holidays diary – day 2

It has been another mind-relaxing but body-wise exhausting cleaning day! Yay!

I am almost done; I think in a half day or so, I may entirely finish the cleaning, laundering, decluttering, and minor re-arrangements here and there. Then, off to thrift stores tomorrow to even more relax my mind. Boy, do I need this 🙂

Every year the one people that I willingly gift for the holidays is my neighbours. They are great people, kind and helpful. I presented their gift today, with a nice loaf of oven-fresh sourdough. I really hope they liked it. They did gift me as well, for which I am grateful. All the little but heart-felt things in life. Good people, good feelings, not even for the holidays but for the rest of the year. This is what great neighbours mean. Hope you all have great neighbours in your life.

I was planning to go get some junk food (I know, I know – I had told I had given up, but…), yet I was so tired that I rather stayed at home, prepared some potato-based deep fried yummy stuff, and savored them with hibiscus tea. It felt incredibly good – tea I mean 🙂

I have done little re-arrangements around the house. Mostly plants finding new place to stay and flourish. I am not decluttering as much as I wished I had, and I was thinking about this. I think it is because I had already given away the shoes and jackets I was not wearing anymore. The rest is pretty much what I would like to use. So, even though I am bewildered a little bit, I will take whatever it is. All is well.

I could not get to reading a novel part yet, but tomorrow I may as well get a book or two from the thrift stores. Exciting 🙂

Let’s remember; the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation 🙂

 

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holidays diary – Day 1

To my surprise, I did not sleep long and well. But one thing was always in my mind –  the new year is the year of ease, comfort, and appreciation. I believe in it!

When you get up at 6 am, what do you do? Habits are hard to break. I felt like doing some light work, which was okay.

Then I started to clean my home. From 8 am on, for 7 hours, I cleaned and decluttered the upstairs! I cannot believe how smooth and efficient it went. My home did not accumulate much of a dust this year – I am not sure whether I have been doing really well with my weekly cleaning, or the worst is yet to come, aka the first floor 🙂

I also did not find a lot of things to declutter. I am going to donate a couple of belts and purses, and some wood decoration. I was however able to get rid of my old socks (why is always one without the second in our drawers?) and a couple of old t-shirts made great cleaning clothes as well.  I gave them my thanks for serving me so well before I placed them in the garbage bag, donation box, or cleaning clothe bin. That felt good too.

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After the cleaning saga, I decided I deserved a rest and opportunity to treat myself. I did some grocery shopping and prepared myself a great carrot salad (grated, with garlic, olive oil, and roasted beef). This may be the first healthy food I have had in a while and I cannot thank myself enough for this. Food, especially healthy food, is important.

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My mind was busy with the toxic events or individuals while doing the cleaning today. I am not resisting to the thoughts as they appear. I rather let them go through. I am not feeling bad, as a result. I believe I am in the process of a change of perspective. I have realized that things may not be as I interpret them (negatively), so benefit of doubt is a good thing every once a while, and I have faith that somethings will turn around soon.

Are there people that have not responded to my request yet? They will.

Can I get de-sensitized to get and read emails from those people who have done wrong to me in the past? Yes.

Who is feeling and hurting otherwise? Me.

Do I want to continue having these feelings anymore? No.

Right on.

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I will take it easy tonite. Nice and easy. Maybe a cup of herbal tea. Maybe some planning for tomorrow’s cleaning. Maybe a plan to visit the thrift stores on Monday. Things like this. I have not started reading yet, but I am sure it will be fantastic too.

So, let’s remember once again – Ease, Comfort, Appreciation. May these be all in our lives.

Have a great night everyone.

shopping ban – items

Enough is enough.

Today I was re-potting a new plant I bought yesterday, and when I went thru my planting items I have seen how many planters (both plastic and porcelain) and plates to go underneath the pots I have had.

Way too many….

How am I going to use all of these?

I possibly will not.

Also, how many plants do I have?

50?

Sigh….Many of them succulents and in individual pots. I must be combining them together. Does that mean I need to buy new pots????

I am overwhelmed really……….

Time for a serious decluttering activity and a shopping ban list:

Shopping ban items:

  • plants
  • planters/pots/plates
  • soil/perlite

Decluttering:

will take some time, but here is the usual idea:

  • dump everything that do not work or is worn out
  • donate everything that I do not use (yes, these include the porcelain plates that I no longer use; small plastic pots that I have bought with great excitement but never used; the plates that I purchased for planters but never used; clothes that I no longer wear; any other kitchen/house item that I do not use)

Time to open space and save some money at the same time.

 

 

 

thrifting is addictive

I have decided that it was time that I take a break from the thrift stores – they are so addictive!!!! 🙂

I have been to one yesterday and another two today. It is just a great feeling to be able to see all the interesting items and purchase them for affordable prices.

I have purchased from thrift stores so many things over the years, including blouses/shirts, purses, cardigans, pots/planters, porcelain plates for planters, sewing materials, small furniture, frames, decorative items, and many more. I am in love with the idea of having great items and saving money while also helping others. I also love the fact that I do not (usually) buy things that I would not love, use, or need. Yet, I figured that it became my favorite past-time activity, and since the prices are so good and items are so nice, I keep buying.

I do not want to buy anymore. I have a great wardrobe supplemented by thrift purchases. I have around 30 pots/planters already. It is like I am hoarding them now.

I have everything I need right now.

I was once proud of re-purposing and re-using items that I had. Not anymore. I now keep buying from thrift stores.

Time for a decluttering activity, donating what I have extra, and focusing on re-purposing items.

Wish me luck! 🙂

 

 

 

all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends. Not spectacular but just fine – I am grateful.

  • sleeping an hour longer than usual and resting with ease – check

this has been a welcome change in my early bird/short sleep habit. I woke up at around 4-5 am, but was able to go back to sleep or just lie there without feeling stress or dealing with negative thoughts. I have had some peace at last 🙂

  • treating myself to some baked goods from the coffee shop – check

I usually do not do this, but today was the day that I in fact craved for some comfort food. I am glad I treated myself

  • engaging in a meeting with an important focus and doing my job – check

don’t we all love meetings where we just sit and are expected to nod heads or something? I am not interested in sitting in an environment unless I engage my head and contribute to discussions. This means sometime finding myself in trouble 🙂 but this is okay. I am getting increasingly aware, thanks to this kind of meetings, that I am methodological and would like to see/know the facts before I can make a decision. This is in contrast to many people who I would label as kind of conformist as they just sat there and vote for what the majority or the leader does. Do you see why I said earlier that I sometime find myself in trouble? 🙂

  • finding out that I had a supporter in that committee – check

one of my colleagues approached me after the meeting and we talked about the dynamics of the meetings, sub-groups that support each other, and how we both fit in it. It was great to have this conversation, as I found myself think more about my own behavior and realize a thing or two. I realized I did not care about the opinions of the other members who would dislike my questioning or comments. I realized also what a positive effect I have had on my colleague now that they felt supported as well. How fresh and how lovely….

  • gifting a friend of mine with some pots and other stuff – check

my friend has been very generous with me and she gifts me all the time with new plants or with food. Last week she brought me some food, which I enjoyed very much. I thought that I could get her something she was likely to need or use, and I ended up with purchasing a number of lovely pots for her a few days back. She was excited and happy to receive them and seeing this was awesome. Generous people like this person deserves every kindness

  • getting a ride from another colleague of mine – check

I was so exhausted at noon that I jumped into this opportunity – it was lovely of her to do this. Yet another generous person 🙂

  • forcing myself to work at home, but finding myself quite un-enthusiastic – check

why would I be ever grateful for this kind of negative experience???

I can tell.

I noticed once again that I was the boss of myself and if I did not work I would not feel good. I consider doing grocery shopping and then ruled it out. Since I was determined to use my time well so that I can catch up with the mounting work, but also I was not really into work that requires high level of focus, I decided rather to clean and organize my home. I had not had a chance to do so last week. My friends – it felt great to be seeing my home clean, my floors, shinny, and my desk decluttered! I felt an immediate relief and a sense of peace and harmony 🙂

  • completing and online learning module with ease – check

while I was not into work, I wanted to at least take care of minor things that I was supposed to do in a week or two, so that later I could have time for much important things. This module did not take much of my time, but learning the main points made me feel satisfied with myself. I used my time effectively and opened some space for later. So I am very pleased with my decision 🙂

  • cooking not one but two dishes and eating them with a great appetite – check!

I have not cooked in the last 2-3 weeks. This felt very nourishing and pleasing. I am very happy with this!

  • feeling all energized and positive after these experiences today – check!

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decluttering home and emotional health

I have been cleaning and decluttering my home in the last 3 days.

I am not done yet, but I am finally becoming very pleased with the progress.

I knew that decluttering would help me release pressure and old scars; this has been exactly what has been happening.

I have been angry the last three days; I fought with people in my mind; remembered bitter encounters; and became angry and tearful. All while cleaning and decluttering. There is a direct correlation between dumping the physical clutter and dumping the emotional garbage. 

The other day I decluttered my wardrobe. I have a nice collection of donations and some hefty cleaning cloths made up of my old clothes 🙂 My wardrobe looks slim now and contains only those that I like or am interested in 🙂 Feeling fresh and joyful looking at it 🙂 There  is so much space. It is not crowded and over-whelming anymore. What a beautiful feeling….

Today, I have decluttered my storage area, which is a scary place. Last year I had refrained from getting in there. This year I have done it – I removed all the empty boxes, wrapping supplies, extra and useless paperwork (lost of it) and a couple of useful items that I had forgotten I have had. It looks clean, empty, safe, and fresh. Nothing to be scared of. Just the way I needed to feel. 

This is the 4th day of my paid holidays, and finally I feel like I am dealing with my bottled emotions, head butting with them and experiencing them, and then letting them move on.

And just like I remove the old, battered, and un-useful items from my home and my life, I become ready to welcome new and exciting items and experiences right into my life.

three days till Friday and holidays

I have three more days to go and then I will be free for 10 days!!

Freedom is something that I really cherish I guess. Just yesterday I was feeling like if I did not have to go to work today, I would have stayed up late and watch a movie. Three more days and I will have this freedom for 10 days 🙂

I thought I was exhausted last week, but this monday I woke up feeling better and having a clear mind. Things did not look so bad to me, so I am working and keep going. There will be many things that I had planned to finish that will remain undone, but some other stuff are being done. Like today we have finalized a document for a team member – she was joyful, and so was I 🙂 

I plan to finish cleaning and declutter my office on Friday, my traditional activity right before the holidays. What a beautiful plan 🙂 I think after this I will go for shopping or visit a thrift store or two. A nice start to the holidays.

All of us deserve to feel light and good about ourselves and the coming opportunities. I hope all of you out there have great plans, positive anticipations, and wonderful smiles on your face.

random thoughts

I woke up tired and with a puffy face, but the rest of the day moved on without much of a trouble between four meetings. I am done 4 out of 15 meetings scheduled this week and this feels good 🙂

Meetings are supposed to be beneficial. I always try to get at least one thing that will benefit the rest of the meeting attendees or myself. I have had it today as well. Hence, my consciousness is clear; I have done my best and exercised the regular practice of gaining something out of the meetings. But goodness knows, it would be much better if we did not have meetings for everything. Honestly this year meetings (on the average 13 hours a week and lately even 25 hours a week) got the best of me; I need time to do my work out of meetings as well. I know I am not the only one who thinks this way.

Two things that soothe my nerves are;

1) I decided to not focus on relaxing when I am stressed, and rather decided to focus on being smart. I know I have a hard time relaxing so imposing on myself to relax did not serve me well till now. I am shifting my perception and rather would like to try being smart; behave in a way that will work for everyone and keep the emotions out of things (so that I will not have my occasional bursts during the meetings if I am pressurized – it does not benefit anyone). The plus side is that I do not argue with myself whether I am smart or not. I am smart. So right away I feel like I have the necessary foundation to handle things well. This is quite a progress on my account. Hope I will be able to walk this talk.

2) We are getting close to the off time. From next Friday on, we will have a 10 days off with two days in between being a non-paid vacation time. I plan to work at that time and this is not a issue for me. I often benefit these quiet times at the office. For me, the most important thing is to be away from the pressing issues and my regular work routine. I will be happy to work during these two days. Other than this, you know I am looking forward to the last week of December; I will be shopping, cleaning my home, decluttering massively, and attending socials if the opportunity arises. Add on top of these being away from the work routine and you know that I will have a great time!

Looking forward to sharing my happy and excited experiences during the holidays. 

multi-purposed items are very useful :)

I like having items (such as in the kitchen) that I can use for multiple purposes. For example,  glass mixing bowl can be used for serving salad as well as for mixing items together. I also like to use items for different or multiple purposes so that my home will not be cluttered and I will have a more or less resourceful daily life. Good examples could be using shopping bags as garbage bin liner, old clothes/t-shirts as cleaning cloths, and my shopping cart.

