Mindful Living

death, minimalism, changes

Death and minimalism can really change you. And maybe they shouldn’t mix. Or should they? This is probably my most rambliest, pointless post ever. Don’t read it.

I found out about the Minimalism Game ages ago. At that time I didn’t really need to do it. I was on top of my shit so I figured I didn’t have enough stuff to toss. It seemed like a really good idea though and I wished I had discovered it sooner.

And then a best friend suddenly passed away and I lost all will and motivation to continue with my morning and evening routines. I lost my cleaning routines as well. The apartment kind of went to shit. I went to shit. (it’s been over a year, I still haven’t picked these things back up)

And then I had a hot, rough summer (shut up, I can never get used to a 100+ degree apartment with no A/C, I’VE TRIED). It was so hot last summer that I complained constantly on FB. I’M STILL COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. So I was a slimy lazy woozy blob for months and months. My wardrobe expanded as I collected cool alt fashion items, including lots of Lolita stuff, thinking “maybe it’ll be cool enough to wear this next week”. It didn’t get cool enough until this past monthish. Now I’m seething mad, I feel like most of my clothes I can only wear for a short period of time during the year. That feels like a waste of money, time, closet space, and sanity.

And then another friend died. I wasn’t as close with that one but it slowed me down a bit as I was trying to ramp back up. And then at the end of last month… a dear friend was, well… it’s been ruled as a homicide. This destroyed me in a way I had never before felt. I didn’t even realize I was capable of feeling like this.

The next day was March 1st. I was somehow reminded of the Minimalism Game and figured… now would be a good time to do the game. I gotta keep my mind busy. I’m dead inside so it’ll be easier to get rid of things (totally not concerned about “Better” Future Me, as usual). I felt like doing the full 31 days wasn’t as important as doing as much as I needed to, and I’m happy with that choice so far. And I figured I wouldn’t do day-to-day because I know me: I’d lose motivation, I’d get horribly depressed, I’d forget, I’d fall behind. So I did the first 15 days on day 1. This past Friday I did day 16.

I like to take advantage of my motivation when I can and this time I think I got a bit carried away because I think I accidentally did days 12 and 15 twice.

In the next days I’ll be seeing how much more I can knock out. I’m saving my wardrobe for last. I have some kitchen stuff I can ditch. I have some tarot decks I’d love to give away so I’ve got a growing pile set aside until I can do that.

The Minimalism Game really actually started feeling like a game after only a few days in. I’d start a pile for whatever “day” I was working on and my reward for finishing would be getting rid of the pile so it wouldn’t be in my stupid fucking life anymore. So finding things to add to it was fun. It made me search harder for things to toss. It made me throw out things that would have been “maybe” before. It’s been pretty fun!

I haven’t felt the need to “cheat” yet, which feels good. For example, I saw people counting individual items in a set as individual items instead of as a set. I threw out some old stitch markers but counted them all as one item because I didn’t want any of them. But when I threw out a ton of crochet hooks I counted each individually because there were plenty of hooks I needed to keep. Does that make sense? If I threw out a deck of playing cards, I’d count it as one item, not 52. When I declutter dishes from my purple dish set, each one I toss will be an individual item because I will keep a few. Every little decorative paper bat that falls off the wall is counted as an individual item because there’s still some hanging onto the wall that I went to keep. I did it this way because I knew it would force me to really dig into my junk and clear it out.

I feel like all these personal losses have made me think about possessions in a different light. I also feel like my style is toning down, changing, taking on a simpler version of me. I’ve rediscovered my teenage/young adult joy of wearing the same outfit for “too long”. I love all sorts of styles of clothes but I think a part of me has lost most of my interest in my really cool clothes and in exploring alt fashion with the same passion I had before.

I feel like I can finally let go of stuff that’s been haunting me this past year. Sure I could shove all those things away and get them out when the weather is right (a couple months a year?), or until I move to a more reasonable place… but naw. Fuck it. It could be years before we escape.

I’m trying to be careful and rational about all this. “What if you toss that awesome dress/ball of yarn/incomplete project/platform boots that’s awesome and you love and then you start feeling better and you realize what you’ve done and you regret it?” is constantly on my mind.

But I remind myself that I’m uncomfortable with the number of clothes I have right now. I was in such a good place with my closet last year and I miss that. I’ll keep some Lolita, some gothic, some etc. But I have to remind myself that I can’t wear a lot of it as much as I’d like to and I don’t mind wearing the same outfit for several days, so why live with that nagging “too much” feeling?

