Cheated.

Guys.  (Because every blogger I have ever watched on Instagram starts their stories with this word). I cheated.

I had like $200 to shop with for Christmas. And I went way over. Like $100 over. And then bought some new jewelry too. Ugh. And you know what? I don’t even know if I feel that bad about it, except that I now have to confess it.

I am not patient. I am not good at waiting. And though a lot of change has come with 2017, a lot of waiting has also. Looking back at 2017 it was hard. Super hard. Moving houses hard. Movie cities hard. Telling my in-laws that we were moving cities hard. Transitioning two kids from one city to another hard. Transitioning back into a city I haven’t lived in for 7 years hard. Wanting to move back to old city when my mother in law spent 8 hours getting rid of dandelions in my backyard. For several days in a row hard. Almost divorcing my husband if he didn’t rein in my mother in law hard. Having an organ removed hard. Living on one income hard. Starting a blog project and taking away my fun retail therapy habit hard. Having my husband commute an hour every day for work hard. Getting pregnant and losing it at 5 weeks hard. Failing to get pregnant for two months in a row hard (which, if you know us, and our previous history with the other two kids, is WEIRD). Dealing with SCHEDULES (kindergarten, ballet, gymnastics, swimming) for both kids HARD. (Dear F*** I hate having a schedule to live by every day. And someone else’s schedule?! Someone who hates wearing pants, hates leaving the house, and hates EVERYTHING until she’s tried it once and has a little sister who says no to EVERYTHING, is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT!!)

AND THEN A PLANT STABS ME IN THE EYE ON DECEMBER 27TH. Leaving me almost immobilized with a FREAKING EYE PATCH FOR like 4 days!!!! Freaking sweet mercy life. 2017 just had to get that one last kick in my ass on the way out didn’t it?!

So you know what, I decided to go for it. I bought a shirt, a purse and a poncho. And then, because it was the last time I will likely ever get a jewelry discount of 50% (due to the magic of Christmas) I bought some new jewelry. I’m sorry, my pictures are the worst, I don’t know how people do it.

IMG_8404

And then spent the weekend purging my jewelry and trying to avoid counting how many pairs of earrings I now own, and will own when this new batch comes in. SHAAAAAME.

But my hair looks like crap because it won’t grow. I’m not pregnant and there are like TWO PEOPLE who I know that are due the month I was supposed to be due (June, btw) and it SUCKS and I’m SAD, and I just couldn’t help it.

So what do I do now? I remember reading in the Gretchen Rubin book, “Better than Before” that one of the little white lies we tell ourselves about breaking habits is that once we break one we just tell ourselves, “Well, I’ve broken habit x just a little bit, might as well break it a LOT”. I’m paraphrasing, badly, but really, we should just jump back on the wagon is what she’s saying. Break habits in a little way, not in a big way. But part of me really doesn’t want to keep going, because it’s HARD, y’all. I know. Whine.

But I committed to this, and I’m over halfway (is there any scientific knowledge on how often habits break AFTER the halfway point because it’s just the breaking point?

How do I regroup after this? I’m SO SO SO SO SO excited for my jewelry shipment, I loooove my new purse, and can’t wait to wear my new tops. But how do I offset the cost in a month that was already tight? I’ve done the lack of Starbucks for several months. Over it. I’m trying to list a bunch of items on the Facebook buy and sell groups but to no avail. Ideas? Encouragement? Shame?

I need to edit this, it’s sooo long. Especially as I launch my editing career in a few months……maybe I’ll edit it AFTER I’m a professional editor;)

Night folks.

A month ago….

Was the last time I wrote! I had great ambitions to write some blogs over Christmas break and save some so that I was all prepared. I did not accomplish that. However, I have done lots of thinking and wondering and so here’s a quick recap of the last month, and some thoughts moving forward.