The shopping cart I have was purchased almost 15 years ago when I was in Toronto. It is not big and also foldable, so it is a practical item. It was incredibly useful in carrying groceries which I often bought from the Kensington place. Carrying a cart full of groceries and walking from there to my home (around 20 mins of distance on foot) was easy and peasy.

When I moved from Toronto to where I live right now, I got it transported with my furniture but I do not remember using it for grocery at all. While decluttering my home a couple of years ago I considered donating it but later decided that I could rather use it as a container for extra items in the laundry room. It serves this purpose very well.

Today I used it for shopping! My yard has some uneven surfaces, particularly on the sides. I have been planning to fill these parts with soil so that my yard would look wider and I could have flowers lining my yard. This weekend I noticed that the garden soil wason sale (buy one, get one free; hello!). I was skeptical at first because they looked heavy and I do not have a car to transport them home. I did not want to ask my friends to help me with it, either. Then, I came up with the idea of using my shopping cart and voila! I bought four bags of 30L of soil in two store visits. Bags were heavy and I still had a difficult time lifting them and placing in the cart and pulling the cart to home. But it is all worth it – I placed the soil on my yard and I can see myself planting flower seeds in that area next year!

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I cannot wait! 🙂

I could not make this happen today should I have not decided to be resourceful and use that cart for another purpose 🙂

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Saturday morning musings

It is another quiet and peaceful Saturday morning filled with the great scent of freshly brewed coffee and the excitement of all the possibilities that the day may bring.

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It is rainy outside, which tells me that being outdoors today is not a practical option. It will be a day of home-entertainment I guess, including the dreaded house chores 🙂

I am doing something out of ordinary and have the TV on. It has been sometime that I watched TV. Once upon a time TV was very important for me. So was reading books. Things change I guess. In the last 1-2 years, I switched to writing and reading blogs than doing these activities.

The following certainly does not apply to me 🙂

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I think three things influenced this change:

1) My lower back problem that makes sitting in the couch uncomfortable, so I rather prefer to sit or lie down on bed in the evenings. This means I am away from the living room and hence the TV.

2) Shopping bans on books that started as a short term ban, which later is extended naturally. I used to buy 2-3 books every weekend, which was a great pleasure that I always looked forward to. Two years ago I started my budgeting and frugal life journey, which told me that what I was doing was not a great idea, also considering that I have had many books that I have not read yet. The massive decluttering followed the shopping ban showed me this very clearly.

3) The fact that I am resentful towards the cable provider. I have a package involving phone, internet and cable. While I was able to reduce my bill by negotiating with the company, I must say I am pissed that all of these services cost so much. In addition, I cannot cancel my cable because it is a package, and if I do remove it, phone and internet together would cost me more!! Which kind of a mentality is this? I feel like my cable service is a waste and I do not feel great about it.

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But I would like to encourage everyone to call and negotiate with their service providers; I was able to reduce my internet-phone-cable service and another important service in the last one year. For two years in a row I also get my credit card fee to be waived. I will change my credit card sometime to get rid of this fee altogether. Hoping to get a cash-back one because honestly cards with loyalty points are not great; it takes a long time to accumulate the points and when you collected sufficient points, then the service or item you look for may not be easy to get or available. I was lucky enough to get 3-4 plane tickets and a number of great items through the loyalty points so far, but I keep asking myself whether it is worth it. 

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Anyways, back to best of life – I hope everyone will have a great Saturday today! I wish we all can get the best of this beautiful day 🙂

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frugal, waste-free, and simple-life style activities this week

I want to remember the activities that fulfill my interest in frugal, waste-free, and simple-life style this week; I am positive that they will help me see the brighter side in everything and motivate me to do more 🙂

 

Here is the list:

Frugal activities:

1. I messed up with my budget and frugal life-style big time lately. Nevertheless, I managed to walk to work one day (rather than using transportation) saving myself 10 bucks.

2. I did not over-spend on grocery. As a matter of fact, I have purchased much less than regular in order to eat what I already have in my fridge.

3. I used a coupon. Now, considering I am wasting more than 200 bucks a week nowadays I wonder why I have even cared finding or using this coupon. Every penny counts I guess…

Waste-free life:

1. I continued to bring my tote to stores in order to reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags in my home. There has been a considerable improvement in this and I am happy to say that I reduced the amount at least by 2/3 🙂

2. I ate the food in my fridge before they went bad. Some of them still did, though, which I resent…. Next time I will be better.

Simple/self-sustaining life:

1. I baked my own bread.

2. I made my own strained curds/cheese from kefir 🙂 I am straining another batch today. I want to try one from yogurt for a change of taste.

3. I did not unnecessarily made my day complicated by filling it in many different activities (only work).

4. I made sure to do other things than just work after 7pm everyday to give my mind a break and enjoy my life.

5. I did not socialize with anyone, which helped me keep my time and energy to myself (yes, this is one of the benefits of living alone 🙂 )

6. I cared for my yard and removed weeds to make sure they will not take over the yard (a preventive measure for a long-term simple life)

Decluttering and minimalist activities:

1. Nothing particular than regular, except that the unnecessary paper that were on my study table are now dumped. 

2. I bought no item (other than personal hygiene products and grocery) for home or myself this week.

a good day today

It has been a fine day 🙂

I got up early and that is why I did quite a bit today. For example, I deep cleaned the upstairs and I am now ready to clean downstairs and re-arrange the furniture. It is gonna be tough, but the end product will be awesome. I am hopeful 🙂  And excited 🙂

Anyways.. Most importantly, I have taken the clothes I sorted out while decluttering to a donation centre/thrift store. In turn, I grabbed a lovely mirror, two empty frames, and a great ancient Egyptian figurine. Friends, you would not believe how great I am feeling about all of these! All loved. All looking great. All excite me.

I have painted one of the empty frames. I want to frame a piece I have bought in Athens a couple of years ago. I always thought that I would have a green wood frame for it. I did not have it, so I painted one 🙂 Now, I have it 🙂

I display the dried flowers (those that were sent to me by my work place when my dad died, which I had dried) in the second empty frame. I used to have them in two small frames with white background. But this frame is large enough to have all of them inside. And it has a black background which beautifully contrasts the flowers. It looks so great. It looks so great… As my dad would have deserved. May he rest in peace.

I think this has been a day that I really found awesome pieces by luck. I think it is true what they say that you gotta keep checking them. Many days one may not find exciting stuff, but someday, you get what you ask for 🙂  Like Hugh dancing like noone is watching. See, what I say?

🙂

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PS: this movie was really great 🙂

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benefits of decluttering

…are a lot.

I started doing my bedroom and master bathroom. I already found a nice facial mask, wash cloths, nail polish, other make up materials that I was looking for, and many blouses and t-shirts that I either did not like at all or did not remember that I have had.

So as you can guess, a number of things will be gone soon, either donated or cut down to be used as cleaning cloths. A number of things will find their use too. Hello nail polish! It has been sometime that we saw each other. Now, remind me how it felt to have nice, decorated, and good looking nails. Right? 🙂

hmmm. I have started and I am feeling good. Decluttering always feels good. I wonder what other treasures and trash I will find during the entire process 🙂 I will keep you posted!

random thoughts

We have a summer alright… A nice warm summer with heat and clear, blue sky. Like I have never seen here kind of sky. What a blessing we have had this year! I am grateful 🙂

The week has ended and I feel like time is flying and that is why I am not feeling overly enthusiastic. I have had a look at the important things I must do in three months: three projects to be written and submitted; one report to be finalized and submitted; two business trips to Europe; a short vacation in Europe; a new team member to hire among many others. And I am thinking about taking some days off to work comfortably at home or at the office, while also relaxing somehow, cleaning and decluttering my home, and having some free time to contemplate. How are all these gonna happen? I am feeling stressed rather than joyful, and that is not right.

Thankfully it is true that if I am not distracted and have no meeting during the day, usually I do generate a great amount of work. Like today. This pleases me a lot and gives me hope. I can do all of these if I can be smart enough to keep the distraction by others to minimum. Yep.

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I have had a nice sleep yesterday and as a result in the morning I woke up feeling positive. I wanted to wear something different and eventually tried a white cotton shirt that I had bought years ago. I was surprised when I looked at the mirror that it actually looked pretty good on me and I was lucky to have it! Considering that I was contemplating about donating it soon, this is quite a surprise, do you not think? I wonder what other treasures I will find while going through my stuff during the decluttering activity and what items I will dump/get rid of? I really cannot wait to start this tomorrow 🙂

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My grey roots are showing and seeing them like 50 times a day annoys me big time. I am feeling like I am getting close to visiting a hair saloon and starting the process of grey hair.

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I am conflicted because I want to visit a number of people in a couple of months and I wonder how they will react to me transitioning to grey hair. Perhaps I should leave it to after that time? I really do not know. I think everybody would be okay with me being happy with my new hair.

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I am assuming I will be happy with it, by the way.. Is this a big assumption? Perhaps I should really let this annoyance of grey roots sink so that I can be happy when I no longer have that issue with even a larger patch of gray showing on my head… Who knows?

I was not sarcastic here… No, really.

Anyways…

Talk to you next time 🙂

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taking some vacation time next week on

I jut learnt that I cannot carry my annual vacation time to next year. So I decided life was too short and I could make excellent use of my paid vacation time.

You may think I will be going away, but this is not the case. I plan to spend time, thankfully free time, at work and home.

Let me tell you my exciting plans:

Work:  One may say that I am taking time off to finish work and that would be the truth. My expectation is that I will be free to work on my own work without any meetings or commitments to my team members or the committees I work in. I may work at home or in the office – does not matter. I am so looking forward to this and finishing up important tasks that are good for my own success.

Home: I have exciting plans. Let’s see…. I have started decluttering my wardrobe and I would love this to be extended to the whole house. This is very exciting!

I would like to get decluttered items either donated or chopped down to be used as cleaning cloths.

I want to deep clean the house – the last time I could do it was the holiday season.

I also would love to re-arrange my furniture on the living room/dining room. This will take me some time to do but i am very excited about this. Finally it will look like a welcoming house.

I want to buy a new dining table and chairs set, but not sure whether I can find something that I can afford. We will see how that goes.

I want to visit the thrift stores during the weekdays (somebody suggested that there may be new items right after the weekend when people usually drop their donations) and build my new wardrobe. I grew so tired of my current wardrobe 🙂

And I will binge-watch the X-files! 🙂

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Spring plans

I used to have posts about the things I would like to change or implement in my life. The majority of the time they did work really well and I have implemented them in my life. I do not think I have done this for some time. So let’s roll again 🙂

1. Eat at least 10 food that I have not eaten in the last one week. I keep eating the same things over and over; apple, tomato, onion, herbs, milk, yogurt, beans, cheese, and eggs are the regularly consumed food. While they are more or less healthy, I am afraid I am missing the opportunity to benefit from other veggies/fruits/dry food. In the past whenever I recognized this, I aimed every week to purchase and eat at least 6 different things that I have not eaten within the last week. This time I would like to increase this to 10 so that I can challenge myself (always fun!).

2. Consume the pantry food that are older than a year. I know what they are; rice, bulghur, and wild rice. I am not into rice that much, but I can make an effort to consume more of it. I will get creative with the others. It will be great to use them up so that I can get fresh ones 🙂

3. Thrift shop for blouses and shirts for a renewed wardrobe this Spring :).  I want to budget 50 bucks to keep visiting the thrift stores and buy blouses and shirts. I am happy with my latest purchases and I have been meaning to renew my shirts for some time (many of them have been in use for at least one year). Change is always good and I am discovering that certain styles are fitting me well. It is exciting 🙂

4. Declutter the wardrobe. After I purchase new tops, I want to remove from my wardrobe those that I do not wish to wear; some can be modified (I hope I can make this with my sewing machine),  donate (those that are in good shape), or dump (those that are old and battered). Since this has been a wish of mine for so long, I think it will feel awesome 🙂

5. Clean the yard and plant veggies/seeds. I do not know how the previous owners managed, but the yard is uneven which requires me to fix it. Also there are broken glass bottle and plate pieces everywhere. I cleaned quite a bit in the past but this year I want to do a better job. I also want to grow herbs and other veggies. Spring is almost here, so I can be busy working at the yard the next few months.