I know I could live with an “ultra-minimalist” wardrobe. You know, one of those bare bones, 20, items or less wardrobes. I love seeing people show off those types of wardrobes. I’ve experimented with that concept. I really like it. But if you asked me a few months ago, I would have said I didn’t want to do it because I was having fun experimenting with outfits. Now I feel like I don’t care. I had my fill. It doesn’t feel important anymore.

Maybe I’ll have a change of heart before I get to my closet during this game. Or maybe I’ll go all in and I’ll be able to fit my entire wardrobe in one suitcase like I once did when we moved here 3 years ago. But I’m usually really good at knowing when I’m actually done with something.

Well, that was a heck of a ramble. I think I’ll sign off here. I’m thinking about getting back into blogging more. I’ve been discovering awesome new (to me) music, maybe I’ll start Music Mondays again.

If you read all this… wtf is wrong with you. I love you for your tenacity and admire your attention span… but wtf is wrong with you.

 

 

vegan + meal prep + Instant Pot

It’s no secret: I hate cooking. I hate eating. I hate trying to think of what to eat, what I want, and what I should eat. I also have weird food phobias which often results in going hungry + wasting food. I also tend to eat the same one or two meals all week. Because I love them so very hard. But then I want something different for the next week. So I guess this will be a good way of having the riiiiight amount of forced variety.

Basically: Eating is a fucking chore and a bother. If I could take a pill and never have to eat again I would. TLDR, I enjoy good food, I just hate everything to do with food.

I’ve tried this before but was so not motivated. BUT NOW I AM, thanks to this vegan meal prep guide and some new containers. I have 8 of the containers + 2 plastic containers to work with. I hope to get one more set of the nice glass ones next week. That will be a most glorious day indeed.

I tried the meal prep this past week and it went ok. I had to wait to get my containers so it took 2 or 3 days before I was actually done cooking everything. I didn’t like the curry or the cabbage. I knew I wouldn’t like the cabbage but I tried!

I’m typing this up Saturday night, the 22nd, and here’s what I’m doing, step by step:

  1. Started the rice (1 cup rice, 1 1/4 water, 22 min w/NR)
  2. while that was brewing I started assembling my smoothies. I decided to try maca powder (1/2 tsp ’cause I’m a newb), and chia seeds (1 T). This took about 10 minutes. 7 breakfasts done @ $???
  3. ~waiting~ BUT I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MICROWAVING MY SWEET POTATOES AND GATHERING CHILI INGREDIENTS. SHAME ON ME.
  4. Prepared chili while sweet potatoes were cooking. Took about 16 minutes + a couple more to pack the chili up. Could have saved 10 minutes with step 3. Note: I did 2 sweet potatoes and just mushed them straight into the chili. Also, I tried Bush’s chili beans which eliminated the rinsing step and need for the can of tomato sauce. 3 chili lunches done @ $5.58 total not counting spices and rice.
  5. Instead of the curry recipe from the website, I made my lazy teriyaki tofu with jasmine rice. It’s a couple quick minutes to toss together and I cook it for 13 if I add frozen veggies, 12 if no veggies, then QR. 2 tofu dinners w/veggies @ $3.23 total not counting rice)
  6.  For my other lunch I prepared some coconut curry. Because fuck that cabbage lunch. I SHOULD HAVE MADE THIS LAST because boy does it get hot, and I don’t like the idea of packing it right away. 2 curry lunches made @ $5.00??? I don’t feel like crunching those numbers right now either (+ 1 1/2ish extra servings ’cause it’s a big recipe, I had it for dinner)
  7. Pasta! I’m just doing a simple super lazy pasta. 1lb penne, 1 jar of 25.5 ounce sauce (I like Mia’s), enough water to cover it and… maybe 8 minutes. 6 or 7 for al dente because you’ll be reheating these. If you’re up for it you ought to add in some veggies. Carrots and celery are a good bet. I didn’t add them but kept my frozen veggies bag. I ran out of nice glass containers and my plastic ones are grossing me out so I’m just going to shove this into some freezer bags. 3 pasta dinners w/veggies made @ $10ish total (yeah I like expensive sauce)
  8. ENJOY

But wait, what about snacks? I got some Dave’s bread and almond butter for $15.98 total. I’m still working on last week’s bread + vegan “Nutella” which was around the same price. So I’m going to half that and say snacks are $7.99 a week.

Time: 3-5 hours? But it was just a few minutes of actual work here and there.