December. I committed to cutting out Instagram during the day. I actively pursued this, by moving the app icon to the last page of my phone (does that make sense?) so that I couldn’t just tap it while I was looking at my phone, as I had been wont to do in the past. I felt like my brain was emptier, calmer, that I wasn’t always being interrupted from some other thought. Instagram is my place to “shop” clothing and decor wants as well, so I felt like I was less in the zone of WANTING in December. Which helped, leading up to Christmas. I let it slide a bit over the holidays, but a freak accident with a houseplant left me with a “huge” corneal abrasion, an eye patch, and limited vision. This certainly helped my avoidance of Instagram, as it would, literally, give me a headache. I spent lots of time in bed, with the blinds low and my eyes closed. My husband brought me lots of audio books, which were a big help. It shifted my priorities though, as I made time for my kids first, and then rested my eye. It was a bit of survival mode at it’s worst, but left me feeling a bit rested and free from instagram.

HOWEVER. I was gifted MONEY for Christmas. For SHOPPING. This. This led to an increase in thought on what I could buy, what I should buy, what I wanted, what I needed, and where to get it. It turned into a bit of an obsession. Dear friends suggested that I give up the money and gift card or save for later. That idea made me shrink in horror and clutch the cash even tighter! I tried to use it wisely. But it triggered something in my brain that had lain dormant. I couldn’t, absolutely couldn’t, save it for later when something I really NEEDED came up. I have been wearing the same three pairs of jeans for 7 months, and the same three pairs of boots since the cold weather hit, so I convinced myself that I NEEDED new versions of those. Did I really? Probably not. The pants are comfy and cute and I got myself a new tuque, which I really did need. The shoes are still up for debate. I find myself wanting to send them back just so I can SHOP again. So that the possibility of something NEW is still there. Now, with the cute shoes here, I can’t dream of anything new again for another 5 months. Although my birthday is in there somewhere.

And did I make ethical, non-fast-fashion (is the opposite of fast fashion slow fashion? Have to look that up) choices? The shoes, yes, I bought Toms, which I think (possibly mistakenly) that they are a step in the right direction (get it, cause they are shoes?!), and the tuque and pants I purchased at a local store, supporting a friend, but it wasn’t a HUGE factor in my shopping. I honestly wanted to get the most bang for my buck –  the most possessions I could with my money. Not investing in a single piece from a company I’ve watched for a while that is made and manufactured right here in Canada.

So, I could definitely benefit from another 5 months of this! I was doing so well, but it’s like gambling, or smoking, or any other addiction. One hit and I feel like I’m right back at square one! In the meantime I’m cleaning out the filing cabinet, got rid of some more children’s clothing, and keep looking at my bookshelf and thinking I could purge down some more. (BTW, I still had the receipt from renting out a locker in my 4th year of university in a file. Like WHO NEEDS THAT?! Oi.) I’m also hoping to move forward with a career in editing, starting some editing courses online, and planning to start a freelance business! Wish me luck!

Moving forward with the challenge, January is going to be a lean month because of Christmas expenditures, and we are now paying property tax (Yikes). In February I think we will make it a CONSUMABLES ONLY month. It’s a short month, thankfully. But the idea of putting off things that the kids NEED for even a short time, has been something I haven’t attempted before. So. That’s where I stand. For all 27 of you who read this, thank you for a great start to the project last year, and please feel free to suggest some topics or areas you’d like me to look into on this topic. I’ve just started reading a new book on the topic, called “The Joy of Less” by Francine Jay, which is reminding me of all the reasons I started this, and shooing all the lovely shopping images out of my head! Hoping to be more consistent and on time with these blogs this year!

 

Christmas crazy

Well, I finished the MINS challenge. 465 items later and my house looks….exactly the same. Honest to goodness, I barely notice a difference. Well, you could say that the crawl space looks a bit neater and emptier as I got rid of a big box worth of stuff down there, but really, it was pretty easy. I know, 26 pom poms and 18 binder clips or whatever it was kind of cheating, but they really were items that needed to be gone. Check out my Instagram (here) for more details. I’ve kind of decided to take a mind-break from Instagram, at least during the day when the girls were at home. I’ve even moved it from the home screen of my phone. Might have to cut out Facebook too, as I’ve started checking it more since I cut out the other! Face-palm moment. But I have decided to keep moving forward with the last six months of “buy nothing new”. I don’t feel…fixed…yet.