6. Lose another 10 pounds. I managed to lose 15 pounds in Fall. I gained 5 pounds back but I am still keen about losing a little bit more of fat. I know morning walks from home to office as well as eating lots of raw veggies and not eating after 8 pm coincided with my weight loss. So I am interested in replicating these behavior and hope that I can lose another 10 pounds 🙂

7. Drink more tea and reduce coffee consumption. I increased my coffee consumption too much. This coincided with me having my weekend breakfast at home rather than at a cafe. I drink around 6 cups of coffee per day now, which does not sound good to me. I do not experience physiological problems like palpitations, but nothing of too much can be good. So from tomorrow on I will focus on drinking 3 cups of coffee per day at most. The rest of the time I can drink tea. Good plan 🙂

8. Get a new hobby or activity that I do not usually do. Whether it is a sitting meditation or hiking the trails, I do not know.  I have read somewhere about “nature bathing” or something like that. Basically it means sitting in a park or around trees, and exposing our body and mind to the natural beauty and freshness around us. I am looking forward to finding a park and doing this this summer.

9. Surprise myself :). I would like to surprise myself by doing things that I would not normally do. I believe this would help me break my routine habits, or see things differently. No idea how I could do this but having it in the list means I will revisit the idea time to time. Who knows maybe I could come up with something interesting 🙂

10. Sew. I could not focus on sewing yet……. I have the machine, notions and fabric, so all I need is a new project that will help me get excited. Ideas?

the fifth and the sixth day of the staycation

Finally I feel like I have done quite a bit done today 🙂

Yesterday I baked three different loaves for a social I was invited to, cleaned some more parts of my house, had great time with four kids and four adults at a lovely dinner.

I am glad the socials are done. I just need to host a friend of mine whose mom is visiting them. This, honestly stresses me out as I am not a great cook. But, then the way I see many people are not, either (a positive outcome of frequent socials in the last few months). So I say – go for it and enjoy! I cannot wait this “task” in my to-do-list to be over (see how joyful I am about this? argh…).

And I am done with cleaning the kitchen, floors, and every single corner of the house today 🙂 I have more space in my fridge and kitchen cabinets now. No need to say that I am dumping a fair amount of clutter and gathering items to be donated. It feels good. I am not done with decluttering, though. I still have my storage cabinet to be cleaned and decluttered. Honestly it always scares me, but I think I will be fine once I start it.

I also need to wash two shag rugs at a nearby laundromat. After that I want to sell them. There I said it… I bought and use them with love, but I think it is time we depart our ways and get new ones…. That also feels good to me 🙂

My rotary cuter and cutting mat are not delivered yet – they were supposed to be here last Thursday, but alas.. I have been waiting for them to start doing some serious sewing but this afternoon I was not feeling well and I decided I could work it out somehow. And I kind of did – I sewn a lovely yellow and large dish cloth to be used on my counter 🙂 It is simple yet lovely and I am sure it will help me keep me my counter dry.

As my to-do-list is being taken care of, my reflection time is coming along…. Somewhere above I mentioned I was not feeling well. I missed my family and I am very aware of the fact that none of us are getting younger. When there is family there is love and when there is life there is death.. 2 + 2 = 4. It is very scary. I love my family and I do not wish to them to die, but this can happen anytime. Heck, I may die myself anytime. Why am I away from them? When am I going to be done with the work and start spending time with them? I was not planning to go visit them this year, but I guess I will do it – I want to do it. I was telling a friend of mine the other day – if I could retire I could quit work, too, but I just cannot. Money is not the most important thing, yes, but it can provide opportunities and some kind of happiness, right? Right.

The past one year I have been grieving after my dad and my relationships with the rest of my family has been slightly strained as a result. I am still grieving for my dad, still feeling the reality of death (some mornings I wake up thinking that “there; one more day of my life to be wasted. yet it is so precious. How can I enjoy i and make it more meaningful?” I have no answer to these questions…), but I have nowadays started to feel the fear of losing my other family members.. This clenches my heart…

I believe it is time that I care about my family members more.

After his death, I developed this strange fear of forgetting my dad, but I know that this will not happen. I think my father too would love me caring for the rest of the family.

Self-reflections to continue…..

 

 

the third and the fourth day of the staycation

Today and yesterday were kind of busy and high-speed days; but they were both good 🙂

I have done great in terms of cleaning my home; except the storage area, entrance deck, and the kitchen I am done cleaning; window sills, every corner, behind the furniture, and most importantly the laminate floors are wiped! Yay! I so dislike cleaning the floors, but it is done until further notice (heh he! 🙂 ) I also lightly wiped the rugs, except the one on the stairs and started my decluttering activity.

I am so into decluttering. I so far threw away quite a bit of clutter and am trying to sale some other minor stuff. Ones that will not be sold will be donated next week. This feels good. I still have a long way to complete my decluttering, but at least I have started and am enjoying it. I cannot wait to remove the clothes from my home – some of them have not been worn for some time and it is time to donate them. Old socks are always fun to throw away, and finding new treasures hidden here and there is a surprisingly delightful activity 🙂

Cleaning, if you do not like it, is a huge burden. One of my colleagues suggested I hire someone to do it; while I like the idea I think as long as I am capable of doing it, I will keep doing it.

I have baked this beauty for a social yesterday 🙂 does it not look awesome? It was an overnight dough prepared by milk (add 1 cup of warm skim milk, 1/2 tbs of dry yeast, 1tbs of sugar together; activate the yeast for 10 min with the container covered by a towel; add 2.5 cups of bread flour and knead; stretch and fold 4-5 times when you have time; rest at the fridge overnight; take it out in the morning and bring to room temperature (takes around 2 hours); shape; proof for an hour; and bake at 350F for 30 min (not pre-heated; it helps with the raise of this dough, which has a small amount of yeast) after applying whole egg wash and generous amount of sesame seeds on top).

Everybody loved it! I am baking a similar one for another social tomorrow, together with my sourdough 🙂 we will see how they will turn out tomorrow.

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Bon appetite! 🙂

first day of the staycation

Boy… I cleaned my office furniture today and it took me 4 hours or so..I dusted and cleaned everywhere, particularly my coffee station and the desk. Lots of paper is dumped, old projects and scars are let go, and space for new ones are opened….

I also decluttered my emails; I have deleted quite a bit but I mostly archived. I do not know how the heck I am going to find particular ones, but I have done it anyhow considering that I may one day need them. Now my inbox is relax, I do not get an reminder about my inbox being almost full, and I feel good about dumping lots of stuff. Well done 🙂 Considering the fact that I have also cleaned my personal email account in the last week or so, that means one task is done and decluttering started! Yay!! 🙂 Can’t wait to start with the home 🙂

I then left for shopping. It was nice to walk in the crispy weather. I bought a number of scrap fabric, mostly of cheerful colours. I was so excited when I bought them, but now I think as if I am wasting time, money, and hope on sewing. See, the problem is I could not sew not one thing so far. Nada. Zilch. I tried two blouses and they both are messed; I never knew sewing a neck could be this difficult. Darn…..I tried a dish cloth that is also messed up (cannot even stitch straight, my friends)…  I am losing my hope time to time… I am in desperate need of doing something, something with my sewing machine…If I do see one done, I will find some confidence I am sure. Alas, it is no where to be found…. Not yet.. I have not given up yet, but I really need to come up with something nice quite soon. Please wish me luck.

Anyways my friends; I am cranky, yet I must be excited. My staycation for two weeks has started today! Who knows what the tomorrow will bring? 🙂

random thoughts

Three more days till my two weeks holidays time off 🙂 I cannot wait!

Honestly, I am done with work. I have things to do but enough is enough. I have been working very hard and made a good attempt to finish ongoing work. I will make one last push tomorrow and Wednesday, and then I will take Thursday off (even though it is not  apart of our holidays). I deserve this extra day 🙂

I have done the majority of my shopping by taking advantage of the sales, though I still would love to check trousers and get one or two if they are on sale. Other than that, I have no need for shopping and I feel good about this. Of course I have many socials to attend, especially this week, which kind of makes me bored already, but I will go through it. The exciting things will be to declutter my home, clean it up, and get some time for myself.

I have quite a reflection to do and the holidays have always been the best time for me to do so… This year has been full of ups and downs…. While on the average it was one year that I have had felt happy, it was also the one that brought me the most profound sadness; my dad has passed away this year.. May he rest in peace…. I did not know what sadness was prior to this and I had never appreciated life as much I have since my dad’s death…My dad has given me life and also taught me the best lesson ever by his death; that I must appreciate life while I have it…. How could I not feel this before, when he was alive? He has seen me mostly depressed and fed up with life; that feels so unfair to him… But I am sure he would love to see me now with this new zest towards life.

I am also older now and getting close to 50 🙂 hah haaa. I have never thought I would but here I am! With age comes change in the body as well as in the attitude towards anything really. I appreciate my family and I still care about my work, but I want to have a better and healthier life-style overall. I am losing weight slowly but steadily, which is good. My mood is overall better, which is awesome. I must continue to care for my back and keep doing my stretches and light weight training, which have been really good for me. I want to get better at sewing and start doing some serious projects, which I hope the holidays will be a good opportunity to do so. I am still keen about saving and paying down my mortgage, but I am not going to get too enthusiastic about it and would like to make it a priority to enjoy my life and care for people I love…

It looks like I have little new projects for the new year. This somehow bothers me (i.e. does not excite me that much) but I would like to think positive. Perhaps this is an opportunity to go with the flow. Who knows, maybe I will develop new interests and projects without thinking about them? After all my two current interest, blogging and sewing, were never planned and were just spontaneously born 🙂

the plans for the holidays

I have 11 days till a two-weeks break during the holidays 🙂

I sure have a lot of things to do. One thing I do not want to is to work 🙂 I will have to do light work for a couple of days, but I am okay with this. I will mainly stay away from the office and this change will feel good 🙂

As per my other plans, here is a short snap-shot:

1. Cleaning the house: Yes, yes… The dreaded house cleaning will have to happen this year too 🙂 I plan to dust and wipe very corner at home; wash the shag rugs, pillows, and everything else; wipe the rugs; wipe the stairs’ carpet; and wipe the floors.

The last one will take some time; my floors are mostly laminate, which is hard to wipe. It needs to be wiped with a damp but not wet cloth and immediately dried by another cloth… I can do this the majority of the time without much of a trouble, but the attention it requires is boring… Nevertheless, i will do this and then forget for some time 🙂

I do not enjoy wiping the rugs either; my rugs are lovely but one of them is quite thin, making the wiping a little bit difficult. I must be careful about not applying too much water – that is all. It is gonna happen 🙂

2. Decluttering and re-organizing the house: I have been excited about this! 🙂 Yes, I love to declutter. I am amazed how much I have dumped, gave away, or donated; but there is still a lot to sort out and get rid of.

I am particularly aware of the shoes and the paperwork in my storage. Honestly I dread the idea of getting into my storage area but I must do this…. There are a bunch of stuff from the past that I kept, which I am determined to get rid of this time for sure. I must leave only those that are absolutely necessary and the rest should be dumped. A couple of months ago I had one attempt and thinned things out, including 8-9 containers of half-used paint (which I air-dried prior to dumping them in the garbage). So I have had quite a progress but it was not 100%. This time I should be done with it. When I am done with it, I would like to be not scared of thinking or going through it… Wish me luck 🙂

And the shoes: I do not know what I will do with them. Among everything else I have gotten rid off, shoes were an exception. I have some quite battered shoes that should be dumped and some lovely ones that I should be using… The fact that I have not opened those boxes in many years tells all… They should be donated so that somebody else can enjoy them…. This mentality helps but I still resist the idea of departing with them. Help!!

To declutter, I will star with the easiest part, which is the bathrooms. Then I will move on the bedroom closet; I am pretty sure I will retire some of the socks, pajamas, and shirts this time too… Apart from this, I have no other decluttering planned for the upstairs ( I had decluttered the rest of the rooms/closets a few months back).

On the first floor, I will have some time spent… The study/living room has some declutering needed – it is not too much (sort of mostly paper), so I am sure it will be okay in a few hours. I will sort out the bills for this year and put them in the storage area… This always feels good, opening space for new bills :)))

The kitchen on the other hand will take some time. I bought a new set of dining plates so what will I do with the previous ones? I am planning to donate a portion of the previous set but not everything.. This means I gotta pack or find a place to put them. I will also get rid of chipped plates and some plates that I bought with joy but hardly used.. There are a number of coffee mugs that have the same fate. But more than that I want to have a good look at my kitchen cabinets and re-organize the shelves. I hope to achieve a more lean and efficient system. I have a couple of stuff, like a juicer that I use once a year or two – I must decide what to do with it. The same thing with the waffle – maker; I have not used in 3 years and I just saw it last week while looking for something. I think nobody would miss it if it was gone, right?

3. Going through the pantry and freezer: I will do that not only to declutter but also to identify what I have (and hopefully to consume them without more delay) and to sock up new stuff 🙂 I believe I have frozen veggies I had blanched last year – man, these gotta be eaten..

