I proudly shook it off and sat in awe of her genius with the best of them. (And by "best of them," I am completely referring to the enormous crowd of eight to twelve-year-old girls and their moms losing their shizz to preteen Oprah.) She's brilliant, really.

Only one musical moment still lingers in my mind. This song. It's on repeat, and I'm scouring his tour schedule in hopes of seeing him in a smaller venue. Swoon.