I’m finding this challenge (buy nothing new) a real hardship as we move into Christmas. I knew that the main focus was going to be not buying MYSELF anything new, as that was the place that most of my extra money was going to. Mostly clothes, jewelry, bags, shoes, haircuts, eyebrow waxings etc etc. The only new clothing item I’ve bought in six months for myself was a new winter coat, and I used a gift card from our wedding for that! It has shown me how much I already have, how much society emphasizes NEW, and how much waste clothing there is in the world that isn’t “waste”. I can find a ton of great second-hand clothing for a quarter of the price, it’s just a different process then going to a store, finding what I want and purchasing it. Which really, is probably good for my brain. It’s more of a slow search, and really makes me consider whether or not I need that item, or if it’s just a want, a boredom, a moment of weakness.

The other place I was spending quite a bit of money was on clothing for the girls. I have a very fussy almost 5 year old and a 2.5 year old who couldn’t give a poop about what she wears (as long as there aren’t socks involved). I have cut WAYYYY back on that, and have tried to source as much as I can from the amazing Once Upon a Child store that’s near my yoga studio. When I wanted certain things for our Christmas card picture though, I caved and went straight to Joefresh clothing. (Of course the next trip I took to OUAC I found things that would have totally worked for it there:S) So, lesson learned, a little bit of patience pays off in money and in cutting back on “fast fashion” spending.

But I’ve hit a new snag: Christmas presents.  I think I’ve always been particularly attached to Christmas presents. Buying them, receiving them, shopping for them, wrapping them. There’s just a particular magic to the system. So this year I decided to use something I saw someone else post about how they shop for Christmas presents:

  1. Something they want.
  2. Something they need.
  3. Something to wear.
  4. Something to read.

So that’s what I’ve done. Each kid is getting 4 ish presents. But of course I was kind of un-minimalistic within that. Lilia is hard, because she only wants Peppa Pig toys (which I put inside their little advent calendar baggies), so I ended up getting her some mini Paw Patrol toys, and we got her a huge box of new Duplo, because she loves to build and we don’t have much, and I got her an adorable sweatshirt from a local sewing company in Camrose that I just love. Mira is getting all three pony princesses and Tempest the pony, and a doll cradle that rocks (which I scored at the Antique Mall for $28 and painted white!) a dress with a corresponding fabric to Lilias sweatshirt, and books, I got a deal on like 10 for $5 at, you guessed it, Once upon a child. But you will notice that there isn’t really a “need” in there. They honestly don’t “need” anything. And when they do, I tend to just buy it immediately instead of waiting. Which is also something I need to work on. Add it to the list!

Does that seem like a lot? I think it’s just the way I OBSESSED over them. For weeks. Which pony should Mira get, and how am I going to get them here. I even had to get a friend of mine from the States to buy one and ship it home with her in laws! I bought two extra ponies and took them back, and asked her about ten MILLION questions about which ponies were her favourites and I asked my husband another 17 MILLION questions about what the two year old wanted. I spent hours wandering the aisles of Toys R Us, sending him pictures, sourcing stuff for other family members. It was exhausting. Because I wanted to get the PERFECT PRESENTS. I didn’t want to re-educate them on how experiences are better than stuff. I didn’t buy them tickets for a show or plan a trip for them instead of buying presents. I egged them on to tell me what EXACTLY they wanted. I want that Christmas present magic for them. I want them to open their presents and for Mama to have given them EXACTLY what they wanted. Even though Mama knows that even when you get exactly what you want, the glow doesn’t last forever.How does one discuss such things with children? How do I start educating them with something that I obviously haven’t quite wrapped my head around either? Oi.