4. Video-typing of the house and its contents: I have a habit of video-typing the outside and inside of my house for insurance purposes. I do that twice a year to document is condition and to update the record on my stuff. Nothing major, just needs to be done.

5. Shopping!!! 🙂 Yay!! well, I kind of shopped and bought the majority of the stuff I needed, but I still need a couple of things. First pants – I cannot miss the sales and I often catch good deals during the holidays. I cannot wait. I also need socks but nothing that cannot wait – only if I can find really good deals. I will visit the thrift stores a couple of times. After last Friday’s fabric haul, I cannot wait to excitement of checking them again 🙂

6. Sewing adventures. Ahem.. i still do not have a particular project at my hand and am still trying to figure out the tips and tricks of using a sewing machine, cutting fabric, using notions, and coming up with a piece that does not fall off places :))

I do not want to just do something that will not be useful…. Do you know this feeling? I just do not want to sew to sew.. That is strange because without practice how am I supposed to get better at it anyhow?

I think what I am feeling is like I just do not want to stitch the edges of a large piece of fabric and brag that now I have sewn a table cloth… I think what I want to try is fancier, more creative stuff.. Like, I have this wonderful fabric that can be a table cloth but I want to have something sewn around the edges so that it can look more than just a plain cloth. But then I am thinking maybe I can do something at the centre to give it a more character. But what will it be? Also I have like 6 table cloths – what is the point of making another one?

I am, however, for sure sewing a dish cloth for my kitchen. I have been playing with some fabric this afternoon, but decided that I needed more vibrant colours to give it a cheerful air. I also would like to sew a lady with a hat and nice clothes on it, but I have no idea how I will be able to turn it around. This will require some research on the net and figuring out a pattern that I can work on.

I also would like to re-try the blouse I sewed yesterday. It is gonna be so nice – I am excited 🙂

I have another nice fabric that would make an excellent and cozy blouse, yet I have no idea how to design it. I am not that good at modeling or taking measures. I am only at the stage where I can try basic and un-detailed work…

And then?

I do not know… Maybe it is time that I try a quilt?

getting back to aims and plans

I love to have aims and plans to tackle them. There is something exciting and energizing about this.

I am not always successful in my aims or plans, but, hey, I will try as many times as it takes and as much as I can enjoy.

The majority of my aims are around similar themes; having a financial plan; having a simple yet non-routine life; and having a healthier life-style.

I will focus on details later but the particular areas of my life that I would love to work on real soon are:

  1. getting a much leaner budget and getting rid of the extra expenses for good
  2. making an extra payment to mortgage till new year and increasing my payment after that sometime. My very ambitious plan is to drop it to 100K in 3 years. Likely not gonna happen but whatever I can do is good
  3. eating healthier and losing 25 pounds and keeping it off
  4. having a vacation somewhere this year only for my own enjoyment
  5. having a less stressful work life and dealing with work and emotions better
  6. being more social
  7. baking the perfect loaf
  8. decluttering the house and the office again and possibly again
  9. buying a new set of plates
  10. being more aware and appreciative of my surroundings, life experiences, and everything else in life 🙂

abundance

Longing for abundance?

Go thru what you have in your home, office, car, or life first.

Make a list; itemize everything; it helps you to find out what you already have, what you had forgotten you have had, what you do not, what you need, and what you do not need. While you are at it, declutter too. When you are done;

  1. Appreciate what you have
  2. Use what you have
  3. Donate whatever you do not want/need anymore- help others
  4. Exchange them with family and friends – mend each other’s needs
  5. Re-purpose; cut out that shirt, curtain, shorts and make cleaning clothes – mop the floor, clean the doors/windows, wipe the rugs, sew a mat, scarf, tote, napkins, or toys for a kid or a pet; use the glass jars and other containers to store your dry food, spices, and other food; replace the old mat with a new one you found somewhere else at home
  6. Save items for later use (make sure to remember their existence and try not to hoard)
  7. Sell them
  8. Put whatever cannot be used, donated, exchanged, re-purposed, saved for future use,  or sold into garbage or a collection unit
  9. Give priority of use to those items that you have had forgotten you have had. This is not only good for perishable items, like food, but anything else – since they were not around for sometime, using them can enrich your life if you like change, make you feel like you just have gained an item for free,  or a need filled with no effort or funds

Abundance comes from knowing and feeling what you already have.

Remember to thank for whatever you have.

sometimes it is the right time to change

Sometimes we force ourselves to change, and sometimes it just feels right or good to do so.

The first one is enforced and is usually against some wishes/priorities. Thus, it is not an easy one. I like the latter – it comes naturally without negative emotions attached to it. The only disadvantage is I never know the timing as it is also spontaneous. In the last 24 hours, I enjoyed this type of changes.

First; since I started thinking about adopting a cat, I have been reading lots of blogs and watching youtube videos every night. Eventually, I got tired of it and decided to remove the cat-related tags that I follow from my blog’s main page. I have done this today and I feel good about it. I will also remove bookmarked sites tonite.

Second; yesterday I had a look at the blogs I followed and unfollowed around 30 blogs that either had not posted in at least 6 months, or their scope was no longer one of my interests. I am not saying that there was something wrong about these blogs – absolutely not. But they did not contribute to enriching my life and as such I needed to let them go and open space for new ones, new interest, and new bloggers.

I am just curious now what these new topics could be 🙂

happiness is knowing that someone you care about is well and sound

I called the animal shelter today to ask about how to donate them the money that I was rising by selling extra items in my home that I identified during my latest decluttering activity.

I could not help but asked about Jamie the cat that I had adopted a few weeks ago, which I unfortunately had to return back.

They told me that he was now adopted and was doing really well in his new home!

I could not be happier!!!

 

Jamie – may your new home bring you joy, safety, love, and all the toys and food you may love:)

I hope all animals will find their best homes sooner than later.

I hope we all will do, however small it can be, our parts to care for the animals; whether it is fostering, donating food or other items or funds, or just helping an animal in need.

Thank you my friends for being here to support me while I went thru this emotional turbulence. Now I am at peace….

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

declutterig, finding new treasures, and giving them away

I have decluttered one last part in my home this weekend (the storage area) and identified many items still usable but not serving me well anymore. Some are given away free and some are being sold online.

I made $20 so far from these sells.

This will go to the animal shelter to help support these institutions and the cats/dogs they shelter 🙂

Hope to sell other items to increase this amount.

Please consider a similar activity; clean and clear your home and consciousness, remove those items that do not serve you or give you joy anymore, let them find new homes, and help those defenseless and innocent pets that require us to do something in turn. After all, we humans are the reasons that they lack their natural habitat and are killed/hurt for no good reasons at the streets or shelters.

Best.

final decluttering activity at home

I have been meaning to declutter my storage for over a year and finally that day has arrived!

I got it done today; I am disposing 8 paint cans (with little or no paint in), a bag of dry cement, something else used for construction, and a large bucket, all of which I acquired together with the house  I bought 2.5 years ago. I also put aside four large cardboard boxes, around 200 VHS cassettes, some other minor furniture, and an old luggage. These I hope will all go in a week (either sold or given away; or dumped with the  garbage). I kept them for so long assuming that I would need them (e.g. the paint used in my home and the minor furniture), but come on, they have been there for years. Time to go.

I have not opened the taped boxes, the majority of which are full of paperwork (bills, tax docs etc). They should stay.

I can still dump many items from that area (like some brochures of countries I visited), but for now I am okay keeping them. Next time, they are on the list 🙂

Feeling good about this entire decluttering adventure 🙂

joy journal – July 31, 2016

Here is another joyful entry! 🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping in late. Man, have I been tired the last two days. A good night sleep has been the most welcome remedy 🙂

2. I am grateful for the coffee and bagel I have had this morning as a breakfast. Nice and easy. No complication. Always available. Always affordable. Always fresh. Always desired and always enjoyed 🙂

3. I am grateful for the cool day. Time to time it became hot and humid, but generally speaking today has been cooler than the rest of the week. I love cool weather 🙂

4. I am grateful for the bus, which did not let me wait too long at the bus stop and safely transported me to shopping mall this morning.

5. I am grateful for buying many useful and needed items today. What is it about shopping that makes us energized and excited? One thing I like about it is I feel like I am taking care of myself. Another reason is that I sometimes, only sometimes, I find something that I really love…. Today’s most exciting catch was a measuring cup set that I much needed! I checked two brands, one steel and the other plastic. The first one was expensive and the other one did not feel good. Plus, I did not like the colour, which was dark blue. I checked the aisle for the second time just before leaving the store and I find a third set; it is plastic too, but this time its color is green, which I liked. It would be nice if I had purchased the steel set, but honestly considering the fact that the cups will only transiently touch the flour, I opted out for the cheaper set, that is the plastic. I am fine with that decision.

6. I am grateful for the canned beans, yogurt, bread flour, whole wheat flour, raisins, the lipstick, eyeliner, and face moisturizer I bought. I will enjoy consuming the food and they were at very affordable prices. I am trying a new shade of eye liner this time (green), which I have not used since my youth. It is exciting 🙂

7. I am grateful for catching the bus back right at the last second. Since it is sunday, the bus schedule is particularly bad – buses are very infrequent. There was only one bus left at the station, which I had hoped was my bus. And it was! If I had missed it, I would have to wait another hour, or take a cab. I am happy that neither of these were required.

8. I am grateful for talking with my family. We are missing each other, but it is awesome that with technology we have the opportunity to speak and connect.

9. I am grateful for the bread I baked today! It is one of the best I have ever baked; tasty soft, and good looking 🙂 I have hope – I will manage to bake the perfect loaf one day 🙂

10. I am grateful for continuing to declutter today. Today, I dumped 3 pairs of old boots; an old pair of shoes; a couple of old jackets; and many small items forgotten here and there. I also noticed 4-5 nice jackets that I had ignored for many years! They are in good shapes and honestly look very pretty. I hanged them at the front to make sure I will see and wear them when the fall/winter comes.

11. I am grateful for the veggie meal I cooked this evening. It was healthy and tasty – good job 🙂

12. I am grateful for stopping working around 5pm and starting to relax and rest after that. The last few days have been quite productive but also tiring. I feel much better right now and ready to start the new week.

13. I am grateful for all the jars I have. because of the recent pest problem, I am keeping all my dry food and spices in jars. Those that are in large amounts, like rice and flour, are currently in the fridge. I looked for large jars today but could not find suitable ones. I guess I will just keep going as it is.

14. I am grateful for noticing my dry food yesterday and today. I have a lot of dry food, which I can lovingly consume. I will have one or two days this week designated to only cook with these food. I will be happy to replace them later with fresh batches.

15. I am grateful for the space I have created by decluttering and reshuffling stuff around. I used to think that my kitchen cabinets and pantry was not large enough, yet it turned out that this was not true 🙂

16. I am grateful for the rain this evening; hearing the droplets hit the asphalt was therapeutic 🙂 it also cooled it down a bit – I am looking for a temperature-wise comfortable night. What a delight 🙂

17. I am grateful for my t-shirts and pajamas that make summer heat bearable. We always complain about winter, yet summer, when hot and humid, is equally annoying. Proper clothes to cope with the temperature is essential. Since our winters are rather long and summers are short, I often times forgot the existence of summer-clothes. I am glad that while decluttering I found them in the drawers and gladly wear them. That also means that I better do two decluttering activity per year: one when the summer starts and another when the winter starts. This will help me not only to get rid of the old and unwanted items, but also to locate my seasonal clothes when they are most needed.

18. I am grateful for my internet connection and computer that make blogging, reading, writing, and learning possible – all exciting!

19. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to note this list today.

a short synopsis of an exciting day

I got tired by shopping and working at home till late again, but many nice stuff happened, too.

Breaking the routine adventures: In the morning, I went to a shopping mall. I have got my regular weekend breakfast (coffee and toasted bagels) at a cafe over there. I found a chance to read the newspaper there, too. I appreciate this change of my routine 🙂

Baking adventures: I bought a  number of things, including some parchment papers that I would love to use while baking bread. Tomorrow I will give it a try!