Cost: $30+. The website that inspired this managed this in under $25 but I live in SoCal and use Amazon Fresh and have some spendy tastes and am counting snacks. And as I said above I’m not counting things like rice, spices, and super hippie dippy powders and seeds and whatnot.

The shopping haul I did for this week was ~$100. $25 was for husband’s mac ‘n cheese and soda. $20 was for maca powder (which will have 100+ servings). I spent about $7 on veggies because I thought I was going to make lentil stew but at the last minute made the curry so now I don’t know what to do with them (oh and my onions were nasty so I tossed them yay food phobias).

Next shopping trip will be even more refined. I NEED to be set on what I’m going to cook. I NEED more nice glass containers. I won’t be needing to buy an expensive thing of maca but I do need to buy more cacao powder and one or 2 spices, preferably in bulk. Those things tend to be the spendiest part of my cooking process.

Tips ‘n tricks?

  • Obvious but worth stating: clean as you go
  • Might not hurt to get an extra liner for the IP, or even an extra IP if you can afford that kind of luxury
  • It may sound like a lot of work. And I’ll be honest and say it is. But not really. Its the Instant Pot. It cooks fast and you don’t have to baby sit it so there’s not that much time on your feet. I could have played some music to pass the time but I wanted to work on this post whenever I sat down, so the music would have been just a few minutes at a time.
  • I’ll add more later. Leaving this post for a day didn’t help me think of anything else but I’m sure there’s something!

OK I guess that’s it for now. I hope this post helps somebody else break into the vegan pressure cooking meal prep world! I’m glad I finally got around to doing it.

Questions, comments, suggestions?

Wardrobe Challenge – 1Dress1Week – Day 7 & wrap up

Welcome to day 7 of my Wear 1 Dress for a Week challenge. Here’s Day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, and day 6!

Thoughts on yesterday:

Doesn’t seem very different from day 1 but it really was. I’ll be wearing it a lot more, especially in the evenings, air conditioned rooms, and at the movies, where it’s cooler and the flannel will be more appropriate. The pockets are a HUGE help. I was able to carry my phone in one and my wallet in the other.

Today’s outfit:

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  • Shoes: Demonia, thrifted
  • Shirt, black necklace: Heavy Red
  • Ankh: Killstar

I tried really hard to find a good shirt to wear under this. Unfortunately, this long sleeve one was the best one that fit my preferred look. I had to dig it out of my cooler weather box but I think it was worth it. Like yesterday’s outfit, this one is best for air conditioned rooms, cool evening walks, and the movies.

I need to figure out what to do about sucks. Some footie socks would be the best. Barefoot wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be though.

Thoughts about this Challenge:

I’ll start by explaining my usual wardrobe setup: I have one outfit crammed on one hanger each. I did little to no switching, mixing, and matching. This was to make it easier to just grab something to wear. Of course, this meant having many individual pieces, but it was worth it for peace of mind.

So then I come along and really force myself to mix ‘n match. It was fun because of the challenge of it but I don’t know if it’s something I want to keep up. I’m thinking about trying to prepare the next day’s outfit every night before bed so maybe if I go about it that way I’ll be just as happy as if I do my One Hanger, One Outfit plan.

Scoreboard of Used items:

  • Shirts: 3
  • Shorts: 1
  • Coverups: 1
  • Socks used: 1
  • Shoes used: 4
  • Hose used: 2
  • Accessories used: 8

So I used 20 items total. I am not counting the tube top or the floral print shorts because those are pretty much “underwear” with this dress.

I could ditch some things but at that point, I lose interesting things that show my personality. If I wanted to go on a trip and pack light I could go down to 2 pairs of shoes (probably the flats and holo boots).

Things I learned:

  1. It’s easier to do than I thought
  2. Accessories are more important than I realized
  3. I have a lot of clothes that aren’t as comfortable as I thought
  4. I learned how to spot basic layer pieces
  5. How IMPORTANT basic layer pieces are
  6. Not quite as terrible having limited choices as I thought
  7. A little hair/makeup is more important than I care to think about
  8. This challenge is good for learning what you can get rid of and making you think more minimally
  9. Handwashing isn’t painful

Things I dumped because of this challenge:

  • 4 other black dresses, with varying degrees of basicness
  • Sort of indirectly: But I have a pair of Demonia boots I may get rid of

Things I want because of this challenge:

  1. Another slip dress, but different color to provide more styling choices/expression, and reduce washing and wear
  2. Galaxy print socks or leggings to wear with the Galaxy outfit
  3. A better pair of boots to replace the Demonias if I do (they’ll go with more outfits I think)
  4. I really want to do more with my hair/makeup but I’m soooo lazy and bad at it

Soooo I think that’s it!