Here’s the advent baggies I was talking about: IMG_7671Which I struggled with also. I hate the ones with chocolate in them, as I don’t love them having that much candy in a month, but I put “stuff” in the baggies, which means more “stuff” is coming into my house. For the little one I got a Peppa Pig advent calendar and divvied it up into the baggies. For the big one I ended up with a variety of things, like Barbie outfits (poor barbies are still wearing clothing from 1990), princess socks, and My Little Pony hair accessories. Not big things, but things they hopefully will like and use. I struck out the first year and put little mini animals in them for my elder daughter, and she NEVER played with them. Lesson learned. But it is still “stuff”.

Thoughts? I’m really struggling with my brain on Christmas. I love it, but the focus on STUFF, is just too much for me!

HALFWAY DONE. Quit now or keep going?!

Wow. I didn’t think I’d make it this far. Except that I honestly haven’t even thought about quitting. Until today. When I thought about quitting. It was a strangely liberating feeling, that I could decide whether I wanted to continue or not. I think I will continue, but it was a lovely idea, that I was actually in control of this project, and could decide to cease or not. I think I’ve probably been way too lax with myself in a lot of ways.

But I digress.

I think having a complete moratorium on shopping for new clothing for myself has been good for me. It has required me to sort of stop, drop and think before just saying “I deserve X and Y and Z” and ripping out the credit card. I am much better able to observe my habits and know when I’m trying to solve internal problems with external solutions (see here for more on that). And when I am feeling like the end of the earth and need a retail therapy pick me up, I spend a LOT less on second hand items. And it isn’t nearly as often, and it isn’t the same. There isn’t that shiny, magical, life-giving quality to second-hand clothing or purses, or shoes as there is with new items. And it’s also so much harder to find something “perfect” at a second-hand store. You end up with something you didn’t really want, but it’s there, and it’s a steal, and you should bring it home cause it likely won’t be there next time. There are exceptions to this, but not often. A loooot of the clothes I’ve purchased second-hand I’ve ended up ditching a few months later. It’s a lot harder than shopping new. That being said, it’s amazing what you can find SOMETIMES. But it’s a process, and it’s slow, and as a mom of two under 4, I find it almost not worth the effort. But not buying new has definitely made me realize that those cute ankle boots, or that adorable poncho, or that gorgeous diaper bag aren’t going to make ME better, or smarter, or stronger, or happier. The power of “stuff” has (mostly) dwindled.

Another challenge: the library. I tend to request like 5 books at time and then they all come in at once and I don’t have time to read them all, and I inevitably leave the one that is due first to the last minute and end up having to request it and wait for it all over again. Probably need to minimize my library list and come up with a better way. Make a list of all the ones I want and then request them slowly? I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to books to read in a very non-minimalist kind of way. I have about 3 or 5 on the go at any one time and think I need to have at last two with me most of the time. And they tend to be large books…next project: Minimize reading materials. Just something to work on for myself. I think I have more time to read than I do!

What I miss most: wanting something, and just going out and finding it right away. Not having to search through like 1-2 or sometimes 3 second-hand stores. Or wait until I have a gift card for said store. Or being limited to the one store I have a gift card for! It’s all the rules, really, that frustrate me.

What I’ve been super lax about: Christmas presents. I’m trying to stick to four Christmas presents each for my girls (something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read). I bought local for their something to wear, I bought second hand for books and for the oldest’s something she wanted, but otherwise…it’s been new. For three of my nephews we ended up using a gift card we had from our wedding, for the Bay, on toys. And I’m trying to make some shirts for some gifts, but honestly, I’m not trying too hard to stick to the second-hand rule on this one. I think given my time limitations (kids) and my realistic knowledge of my sewing skills, it’s just not possible this year. And given that the biggest issue with my spending was on new items for myself, I’m not totally worried. Maybe next year I’ll be better at it! I also bought new for some outfits for the girls for Christmas pictures. Which I really do feel a bit guilty about. I had this vision in my head of what I wanted our Christmas card pics to look like, and I just didn’t want to sacrifice that, or go looking for 10 hours for second-hand versions. In the end the little one refused to wear her adorable denim overall skirt so that went out the window anyways. But I apologize to the buy nothing new adjudicators. I take a fail on that one. I didn’t buy anything new for myself though!