You may want to ask why I am not baking a bread today… The reason is that the poolish I have prepared yesterday was too sour-smelling in the morning…. I bet I put in too much yeast…… Poor thing went to the garbage. Well, next time my friends 🙂

Tonite, I am preparing dough that I will keep at the fridge during the night. I have not kneaded it well, thinking that I would stretch and fold rather. Well, the dough is too sticky to stretch…. So, this attempt too seems to be failing, but I will see tomorrow. Who knows, maybe the dough will fix itself! :)))

Right, I will keep dreaming 🙂

Thrifty store adventure: Anyways, one of the most joyful purchases I have made today was a second-hand jacket I bought from a thrifty store. It is beautiful, my friends, with little white flower ornaments on a black fabric. There is little defects at the back, which I will fix by adding a lower-back strap. It is gonna be awesome! Cannot believe I have found such a delightful thing to wear 🙂 I feel really lucky :))

Decluttering adventure: Shopping was not the only thing that made me excited today. I continued to declutter my home, and this time I have done the bedroom. I do not have a lot of things, but I sure have more things than I use. I dumped all bunch of old socks and some stuff that I never liked but used anyways, like sports pants. They are now gone. I have also purged a big garbage bag full of usable shirts and pants, which I will donate. I am planning to use two old luggages to keep my old paperwork nicely tucked in. Win-win situation.

While going thru my stuff to declutter, I also found lovely items that I had forgotten I have had! A nice pair of gloves, with the tag still on! When did I buy it and forget it? It is beautiful. I also found much needed new socks in a drawer 🙂 And new sports-pants. I was planning to buy socks and sports-pants during my vacation, but did not have the opportunity to do so. It turns out I never really needed them. Also found 3 in good-shape purses, two of which I have bought from Rome with big excitement! Am I lucky or just forgetful?

Whatever it is, today I feel the same excitement that I felt while buying these items. I feel lucky.

I will continue to declutter tomorrow and possibly next week. This has always been an exciting activity for me, even though starting it is always hard. I not only get rid of unnecessary stuff, but also find a chance to donate. More than that, I get to find nice stuff that I forget I have and also notice how much space I actually have. These, my friends, are priceless.

I continue to highly recommend decluttering.

Cheers 🙂

kind of tiring day

I am finally about to relax and enjoy my night..

It has been a long day, friends.

Worked till afternoon – it was not busy, so I am not complaining about work today 🙂

It was the house work and the hot-humid day that made me tired.

In short, I did the laundry and cleaned the home, especially the kitchen that has been the favorite of the pests (have I mentioned that we have got one mouse in trap on monday? yuck… yet, at least the old-man mouse trap did its work well. The baits that the pest control company put at different places of the house do not seem to be effective. The smarty mice do not eat them. How smart is that animal? I kinda respect that.. But, I also do not want them in my home. Hopefully it/they are gone, but who knows? – I will be watching…..)

Anyways; cleaning a kitchen in a way that makes me comfortable when there has been a mouse around is not easy. Understandably I have spent hours cleaning everywhere twice or thrice. Until I felt that it was okay to handle food or cook in that kitchen. That explains why I feel tired 🙂

I also took this opportunity and started my new decluttering activity at the kitchen: I found some cutlery and foam plates that have been with me for ever, which will be donated to my work place next Monday. I also shuffled some items that I hardly use (like juicer, blender) and put them in the top cabinet, which I hardly use and was empty. That left some space for other everyday-items at a lower cabinet, which pleases me very much.

I also noticed that I am using one of the cabinets to store paper towels, which in fact may be located somewhere else in the house. That excited me too, as some of my pots and glass containers would love to be rather stored there. So, see how useful this decluttering and cleaning activity was? Strongly recommended 🙂

As if these were not enough, while on it, I also started a sour-dough starter this evening! Yay me! Anyways, I am keeping the starter jar with me at the bedroom to keep it away from the pests – savages! leave it alone! 🙂 I had tried two starters while I was on vacation, and the second one had worked out quite well. Unfortunately we had to kill (!) it before I left as my family does not bake. Alas; if this one turns out to be okay, I am hoping to keep it for a long time. I will post about the details of how to make a sourdough starter some other time.

I also prepared a poolish to be used in baking tomorrow. Basically, I activated 1/4 teaspoon of dry yeast in 1 cup of warm water and 0.8 table spoon of sugar (all mixed) by covering at room temperature and waiting for 15 min. Since the quantity of yeast is not huge, it does not form aggressive foams but it does nevertheless form a cloudy liquid and give out its characteristic smell. I then added 1 cup of all purpose flour, mixed with the help of a spoon, and covered the mix to rest and ferment overnight at room temperature. I used a pot for this purpose to keep the potential pest away from my poolish! 🙂

Have a great Friday everyone 🙂

post-vacation resolutions

Well.. It is kind of a tradition with me that whenever I am away from my routine life I almost always make some resolutions to work on. Never mind the success rate (ahem… very similar to new year’s resolutions..), but it is nevertheless exciting to come up with plans. They are focused around “cleaning”, “clearing”, and “change” this time. Interesting….

Here are my current resolutions:

1. Losing weight. This has been on my list for ever…

I want to do this because of health reasons as well as to feel good about myself. This time surprisingly I have not gained weight while I was vacationing at home, even though I literally munched on everything I could get my hands on, especially my mom’s food! 🙂 Very surprising but also highly welcomed fact 🙂

I am very happy about this and motivated to lose some more (I had lost 10 pounds prior to my vacation only because I was working like a worker ant for 6 weeks or so). Good job me!

My aim is to keep doing whatever I am doing (it is mostly not eating at nights – I stopped seeing it as a way of rewarding myself) and to lose an additional 15 more pounds. This will put me back at my weight 8 years ago, which is really cool 🙂 I have so many nice clothes from those times (yep – I kept them and did not give away/donate… shame… 🙂 )

2. Decluttering and getting rid of everything that I react negatively to. While I was on vacation I have realized why I do not enjoy buying gifts for people and rather prefer to give them what they may like (if they are open about it) or the gift cards. The problem with gifts is that when I am given gifts, I cherish and appreciate them so much (the sentimental value is really high) that I keep keeping them with me forever! this is not a problem if the gifted item was something I needed or something I really loved, but honestly there are things that do not satisfy either of these requirements. Plus, some of the gifts are from people whom I really do not like much, so seeing their gifts reminds me them, and as such I get agitated once again for no good reason.

I want to have only those things around that I need or want. Thus, together with the fact that it has been sometime that I have decluttered my home, I have decided to start a new haul pretty soon.

I will  find a way to re-use things, like old shirts can be used as cleaning clothes.

Or they can be modified in way that makes them usable. For example, I have a nice shirt which has a somehow wide neck. I am planning to work on it  (i.e. tighten it a little bit) so that I can comfortably wear, rather than checking and correcting the neck part every single minute.

Unwanted items that are in good shape can be donated.

And those that I have been keeping for years because I was thinking that I would need them, like some of my shoes and boots, that just take up space without providing anything back, can be dumped (finally….). So can be all the stuff that are given to my by toxic people or those that remind me toxic experiences – they all will go.

Yuppi!!!

Exciting 🙂

3. Change the living environment. I think it is time that I re-arrange the furniture, especially at the bedroom so that it can feel “different”. I also have got new couch covers, which will help me to change the look of the living room. The table clothe will change as well with a new and lovely one. The towels gotta go as they they have been incredibly sturdy and of good quality but that meant that I have had to use them for years!!!! It would be lovely to have new ones, at least for some time.

4. Paying attention to my attire. I have a tendency to not care what I wear. This does not mean that I wear old or bad stuff. But honestly I can look better and feel better too. Today, I wore a new shirt I bought last week and I felt really good in that shirt. I also noticed how different I felt…. I have no logical explanation why this effect has occurred, but I decided I did not need to know everything and I could continue to wear things that I love and feel good. Whether they are shoes or clothes, does not matter.

So be it 🙂

I will be checking all my clothes soon and use those that I like but did not use for sometime, or go for a shopping spree (no worries – I will be frugal) 🙂

—————————————————–

Clean, clear, and change. I guess this is a good plan.

I hope to be successful with this plan! Wish me luck 🙂

 

plans for Spring

Change of season is a great reminder of the continuity of the change in our lives. While I cannot control every change in my life (like aging), I can make some changes in areas that I need.

1. Decluttering again. It has been a while since my last decluttering activity. while stretching my back muscles this evening I noticed all the books that I will probably never read again. I love them but it may as well be the time to depart our ways. I hope they will get enjoyed by someone else.

Books are of course just a start. I am sure I have accumulated one or three glass jars here or there; some old cleaning cloths somewhere around the house; some old socks and shorts/pants that wait to be retired. I am sure this decluttering will not be as extensive as the previous one (it was a major effort) so I hope one weekend I will just start and complete it. Not this coming weekend, but sometime..

2. Eating better and hopefully losing weight at the same time. This has been a continuous wish that has not occurred yet. why is it so hard to lose weight at middle age? I used to easily lose weight if I wanted to when I was young, but my two latest trials ended up with gaining weight. what is happening? what should I do differently?

I know limiting bread and other refined carbs (like bagels and pasta) helps to lose weight. I also know that fruits like apples or pears as well as raw chewy veggies like cucumber  and daikon help me to lose weight. There is something about raw food – I can guarantee you… So, my aim is to eat at least one apple or pear and one chewy veggie everyday. wish me luck 🙂

One of the best ways is to bring fruit to the office. I often need snacks anyhow; why not to eat fruits? Hmmm.

3. Time for new shirts. I have not shopped for shirts in the last one year or so. I have exhausted my current ones, except a couple of nice ones that are kind of tight now… If I lose weight, they will be lovely to wear. Should I wait or buy now? Okay – maybe two shirts can be purchased, why not?

4. New hair? I have been meaning to have a hair cut for sometime but so far I have not done this. The last time I have had it (around two months ago), the hair dresser did not shorten it much. So now I have shoulder length hair. While it is not bad, I always have liked short hair. I really hope I will find in me the motivation to go to the hair dresser this weekend and I will find a great hairdresser this time. I also need coloring, but I will do this as usual.

timeline:

1: a future weekend

2: starting tomorrow

3: this weekend?

4: this weekend?; I can have the hair cut at the shopping mall when I can also buy the shirts. So this is quite doable if i do go to the mall this weekend.

 

 

 

abundance and gratitude

One of my colleagues a couple of times commented about my TV (which is not an LCD one) and suggested I should buy a new one. She said LCD TVs now were “cheap” so it should not be a problem for me to afford.

My colleague does not understand the fact that I am happy with my TV and I do not feel the need or the pressure to replace it with an LCD TV right now. I bought my TV long time ago, it serves me well, I like it, and I have no interest to replace it until it breaks (which I hope will not happen for a long time).

How to explain such a simple thing to people with a mind set of “I must have the latest technology / the best available”? I have no idea. I told her exactly what I wrote in the previous paragraph – whether or not she sees my point, I am not sure. I hope we will not have this conversation again..

In the last week or so, with the excitement of the new budget and my ability to protect my money better, I have been filled with gratitude and thankfulness for everything I now have; everything in my house works well for me and I should be proud of exploring, finding, and using them. The furniture, the clothes/shoes, the cleaning or personal care products I use, the food and kitchen items.. Everything I have is perfect and works wonders for me and for my life.

I am also grateful for decluttering and getting rid of all the unnecessary items from home last summer. That made me become aware of my stuff and develop a deeper appreciation for those that I left at home. While I gotta do this sometime soon to get rid of a couple of old socks and this and that, I feel like what ever I have right now has a purpose and they serve me well.

I have a tighter budget now this year than before and I feel more abundant and rich than before. The reason? Knowing that whatever I get actually has a purpose and use for me. That over the years, I have found out the items that work best for me. That I follow the sales and stock up durable items. That I take advantage of the loyalty points. That I am okay with shopping at thrifty stores. That I learnt to freeze my food and consume them during the week when I am too tired to cook. That I only purchase food that will nourish my body and will be enough for a week or so, so that I will not waste any of them. That I explored different stores and now I know which products or produce are available at a better price.

That I am grateful for whatever I have, rather than what others think that I should have.

My life. My choices. I lack nothing and everything I have works wonderfully.

 

2015 wrap up

This year has been great in so many different ways: I am grateful for many positive and lovely experiences this year marked in my life. I always find it useful to reflect at the end of each year, assess and remember what has happened or how I have done, and then plan and have hope for the new year. That is what exactly I have started doing today.

My list of 2015 highlights is not finalized yet; but here is a general list that I may expand later:

1. Family and health: My family’s and my health has been alright; I am very grateful for this. I also found a chance to visit my family last summer, for which I could not be thankful enough. Our close relationship and support for each other continues no matter how far I am.