What did you think of this challenge? Would you/have you done it? Tell me about it!

What challenge should I do next? I’m thinking a skirt or shirt!

 

 

Wardrobe Challenge: 1dress1week – Day 6

Welcome to day 6 of my Wear 1 Dress for a Week challenge. Here’s Day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, and day 5!

ONE MORE DAY LEFT. I’m kind of bummed out about that. I have 2 or 4 ideas left so who knows what I’ll do tomorrow. I’m thinking about doing a similar challenge next week, but with a skirt.

Thoughts from yesterday:

No new thoughts since I didn’t get to wear it very long but it really is seriously a great outfit. Still haven’t decided what kind of shoes would go better though.

Today’s outfit:

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  • Shoes: Current Mood
  • Flannel: My mom actually made it back in the 90s! It was a gift for my dad but then her dad ended up with it and now I have it, yay!
  • Necklace: The one from Griffith Observatory again
  • Socks: The Obey socks again

I have really been looking forward to wearing this outfit. I wore it at least one before, with some thick thigh high socks and garters. It’s too warm for that AND a flannel. But man oh man is this comfortable. And I don’t know why but the phrase “trash mammal” really comes to me with this. I LOVE IT.

 

 

Wardrobe Challenge: 1Dress1Week – day 5

Welcome to day 5 of my Wear 1 Dress for a Week challenge. Here’s Day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4!

Thoughts on yesterday:

Since I didn’t get to wear it all day due to feeling crappy, I don’t think I can add any new thoughts. I’m still wanting to get galaxy print leggings or socks though.

Today’s outfit:

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  • Shorts: Dollskill
  • Boots: Ironfist
  • Necklace: Griffith Observatory

Today I really felt like lounging in my jammies but I did actually put this outfit on long enough to make sure it looked good. And it does! I like how simple and almost sleek this outfit is. The shoes… I think there are better shoes out there for this outfit, but I don’t own them. I’d love some suggestions!

Wardrobe Challenge: 1Dress1Week – day 4

Welcome to day 4 of my Wear 1 Dress for a Week challenge. Here’s Day 1, day 2, and day 3!

Thoughts on yesterday:

Yesterday’s outfit was great. I wouldn’t mind finding better leg coverings but overall it was a great outfit and rather flexible for jewelry and shoes. Will be wearing again!

Today’s Outfit:

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  • Boots: Current Mood via Dollskill
  • Shirt: Gifted to me/hand me down
  • Collar: from LucidArray
  • Socks: Obey via Dollskill

I had a rough day today. I was cramping pretty bad and got all dopey on painkillers so this is as good as today’s photo gets. Luckily I already had this in mind because of this outfit I’ve been wearing recently. I don’t think today’s outfit was quite as cute as the original but I’m wondering if some galaxy print socks or tights will do the job. I do like to cover my legs so I’ll do some shopping around.

In the original outfit, I’m wearing a matching crop top you can’t see, that came with the skirt, as a set. I could ditch those in favor of socks or tights and simplify things a teeny bit. But they’re still new and completely wearable and I still like them.

Anyway, this was probably one of the most comfortable outfits I’ve ever worn, ever.

 

 

Wardrobe Challenge: 1dress1week – day 3

Welcome to day 3 of my Wear 1 Dress for a Week challenge. Here’s Day 1 and day 2!

Thoughts on yesterday: 

I took a shower last night and decided to wash the dress at the same time (not while wearing it!). I used Dr Bronner’s and I think it went well enough. I hung it up and it was still ever so slightly damp this morning, but not unwearable.

I absolutely loved this outfit! It was fun and comfortable. The corset gets wonky after awhile so it’s not good for alllllll day wear but that’s fine. I feel like this is a very repeatable outfit.

Today’s Outfit:

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  • Belt: Killstar
  • Hose: Target
  • Boots; Ironfist
  • Big Crystal Necklace: Amazon
  • Smaller Crystal Necklace: EmelyRoseBoutique

Y’all. I had a hard time doing today’s outfit. I wanted a witchy vibe so I tried REALLY hard to make use of a shirt with long drapey sleeves but it was just a liiiittle bit not right.  I also tried working with a pair of shorts I got for my birthday and loved the idea of but they’re not working out. So I put this together… which felt like cheating. It’s more Witch than yesterday’s Goth so it is a different look but I still feel like I cheated somehow.