So. To continue to a full year or not continue? There are days when I want so so so so so so so so so badly to just run across the road to the mall near me and buy SOMETHING. A purse that is just perfect. Boots that would solve my clothing woes. A new sweatshirt that would be just perfectly cozy. But instead I usually manage to talk myself out of it. Which I think was the point of the exercise. So do I quit now, or keep going to see what kind of lessons lay before me? I feel like there’s still so much to learn. I want to start thinking about a zero waste home eventually. I want to cut down on the time I spend trolling social media (I think this will be my December project). I want to learn to meditate more. I want to eat better. Will not buying new help me with any of those goals? I have no idea. It frees up time, that’s for sure.

Where do you see I’ve fallen short? What can I improve on? Should I keep going? Or have I learned what I needed to? Thanks for coming along for the first six months!

 

If I didn’t take a picture, does it count?!

So. Last week was Halloween, and with the birthday cake and kitty cat running around and trick or treating, I just didn’t have a chance to write to you lovely folk (all 37-ish of you who read my blog sometimes! Welcome back!).

But here I am, and I’ve got a new mini-project within the larger project of buying nothing new this month. When I started thinking about not needing anything ELSE in my life/house/cupboards/closets, I started thinking about the things that were already there. Alllll the clothes, all the toys, all the cd’s all the stuff I had bought while lost in the sort of capitalist mindset of needing the newest thing all the time. This sounds like a manifesto…I don’t think it will get that poetic. We also just moved into our house in June, so there are many areas that we have not had a chance to go through and purge yet, especially places like the utility room that we don’t use every day, or the insanely large crawl space that we have. I’ve worked on some things, like my closet, creating my capsule wardrobe (Which you can read about here) and seasonal change clothing etc etc, but honestly, there’s still a lot to work on. (Especially since to create the capsule wardrobe, I mostly just moved the rest of the clothing out of my bedroom. It’s mostly still sitting in the closet downstairs! I’ll work on it, I promise).

Another thing I heard about from the Minimalists during their visit was about the Mins Game. Wherein you discard one item on the first day of the month, 2 on the second day, all the way up to 30 days on the 30th of the month. I followed another girl’s journey on Instagram during October, and figured I’d give it a try during November.

I’m on day 7 of 30. I’m starting to get a bit worried because though I have already found a crazy amount of stuff to purge, tackling areas like the front closet, the Christmas decorations, about 1/4 of the utility room, I did a bunch of purging without counting or taking pictures of it! I got rid of an entire small box full of CD’s. I donated probably 2-3 boxes full of my books during the summer. I went through and tossed about half of the girls’ play “food” that would have added up to probably 40 individual items. While doing our utility room I was too busy trying to do it in a hurry so that the girls didn’t dive into my mess that I didn’t count up all the items and document them. I know there was one 1960’s wooden chandelier, two picture frames, a giant stuffed ladybug pillow, an oversized Elsa doll, two throw pillows, probably 15 “cloth” bags, and at least two Ikea bags. I donated 6 items of jewelry to a silent auction I’m working on. But if I didn’t take a picture and count it all up, DOES IT COUNT?! What if I get to November 28th and I’m short EXACTLY that amount of items?! Deep breaths. 465 items. And I’m only on…hold on while I do some math….28 so far? Deep breaths. Discomfort, right? I need to make myself uncomfortable to challenge what is working and is not working for me in this life. Also, people have been asking for some of the things I’m getting rid of! So win win for everyone!

Anyways. That’s the mini project for November, a good way to mark my almost halfway point (next week I’ll do a halfway mark review. What is helping, what I think of second-hand shopping, how the library and I don’t always work, and what I miss most).