2. Finances: After a bout of financial worries and unexpected expenses (mostly home repairs), I had finally realized I had to change things. I started with a budget in June 2015, which turned out to be a great help.

a) According to my calculations, I have saved around 20% of my gross income (not including my home equity and company pension plan); seeing this the other day was a pure joy and happiness.

b) My total savings from would be-expenses (expenses I was tempted to do, but did not) for the last 6 months is ~$3,000…. This is an incredible achievement… I am proud of myself.

c) The shopping freeze was a great idea – I am not sure who came up with this idea first, but I am wholeheartedly thanking this individual(s) for bringing it to my attention. An absolutely working and wonderful idea.

d) While I needed to borrow from my personal line of credit, I kept continuing buying mutual funds during the last year. Having “debt” pushed me to save more and was the initial motivation after the budget saga: while I have had hardship, I gained because of it. For this, I also thank myself for not giving up and turning things around.

e) I did not have any major repair expenses related to my home this year. My lovely house is strong and sound and I do hope that for many years to come, it will continue to stay strong.

3. Food management: My food waste is minimized 🙂 That is something I truly am proud of. I never intended to waste food, but now I am way better than before: I learnt to do the grocery shopping as required (not once a week) and I learnt to freeze food for later consumption. I even learnt and applied blanching to preserve veggies, such as carrots and zucchini. The pleasure these activities have given me is incredible.

4. Decluttering: This was another thing that positively affected my life. I not only removed many unuseful, unwanted, or crappy things from my house, but also donated many stuff to charity, realized how abundant I was and I did not need to buy many stuff for a while, and psychologically felt the lift of some weight off my shoulder. I am looking forward to the next decluttering activity 🙂

5. Work: Work has gone crazy this year, mostly because I worked with minimal performance. I am not sure why that happened, but one thing is that I have been working so hard for so many years that now I want to take my time for other activities, such as blogging and literature. Life is good, work can be stressful time to time, but I will handle all to my best.

6. New stuff around the house: I loved the art-work I have purchased a few months back that gave a new look and character to my house. I also loved the plants I have got, which are absolutely adorable. The couch cover I have got lately is an absolute beauty. I am not materialistic yet the feelings these and others around my house give me should be acknowledged and cherished.

7. Life-style changes: Well, not as good as I would like to, but I have made some positive changes in my life; walking to the office in the morning (when the weather is permissive) is one of these activities. I have eaten generally better, although I could not lose the weight I wanted to; this is the second. Better days will come 🙂

And so on… Many things to be grateful for 🙂

Once I finish this list, I will have a closure and appreciation. After that, I know I will start working on the new year’s hopes and plans. I hope you will have great ones, too 🙂

 

 

 

 

email decluttering – started :)

One of the nice things about the holiday season is the ability to think differently and do stuff that I otherwise cannot find time for.

So this evening, I took my time and cleaned my personal email account. I only cleaned the inbox so far (sent items and stored folders to be cleaned hopefully soon). The total time required was around 1 hour; I was merciless and deleted all unuseful or irrelevant emails, especially from companies or disliked individuals. I left the emails from loved ones, as they are great memories that I would like to cherish.

I found that if the emails are ordered alphabetically, it is easier to sort the ones to be deleted from ones to remain. Perhaps that will help you, too.

I am feeling good about this; letting go of the past and unuseful stuff and opening place for the new and hopefully positive emails and experiences in life 🙂

Wishing you a similar experience 🙂

 

what is so nice about shopping freeze and decluttering?

I can answer this question quite easily.

Shopping freeze is a temporary lack of purchase of a specific item(s). For example, I first started with having one on books (that I used to purchase every week) for 2 months only.

At first I did not think I could make it, as it was one of the most beautiful and happy experiences in my life. But I did. This does not mean that I have not occasionally bought books; I have. But not every weekend. Not too many (a maximum 10 books in the last 5 months; which is way lower than 2-3 books/week I used to buy)…

The fact that it was temporary made this possible for me. I knew at the end of 2 months, I was able to return back to this activity. I did not feel deprived of this enjoyable activity. I did not feel restricted for ever. These helped with sticking up with my shopping freeze.

Since I was saving money by not buying books every week and since I was not feeling totally restricted by this, I could continue; I later decided to extend this freeze till the holiday season.

Honestly now I think I will never go back to weekly book purchase habit….I think my habit is now changed and I am rather an occasional book buyer (I still read books though – I have many unread books at home and I am planning to borrow from the library when I am done with them).

After the initial success of this strategy, I extended it to other items; clothes, shoes, cleaning produces, etc. (I had occasionally bought cleaning products during the freeze; if they were on sale or if I needed them). This not only helped me with saving more money, but interestingly I also felt my life was easier now as I did not need to think and decide about shopping these items frequently.

Do you know what else helped?

Decluttering.

I found out the books that I purchased but had not read before during this activity. I found out what cleaning products I have had and what I have not. I found out the clothes I had forgotten I have had. I not only donated or throw away extra stuff from my home, but I also realized how abundant I was and what I had possessed already.

My two cents? Try both of these (decluttering and shopping freeze); they can change your habits should you want. You can also save your money for more important needs, feel appreciative of what you have, and know what you really need – you will not be sorry to try them.

 

 

 

on conscious spending and being “cheap”

I should thank the financial hardship I have had since I bought my house almost two years ago; it did force me to have a hard look at my finances and my spending habits. I should also thank the bloggers who share their stories and their useful tips, and support me with their comments and kindness through this journey.

Like any other endeavor, it was hard to deal with the emotions resulted from the financial constraints and it was also difficult to implement changes required to stabilize my finances and keep my spending lower. After 4 months now, I am happy to see the positive progress in my life, as budgeting did not only helped me to understand myself and save my money for future (whether for retirement or house-maintenance and other unexpected expenses), but it also helped me to limit wasting; from food to books to household items to clothes/shoes.

I have been always interested in keeping a modest life with modest material (such as furniture or attire). I have never been interested in showing up by owning “material”. I have never been interested in having the latest technology at home or the trendy clothes. I do not have a car and I do not plan to have one. I always lived close to my workplace so that the commute would not be an issue. I always shopped and stocked up when items were on sale. I knew my limits and I knew I wanted to save and invest for my retirement, So debt and wasting have never been a big deal in my life.

Yet, it is true what they say; as I started making more money, I started to have more waste. Sometimes it was the fresh produce that stayed in my fridge for long, sometimes it was a jacket that I bought, which I later did not like and did not even return back to the store. It was the cab drive in the morning and the evening that I thought I deserved well. It was the unnecessary generosity with socials. It was the books that I bought every week that made me so joyful.

I have changed now.

I do grocery shopping as required to limit the waste. It is only possible that there is a big grocery store 5 min away from my house.

I have spending-freezes that I started with on books, which I later extended to others. The nicest thing about these freezes are they are temporary and as such they never make one feel deprived. Another positive outcome is that it becomes a habit before you realize it; for example my 2-months shopping-freeze on books was initially planned for 2 months, but later I extended it till the new year. It also simplifies my life; I do not need to think about buying such items regularly.

I started to notice and make use of the coupons, discounts, and loyalty points. I am not an extreme couponist and I do not think I will ever be. But when I see a product with a coupon, I ask for it to be scanned (sometimes the coupons are stuck on the package and they need to be scanned at the cashier to be applied to the sale). The coupons and deals are there for the customers and I am a customer myself; so if I am eligible to get it, I will get it.

I designed my meals around the on-sale produce each week. This substantially reduced my spending.

I explored different stores and identified those that have better prices. I look at their flyers every week (not too many stores; maybe 3-4), which does not take much of a time of mine. I hardly miss a sale that includes a product I will need in future, even though I do not need it now (toilet paper is a good example of a product needed continuously).

I started shopping at thrifty stores for items such as jackets, shirts, and purses. I will probably never buy shoes, underwear, or pants from these stores (I cannot bypass the possible hygiene issue). I am amazed by the affordability and the good quality of the items there. Plus, I am contributing to the recycling of material and helping the ones in need with my purchases. That is a triple-win.

I decluttered my house and I gotta see what I have had. I have had a lot of stuff, which I had forgotten. Especially the food in the pantry and the cleaning products. I felt an extraordinary amount of abundance that is still lasting.

I called my credit card company and got my annual fee to be waived for this year; I will call them next year, too.

I hinted to my cable company that I was not happy with the prices and I could cancel it. They later offered me a much better and cheaper plan, which I gladly accepted. It is for 3 years and I will be saving around $500 each year.

I prepared sandwiches and snacks for my trips to limit both expenses and unhealthy food consumption.

I let a friend of mine paying her portion of the meal cost, rather than me paying for the entire bill.

I have better appreciation for every single item I have now. I was good at being grateful for everything I had, but now I am better. I was good at re-using items (such as using the shopping bags as garbage bags), but i am better now (e.g. using the old clothes as mopping cloths). I was good at not wasting food, but now I am better (e.g. freezing the extra diced onion to be used later).

There is a pleasure coming out of all of these. Knowing that I can do and am doing a lot better to protect my money and limiting wasting of food and other items. This newly found pleasure is the one that makes me keep going. I have some new plans to reduce my spending further, which I will articulate in the coming days. Exciting! 🙂

I still struggle with the idea of “being called cheap”, though. I have a respected profession, I am single and have no kids, and have a decent salary. Hence, people expect me to be doing well and being generous….

I am concerned that if other people knows that I shop at the thrifty store or if I tell people that I am happy because I got my credit card fee waived, for example, then they may look down on me. One of my colleagues did not understand why I called the credit card company and asked for a waiver. I understood her as I was like her in the previous years; why should anyone be concerned about and make a phone call for a $120?. But I should not feel cheap. I rather should feel like if they give these discounts to others, it is my right to get it, too. I feel like we are even now with the credit card company, as for years I stayed with one credit card and I have used it for every purchase.

I like to share what I know or learnt with the people around me. But maybe the lesson I should get out of my conversation with my colleague is to not tell people about my frugal experiences.

There is a difference between being a frugal person and being cheap. I have never let others pay for me at the socials; I never borrowed money that I did not later pay back; I never stole; I never did dirty tricks to confuse or take advantage of people or the systems.

I am not cheap; I am solely a happy frugal who consciously spends and protects her money and gets an enormous hope and pleasure out of it 🙂

random thoughts

It was a beautiful September day today; crispy and shiny with a clear blue sky. What a delight 🙂

In addition to meeting with my friends and having lovely time, I also did some more work at the house. First I went thru the books I sorted out to get rid of. I had a feeling yesterday that maybe I overdid it and in fact there were many books that I could enjoy. So, I could not help it, went thru each of them, and decided to take back one book. Only one book! 🙂

See, I guess anyone who is parting with loved items would feel this way; did I make a mistake? should I keep them? How wise was my sorting and decluttering strategy? I am very happy to see that I did a good job with it; taking back only one book tells me that next time I can trust myself more and sort only once. Then, they will be ready to go. No looking back.

I must admit when I put the to-be-donated books away in a cabinet (till we bring them to the charity), my living room looked a lot better, more clear and organized. I could not help but move little furniture around, put a plant here and there, and vola I have a brand new living room. Is that not awesome? I think it is. Change in scenery is always good. And having the freedom to move stuff around (which you can only do if you have enough space free of clutter) is even more exciting.

I am not done with decluttering; in the last few weeks I have done great donating clothes. Now the books. The next items are the CDs and the VHS casettes that I have. I am very fond of the VHSs particularly. But I decided it was best we went different directions in life. I am not sure whether they can be donated anywhere; but it does not hurt to ask. As per the CDs, some of them I really like and would like to keep. But others need to go – there are CDs I have not listened in the last 5-10 years.

The final items to be sorted out will be my shoes… I am scared to look at the shoe boxes as I always find something that is beautiful…

There is something nice about getting rid of stuff. Today one of my friends came to choose among the books I am about to give away. She was surprised apparently and asked me “why are you giving them away?”. I said “so that I can get rid of the old and open space for new ones, new experiences, new interests. Plus, they (i.e. books) would love to have new readers that will appreciate them”.

My friend nodded in agreement.

Have a great long-weekend everyone 🙂

what did decluttering my books teach me?

As part of a few weeks’ decluttering effort, I finally sorted out my books and decided on which ones to keep with me.

I have always been a book lover and as much as I like to read them, I also love to buy books (sometimes even more so than reading them).

Buying books at the nearby second-hand bookstore was a regular weekend activity for me for around 6 years. As soon as I got my breakfast, I would run there, often times with my coffee, and forgot everything while browsing the books. It was a pleasurable and meditative activity, I got to discover awesome books and writers, and going back home with books I knew it would be exciting to read the books.

There were times though I could not find something to my likening; infrequently I left the bookstore without buying any book. But in the rest, I had to buy – I could not stand the thought of a weekend without exploring a book, and the relaxation, and excitement coming out of it.

I know that I have many books that I am assuming I bought to satisfy that impulse – they are not great, they are not exciting, and even sometime the topic does not interest me at all. I now dumped these books. Lessons learnt: I should not buy books if I am not sincerely interested in them; instead I should go check out the books I already have at home now- the ones that I decided to keep are all awesome, timeless books.