I’m thinking December might be a cutting back on Instagram, or cutting it out altogether (except for blog posts). As Instagram is my MAJOR time suckage activity. What could you remove from your life that isn’t serving you anymore? Happy Tuesday!!

 

Belated 5 month check in

Well, I’m like a week late (maybe two?) for a 5 month check in and really I should probably just wait now until November 12 for the BIG HALFWAY POINT!

So I’ll tell you about the few things that I *kind of* cheated on, and how Austerity October is going.

Things I sort of cheated on:
1) Kindergarten clothes/supplies: MY FOUR YEAR OLD IS PICKY AF. We tried second hand stores, truly. But we could NOT agree on indoor shoes or find a backpack at the consignment stores. Her winter coat and snowpants and fake uggs with puppy ears on them are second hand, but she picked out these amazing silver David Bowie ankle boots with stars on them for her indoor shoes (hey, they still have non-marking soles) and a unicorn backpack. Sometimes, you just can’t find everything second hand.

2) Presents for others: Some, like my lovely sister-in-law, don’t mind good quality used goods for their kids. Others, I felt COMPLETELY awkward even THINKING about buying second-hand for, as there’s something about gifting really good gifters with second-hand gifts. Not that second-hand is bad, just feels…cheap…sometimes. Unless you score an AMAZING FIND and then it feels like the best gift you’ve ever given!

3) Sewing machine: My dear friend Chelsea gave me her sewing machine for free about six months ago (was it that long?!) and I used it and loved it…until it stopped working at my sewing class over the weekend, and seams that should have taken 15 minutes took me an hour and 40 minutes while we tried to fix the problem. So I bought a new one while I was at the store and feel great about it. It doesn’t stop in the middle, I don’t have to re-thread the bobbin every 10 minutes because it has frozen, and even threading the bobbin is soooo much easier because it’s, well now I’m getting into weird sewing geekery so I’ll just stop.

4) This ONE Time Magazine that was dedicated to Happiness and I just could not figure out how to get it at the library.

Ok, so there you have it. Confession in full.

Austerity October.
The goal was mostly about food, if you will remember, I was appalled at how much we spent on “out” food (as opposed to closeted food? Bad joke, sorry.) So I set a budget of $400 a week for food, and have been tracking it in a notebook. Yes, I’m sure a spreadsheet would be much more “efficient” but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I need it written down where I can see it and add and subtract right there. Dunno why. And we’ve done really well at it! The first week we struggled a little bit, and were only $23 under budget (we did a grocery run AND a Costco run). But week two was $103 extra, and week three was $75 extra. I think we’ve been a lot better at cutting down any little extras like tea or a drink out, but we still had one date night this month, Mira and I went out for a movie together (she needs Mama-Mira dates these days since she’s at kindergarten and Lilia gets more mama time than she does.) So, we still managed to enjoy ourselves even while trying to be frugal! So I’m pretty happy with how Austerity October has turned out so far.

AND, in like THREE DAYS, my Starbucks ban is over! If you don’t remember, I gave up Starbucks for something like 100 days because I bought yet ANOTHER stroller. God, I love strollers. Second-hand of course, but to off-set the cost I haven’t bought myself a Starbucks since like August I think. I mayyyy need it this week! We are still using the same meal delivery service as I haven’t checked into the others that my friends on Facebook have pointed me towards. In this sense I’ve had a bit of inertia, and just like to  keep things the way they are! But I do need to change it at some point as the girls aren’t getting the exposure to other foods that I want them to!

Hope y’all are doing well  out there, any questions about this buy nothing new journey so far? Anyone trying it out for themselves? Love hearing from you all!
Happy Tuesday!

Too many things at once

That’s what’s happening this month: I’m trying to do too many things at once. Ha! This month, more like my entire life.