It is great that I wanted to declutter my house, that I went thru each of my books and now know them better, and that I have a shopping freeze for books till the holiday season. After seeing the amount of books I purchased and dumped today, I felt bad about piling them around my home and wasting money on them. Do net get me wrong; I think any book can be awesome for someone, somewhere, sometime; but the ones I sorted out were not meant for me.

Happy decluttering, happy appreciating what you have and enjoy, and happy saving money 🙂

That just sounds perfect to me.

decluttering – books

I have been going thru my books in the last few days; I wanted to remove those which did not excite or educate me anymore.

I have purged around 250 books 🙂 They will be donated to charity or to friends. The majority of the books are novels, related to project management, diet or fitness, or self-help/philosophy books. Some of them I realized I bought but did not read more than a few pages. Some of them, especially the novels, are too easy to remember, and therefore cannot excite me anymore (the mystery is gone upon reading 🙂 ). Others are about topics I am not  interested in anymore.

I have kept some unread novels, history-related books, books on budgeting, saving, economy, and investing, cookbooks, and joy and wellness-

books purged and to be donated. My estimation is that there are around 250 books within these 7 large shopping bags. Excellent job sorting out :)
books purged and to be donated. My estimation is that there are around 250 books within these 7 large shopping bags. Excellent job sorting out 🙂

related books. These topics are so interesting to me. I am excited to have them and I sure will read them again and again.

I needed to put around 100 books to recycling – they are the ones that are battered a lot. It makes me sad to put them in recycling, but I am confident that they would not be useful to another person. The remaining 7 bags of sorted-out books I hope will find a new reader who will appreciate them.

random thoughts

What a beautiful day – it is Friday, a little bit cool but okay, and the beginning of the long weekend 🙂

When I was young, I used to dread Sundays, as it would be full of activities to get prepared for school (homework, laundry and ironing, etc.). Usually the TV would not be cheerful, either (i.e. did not stream nice movies or series). Also the streets would be quite for some reason (everybody was busy at home preparing for the week?).

Maybe 10-12 years ago, I decided to enjoy my Friday nights and Sundays, in addition to Saturdays. That meant that the “enjoyable” weekend consisted of 2 days and 3 nights (Friday-Saturday-Sunday), not only Saturdays. That felt good 🙂

And now that we have Monday off, that means I have 4 nights and 3 days for the weekend. I will continue to declutter my living room (sorted out around 200 books to give away; I expect another 100 when I am finished), I will meet with my friends, do the house chores and possibly clean and declutter my entrance deck, read books (going thru my books was amazing – I have so many interesting books to read), and just relax and enjoy my time.

Wishing everyone a great Friday and long-weekend 🙂

joy journal – Sept 2, 2015

joy, happiness, excitement, joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for the little salary increase I have got this week. It is not too much, much less than what we used to have. But it is better than nothing.

2. I am grateful for renewing for my mortgage and getting a little bit lower rates. I am also grateful for increasing my payment so that the debt can be paid faster.

3. I am grateful for working from home monday and tuesday. It was great to have this change, have piece of mind, focus on the work at hand, and have the comfort of home.

4. I am grateful for starting to eat a little bit healthier yesterday. It will be a struggle for some time, and I do expect to start from the beginning time to time. But I am glad that I finally implemented some changes in my eating; start was the hardest part so far. The rest? I will see.

5. I am grateful for the food I have in my freezer and my fridge. They nourish me, help me enjoy my life a little bit more, and help me eat better.

6. I am grateful for starting to declutter my living room – it has been a couple of days and I am not finished yet. But it will eventually and with this hope comes the contentment.

7. I am grateful for my friends; today I had a chat with one of my dear friends. She is awesome, really awesome. It is great to spend time with funny, smart, and positive people.

8. I am grateful for checking the web to get ideas to better decor my home with artwork. I have got quite a bit of inspiration.

9. I am grateful for my TV, computer, internet connection, cable, electricity, water, and everything else in my life that makes me safe and entertained.

10. I am grateful for not eating bread in the last two days.

11. I am grateful for walking from office to home this afternoon. A little bit exercise. I have been consistent about it, which I like. Hope to continue like this.

12. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning, too, even though I got up a little bit early and had to spend time at home prior to catching the bus.

13. I am grateful that I brought my office the work-related books that I used to keep at home. They just fit there a lot better and I have less crowd in my study.

14. I am grateful for donating around 40 pens to my work place today. I have had these pens for up to 10 years (I am not exaggerating) and never or hardly used. As part of my decluttering adventure, I am glad now that they are to be used by others and that my home has less items.

15. I am grateful for my throw that keeps me warm in this chilly night.

16. I am grateful for the big green onions I have found at the store the other day. they are locally grown, waaaaay bigger than regular onions, yet with a sweet taste, and I just loved having them in my salads. I hope to find more tomorrow.

17. I am grateful for my gums feeling healthy. I have been flossing consistently and I am happy to say that my gums do not feel sensitive to floss anymore. I think that is a good sign.

18. I am grateful for the apple I am eating right now.

19. I am grateful for this weekend being a long weekend. If the weather is good, I plan to re-stain my deck and paint the window trims.

20. I am grateful for having so many things to be grateful of 🙂

21. I am grateful for being grateful.

random thoughts

Working from home in the last two days was very refreshing and effective – a big document is now almost finalized, which always gives contentment and happiness 🙂

All of a sudden today, the temperature got low. I do not know how low but even the jacket was not enough to keep warm. I will have to wear thicker clothes from today on. I think the summer is officially ended…

There are nice things about fall, though. The cooler temperatures makes me wear thicker clothes, which somehow makes me feel like I am pampering myself. This feeling originally was born when I purchased a dark brown short coat with a feathery-collar. The warmth around my neck was always something I had appreciated. While this coat is long gone, I imitate the feeling with scarfs in fall; it does help feel the same way (i.e. pampered). Also, I love it when the trees change colors; what a nice scenery the fall brings to us..

My efforts to declutter my living room, however slow, continues. I so far checked 30% of the books and sorted out those that will be donated. That translated into 2 large bags of books to be donated. I suspect maybe 3 or 4 more bags to come till I am finished. I feel like I can donate more books, but it is so hard to let them go especially if I have not read them lately. I gotta change my mindset about the books at home; I should see them as a library where there are many treasures to be read. That sure will help me to read them this time. And if next year I find out that I have not read them, then I should donate them, too.

I am thinking about purchasing a domain for this blog; but I am hesitant. When I decease, this blog should not decease with me (i.e. if I stop paying for the domain, they say they inactivate or remove the blog). Any of you have ideas? Cons and pros of switching to a domain? Please leave comments – Thank you.

decluttering, decisions, and the need for change

Mostly because I was tired of the fear of going thru the clutter in my living room (which also includes my study), I have started decluttering my living room this evening; I have not done a super-duper work yet. I just dusted two shelves of a bookcase, went thru each item there, dumped those that are absolutely not necessary, found some items (like USB keys) I keep buying as I need them big time (yay!), and torn down the used-up pages out of my notebooks – that is all (while the work I have done was little, it somehow felt good – see below).

Ironically, this area is a mess right now; with books, stationary items, and others sorted and put in different piles. Even though I do not like having such a disorganized view in my home and I do absolutely dislike having unfinished work once started, to my surprise I am not annoyed. I guess the reason is that I am glad that I started; I know that once started I will keep going. At least the fear of doing this activity is gone…. But more than these, I stopped after half-an-hour of cleaning and decluttering because I felt like I was not making good decisions.

Consider this example: I found 4-5 cards and their envelopes in a box on the shelf. They are in good condition, but looking at them does not bring me joy or excitement. Plus, I had completely forgotten their existence and as well may live without them. My dilemma is: what to do with them? Store for future use because now I am aware of their existence and as such can appreciate and make use of them in future, or dump or give away because I do not necessarily like them and I have not used them in the last, I do not know how many, years…

I pondered about it and I am glad to say that I now decided I would not like to keep them. So tomorrow, they will be in a different pile. Good job.

There are however other, more important decisions to be made: which books should I keep? This will give me quite a head-ache. I am clear about donating the novels, as once I read them I cannot re-read. But what about others? The books I have not read yet are also okay; I will prioritize them to read next time (it is actually exciting that I have books I have not read yet). But among those I read about history, science, personal development, and project management; which one of them should I keep? If I am not keeping books, how should I get rid of them? donate them to friends, library, or charity?

On a interesting twist, I dumped many cards sent to me by friends and colleagues. They were all nice-looking cards with good wishes in, yet they have been on my window trim for more than a year. It felt right to get rid of them, clean the area, and implement a change by placing a nice pot of plants. I am not sorry for this decision – change became that area and it feels good.

nevertheless, I have some lessons learnt from this afternoon’s experience:

1) although I have not read the book (but read many blogs about it), I seem to be embracing the Konmari way of decluttering (i.e. whatever does not give joy should go),

2) it may be scary or unpleasant to declutter a part of the house, but it eventually happens and feels good,

3) as usual decluttering activity helps with remembering the existence of our stuff, and bringing them out for use or donation (either way, it is good),

4) if you feel like you do not make good decisions, stop before you move on, give yourself time, and wait for the clarity that comes with the break, and

5) even for things that we love so much at the time being, there will be a time to replace them with something else (because we crave for change in the scenery).

shopping freeze items – August 2015

Going thru my stuff, both decluttering and taking an inventory, was a real eye-opener.

I have so many stuff that will be enough for at least a year that I gotta keep a list of them to have my conscious and unconscious minds taking notes and to apply a shopping freeze.

Here are the items for which I will apply a shopping freeze till the holiday season (I cannot miss the sales taking place during the holiday season :)):

1. Books: every once a while an interesting and affordable book is fine. Other than that, no regular purchases. Books, my ever-lasting love, have been the first items I have had on shopping freeze and it has been going well 🙂

2. Trousers: except I get really good deals. I have so many trousers that I have not even used yet that it is ridiculous to go buy another one.

3. Boots and shoes: I seem to have stocked up shoes and boots. I cannot believe I have so many of them sitting on my shoe shelf.

4. Shirts and jackets: I have more than enough to last another year. Unless I find something really nice and with a small price tag, none will be purchased.

5. Socks, t-shirts, sports pants, and others: Another category of items I seem to have well stocked up. Nope – will not buy one.

6. Cleaning products; laundry detergent, dish detergent, hand soap, shampoo, and other personal care products: I just need to purchase toilet papers, hair conditioner, and hair dye.

7. Stationary items: None needed – pens, notebooks, and paper are all stocked up.

8. Rice, dry food (beans, chickpeas), dried veggies, tomato paste, spices, tea, coffee, creamer: I just need turmeric and maybe creamer – others are more than I can consume off in a year.

9. Kitchen items, cleaning clothes, sponges, and others: Only need bleach – nothing else.

10. Furniture and home decor: Would like to buy 2-3 art-work. Things that will bring joy and excitement to me.

11. Bed linens, towels, and others: None needed.

The list seems great to me. I was first upset about having too many sponges, cleaning clothes, paper towels etc, but now I can see that was done well as I shop them when they are on sale. And they are durable – so I can keep using them for some time. I am thanking myself for making these purchases earlier.

And from the list I can see that I have a small list of items to purchase in the coming weeks, which is alright (I like shopping, right? 🙂 ).

These lists also tell me that the majority of my future expenses (at least till the new year) will be on food, mostly vegetables, fruits, yogurt, eggs, beef and chicken (aaaand maybe some bread please? :).

I should invest in the pressure cooker real soon to cook beans at home (getting rid of can will be a delight for me) and to make my overall cooking efforts easier and more accomplishable.

Let’s see how this plan will go 🙂

cheers everyone

random thoughts

What a beautiful day 🙂

The handyman fixed my faucet locks and drained my water boiler – they recommend it every year, though the handyman said he did not bother about it at home 😉 Well, that is alright; next year I can get servicing, see whether there is anything that needs to be alarming or going bad about it. Someone had said if I get it serviced, it could last 7 years, if not then change it every 5 years. Sounds good to me; I will get it serviced in the 6th year and get professional opinion.

I made a great change his morning – I went to another cafe for breakfast. Yep, I still ate bagels but this time I have got it with cream cheese, not butters. Change felt good, though I still need to find an healthier alternative to bagels. Does not matter how much I like something (e.g. my favorite cafe), it is good to give a break time to time; it was getting too familiar, too routine. I am happy with my decision to go to somewhere else this morning.

Otherwise, how am I doing? Good. I had a healthy lunch. But most importantly, I went through my kitchen drawers and the pantry. Those teas and spices which are beyond their expiry day are now rightfully in the garbage. I have found 4 cans of food somewhere, 36 rolls of paper towel (why did I keep buying them??), 15 sponges to be used (again, why bought??), an incredible amount of cleaning clothes, and garbage and recycling bags that I had forgotten I had… And, how about the facial tissues that I thought I was running out of? Yep…..