I got Leo Babauta’s book ” The Power of Less” from the library last month sometime, but due to the fact that I have TOO MANY LIBRARY BOOKS, I didn’t get around to reading most of it. I skimmed it in the last two days before it was due, and all I really got was that to succeed at making new habits, you have to focus on ONE HABIT AT A TIME (sorry, I’m in a caps lock kind of mood today, maybe because I’ve been yelling at the kids all day – not really- so I’m just going to keep yelling at you – not really).  Even while I’m writing this I’m thinking about the calculations I should be doing so I can give you a total of how much money we spent so far in October on groceries, I’ve got one ear out for the kids (since we just put them to bed), and I’m watching Sarah off the Grid on TV. Sort of.

You’ve heard it all before that we aren’t paying ATTENTION (sorry) to any one thing these days, and it’s true. I find the worst days as a mom are the days when I spend more time on my phone than paying attention to the kids. And it’s not just because then they seem to act out because they want my attention, it’s because my actual THOUGHTS seem to act out because they want my attention! (Even now, I just went to open a new tab in my browser to flip through Facebook as I pondered a thought, am I REALLY pondering anything while I’m doing that?!) I can’t focus, I’m a million miles away, and a lot of the time I’m a lot less satisfied with the NOW. Which ALWAYS (God, I have to stop) leads to me SHOPPING (nope, can’t stop, won’t stop). Like it did today. (Bought bathing suits and ugg-like boots for Mira second-hand at my favorite Once Upon a Child location today (conveniently right near the yoga studio I’ve been frequenting)).

But I was talking about habits! I skimmed the book, focus on one habit a month. Got it. I’m going to focus on fitness in October. I’m recovered from surgery and my body does not seem to be metabolizing fat at ALL, let alone the way it used to (which wasn’t great to begin with) and I’m a grouchy mess, so I started with one of my fave kinds of exercise. Moksha yoga. I used to love Bikram back in the day when I lived within walking distance of the studio just off Whyte avenue, so I figured if I can’t do Ukrainian dancing, I’ll do yoga. And I’ve been totally loving it. It has made me so much calmer (well, a bit anyways) and has been a great focus. As we go into winter it’s going to be lovely to hide in a warm yoga studio for an hour or more every few days.

But I got distracted a few days in (shocking) and am now totally overwhelmed. I’m doing a sewing class, I’m making duvet’s for the girls, I just jumped into learning about Essential oils as a more natural way of cleaning, diffusing, boosting immunity etc, I’m thinking about taking the advanced sewing class, friends are taking a doula training course which I was thinking about taking so I’m thinking about taking that, and I’ve jumped back onto the organizing committee of a fundraiser for my dance group. AND trying to get the kids to their various activities etc etc etc. FOCUS IS GONE. Le sigh.

But I’ve also felt a lot more like myself lately, so what does that mean? That the yoga is working? That I like being busy? That my brain working in a million directions is fun, and would work if I wasn’t staring at my phone all the time instead of perfecting the art of the mini-focus (do one thing at time while I’m doing it but then switch to the next thing?) But at this moment I’m a mess with all the decisions I feel like I’m facing!

How do you function? Pile it all on and then freak out until it’s all done (that’s me) or pick one thing at a time and focus on it (that’s our friend Leo in the book).

OH, and money:

Last week we spent $377 on food which was JUST under the $400 budget I had set. It’s only Wednesday, but so far we’ve only spent $200 on food, and I think we have almost enough stuff to last us until Sunday (except yoghurt, we’ve already gone through a tub of it and that may not be enough for the week). It’s been an interesting challenge, I’m trying to think of ways to use up what we have without buying more of the few things we use all the time. I think we’ll start things like making a big pot of soup on Sunday afternoons for at least a few lunches of the week to cut down on how much canned soup we buy!

I’m almost at the four month mark of buying nothing new here folks, I think it’s been a process, and I don’t think I’m there yet! When I’m stressed, I want a CHANGE (oh there I go again) and I want NEW and I want SHINY. Maybe I’ll do a four month-check in next week for you. Sorry this was a day late, the Thanksgiving weekend threw me for a loop (along with all the other things I’ve been juggling, right?) Stay warm!