You got the idea; we need to go thru our stuff time to time to know what we have what we need. I seem to buy stuff (like paper towels) out of habit, which now is mounting in my kitchen. And, the fact that I did not look at them carefully and thought some of them were  toilet papers,  I also realized that I am running out of toilet papers.

I have a lot of dried food: dried beans, chickpeas, rice, cracked wheat, dried peppers, okra, and eggplant. I need to, I want to integrate them into my weekly menu so that I can consume them, not waste them. Yesterday I came up with the idea of buying a pressure cooker. It will help with my time and especially with cooking the beans that I keep eating out of the can. As soon as I do my research and decide which one to purchase, I am getting one.

It felt really good to be going thru the stuff, dumping unusable ones, and noticing what I have. I so far did this with the bedrooms, kitchen, and two of the bathrooms. I now am onto the living room, boy, which is gonna be though 🙂 Books and all the paperwork/stationary items that need to be sorted are giving me the chills 🙂 I also need to decide which books and CDs to keep, which ones to donate; that is not gonna be easy, but I will do this 🙂

cheers everyone

joy journal – August 29, 2015

Joy, happiness, joy, happiness, joy! 🙂

  1. I am grateful for today; being well and sound, waking up, however late and tired.
  2. I am grateful for the beautiful, warm, and shiny day; it prompted me to do something other than my routine and spend time outdoors.
  3. I am grateful for catching the bus and going to a shopping mall area. I was right on time.
  4. I am grateful for donating the clothes I had sorted out while decluttering my wardrobe a while ago. It felt good 🙂 Hope they will find a new owner, who will appreciate them more than me.
  5. I am grateful for walking to another thrifty store – I ended up not purchasing anything this week. It is surprising but I am happy with my decision.
  6. I am grateful for deciding to go home to eat something rather than eating in a Chinese restaurant that I enjoy time to time.
  7. I am grateful for checking a store at the shopping mall and finding two beautiful art pieces! I fell in love with them right away. They are similar to each other (sold together), picturing a forest with amazing trees, amazing light, and fall colours. As soon as I put them on the walls, the atmosphere of my house changed for a better one. It looks, I do not know, different, beautiful, and like a home with a character. They both demand to be looked at and enjoyed. I love them and I love the fact that I purchased them 🙂 I would like to buy more beautiful stuff to give my home what it deserves.
  8. I am grateful for taking the bus back from the shopping mall. Again I did not wait too much, so it was an easy ride. I feel lucky 🙂
  9. I am grateful for changing my Saturday routine by going to the stores today. I did clean my home upon my return and I am still not done with the laundry, but it is well worth having this change.
  10. I am grateful for aerating and cooling down my home.
  11. I am grateful for the new mats on my bathrooms. There was an immediate face lift. I am not into having a lot of stuff, but I guess some things are really good. A nice change, nice colours, nice feelings 🙂
  12. I am grateful for cooking a nice meal for myself tonite, even though I was late because of shopping and then house chores. It turned out to be tasty and healthy.
  13. I am grateful for not eating too much bread today 🙂
  14. I am grateful for realizing how tired I got up this morning. No, I did not like being tired. But I liked the fact that my body was talking to me to take better care of it. I better eat healthier food. Also walk whenever I can.
  15. I am grateful for finding additional art-work that one of my friends had given me as a gift. It is a little four-piece stuff that just looks cute. I just need a place for them to hang on. Hmmmm…
  16. I am grateful for having only good news today.
  17. I am grateful for today being Saturday and tomorrow being Sunday. I can enjoy my time, relax as I please, and take my time with the things I have to do around the house.
  18. I am grateful for the handyman, who will come tomorrow and do some minor work for me. It is really nice to have someone to do stuff that I am not capable of doing myself.
  19. I am grateful for not being too frugal and preferring today to buy the art-work that makes a positive difference in my life. I really like that, as some of the stories of the frugal people are a little bit too much… I do not believe in restraining myself that much, at least not yet. As a matter of fact, after today’s experience, I decided to buy more for my living room and the bathrooms. I am thinking maybe a blue art-work for the living room, right across from the couch that will give a feeling of “freshness and clarity”. For the bathrooms, something colorful and lovely; maybe some flower pictures. Come to think about it, I have many pictures that I can print and hang on to my walls… Time to do this 🙂
  20. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

random thoughts

The summer is slipping out of our hands; I have been wearing jackets in the last few days. I sure will miss the sunshine 🙂 Well…. till next time.

I left the office early but continued to work at home. Sometimes it is a lot efficient this way, though I feel bad about not being in the office.. Anyways, looks like my “take-it-easy” days are over and I really need to kick if I want to finish things in a timely manner. And I do. Working will thus continue throughout the weekend. Cannot complain 🙂

I did grocery shopping this afternoon, which really made me feel good. I like shopping :); I gotta tell you though buying less items and as required made a huge difference in my “waste” levels. I am glad that this is working for me.

Today was also the first day of my new financial week (i.e. feeling rich as I have a weekly allowance at my disposal)- I treated myself with a cup of take-out coffee in the morning, right before a 9am meeting; could not be happier 🙂 And I am really proud of myself that I now have no problem catching the bus or waiting for it should I get up a little bit earlier or late. When I remember the internal fights I have had for several months till the last couple of weeks, I am sincerely surprised. It tells me that change does not come easy but it comes eventually….

By this inspiration and by noting the fact that I was only gaining weight in the last few weeks by not cooking meals at home, I am now moving up with my next challenge in the list: eating healthy food and losing weight. Just like taking the bus rather than the cab, I expect this effort to be a little bit inconsistent at the beginning, but later becoming standard.

And did I mention I loved shopping? 🙂 Yes.. Yes, I have. I will treat myself to a thrifty store visit this weekend. Hey, I may as well bring the bags of clothes that I had sorted while decluttering my wardrobe a couple of weeks ago. I meant to check them again to make sure that I was not giving away anything that I could use, but the fact that I have not done this since then tells me that I already gave up on these items. Time to find a new home for them.

have a great friday evening/night everyone 🙂

joy journal – August 16, 2015

  1. I am grateful for getting up before 9 am. Days when I get up that early make me feel like there are so many stuff I can do within that day. I like this feeling. Often times though I have no idea how to fill the day…
  2. I am grateful for going to my favorite cafe and eating my favorite bagels and drinking coffee, while also surfing on the net. It was a delightful morning.
  3. I am grateful for doing grocery shopping this morning. I bought only a small amount of stuff, knowing that I can always visit the store should I need any items (it is 5 min away from my house). I felt abundant once I got some produce.
  4. I am grateful for yogurt. I time to time consume yogurt regularly and enjoy it highly. I had run out of it yesterday but was able to get two containers today. It is such a healthy food – I seriously think that it neutralize some of the toxins…
  5. I am grateful for eating an apple, salad and a healthy meal today.
  6. I am grateful for starting to declutter my home today. It is going well, I feel like I gotta declutter even harder, and am excited about the feeling it gives. Relief in so many different levels…
  7. I am grateful for finding items/clothes that I need while decluttering. It looks like I have forgotten what I have.. But then if they are not where I can see them, how can I remember every single item? Lessons learnt 🙂
  8. I am grateful for aerating my home today. Fresh air is awesome. It also cools down the upstairs, making sleeping easier and comfortable 🙂
  9. I am grateful for today being a sunday. I was free to do whatever I want to do and I enjoyed relaxing at home very much.
  10. I am grateful for turning the TV off. I am listening to the music rather. It is a first for me – in the last few days I was not paying much attention to the programs anyways; so why to keep it working for no reason? I am proud of myself for doing this (I always have had TV on to have a background noise – until this time; who said “never say never”? 🙂 )
  11. I am grateful for deciding to dump my VCRs and CDs as well.
  12. I am grateful for the little mat I have found today – it fit so well to is new place I am awed 🙂
  13. I am grateful for the trees in my yard. When they whoosh with the wind, it is so calming.. I would not buy a house that did not have a yard or no mature trees in it.
  14. I am grateful for flossing today 🙂
  15. I am grateful for living in a quite neighborhood.
  16. I am grateful for deciding to not throw a birthday party for myself. I want to, I really do. I want to have my friends around, eat, and laugh. But then the idea of shopping and cooking makes me highly hesitant. I made a deal with myself – I will not have the party but will give myself a gift. Something unique, original. something that will make me remember this beautiful age.
  17. I am grateful for all the books that I have at home but did not read. I thought about the books today extensively because I know I will purge them quite a bit too. But more than that I know that there a bunch of books that I have never read. These books excite me as I can grab any of them anytime and satisfy my need of reading without making new purchases. Very good 🙂 All I have to do is to continue my decluttering process and identify those books.
  18. I am grateful for the foods I eat, clothes I wear, furniture, laptop, internet, TV, cable I use, water I drink, and the air I breathe.
  19. I am grateful for reading a blog by a terminal cancer patient. She brings in a different vision to terminal disease; rather than resisting the idea of being terminal, she accepts it and sees the positive in every single moment. She sounds pretty sincere, refuse to be a victim of “why (i got this disease)”, and that is why I believe we need more patients like her providing their view. While I do not like cancer and deaths from cancer, if (and only if) it is inevitable having some kind of peace or acceptance around it very much lessens the “power” of cancer over us. That is what I thought after reading that post – that cancer had no power on that person. And I liked that. Very much indeed….

serious decluttering in place :)

Well;  for some time I have been meaning to declutter the entire house and get rid of the stuff that does not serve me or make me fell overwhelmed. Though I have been doing some light decluttering in the last few months (email box cleaning, closing unused email accounts, clearing the bathroom drawers and the storage closet etc.), I had not acted very seriously on it.

Finally I have started being serious about it today.

Yey 🙂

Timing seems just perfect – I gotta tell you I was not able to wait for it – even my usual laziness could not stop me from doing it.

I started with the easiest part; which is the bathroom and the bedrooms upstairs. I am not done yet (still gotta sort out the books in one of the bedrooms and also I need to go thru things once more so that I can purge more) but it was more than satisfactory today.

here are what I observed, felt, or thought during the process:

  1. Overall I do not have a lot of material, which is awesome. Sorting our the majority of the clothes and other personal items lasted around 3 hours. I was amazed how easy that was and I give the credit to having not too many things. Good job! one step closer to minimalism 🙂
  2. I have too many socks. Yes I do; around 40 pairs. What?? Why? Immediate shopping freeze for socks for an indefinite period of time. I have long ones, short ones, winter ones, and many in between. I maybe dumped around 15 pairs that have gone bad – time to go. Thanks for serving me all these years so loyally.
  3. I have too many pants!! Now that is surprising. I remember I had only one pair of trousers left for me last December and I had shopped during the holidays, but how come I have something like 30 pairs of them, around 10 being never worn yet? I can tell you.

a) Around 10 of them are a size smaller – so I keep them. Okay fine.

b) Around 5 or them are a size larger – so I keep them just in case.

c) Around 5 of them I will never wear; the styles are not my type. I probably got them as gifts or something. Now they are put into a bag to be donated. Good job.

I am implementing another shopping freeze for trousers for an indefinite time (until all is gone or I have no trousers for my then-size)

4. It is hard at the beginning but after a while it becomes amazingly easy. I found that after the initial attempt if I get to look at the items again I sort a little bit more. Perhaps some items need a second thought. I am pleased with that realization and applying it today 🙂

5. There are items that remind me people important for me. I keep them and I will keep them as long as they mean something to me.

6. I have collected clothes to be donated (one extra large garbage bag) and dumped two extra-large bags. I was at the beginning surprised by this – maybe I was not decluttering enough.. But then I know the reason why I dump a larger amount of clothes than donatable ones: I have a tendency to use the items/clothes till their last breath. So naturally I have stuff that are not suitable to be used by others. Good to notice 🙂

7. Some of the clothes dumped are cut into pieces as cleaning clothes; mostly to clean the marble tiles. That feels good.

8. I cannot believe I have kept so many unusable or unused items in my possession!!! It certainly feels good – to get rid of stuff. Very refreshing. Very motivating. Very relieving. I believe with each item leaving my life, one old, negative, unnecessary, or otherwise not useful memory, thought, or feeling is also leaving me. Priceless, eh? 🙂

9. I am not done yet. I would like to go through each part again next weekend – I know I can dump more clothes, more items. And I am kind of looking forward to that 🙂

The the hardest part will come – kitchen and the study (stationary items, papers/documents, and the books). This may take some time, but I am really looking forward to that.

till next time

———

Added after the initial post

By the way I cannot believe I have so many stuff to use that I had forgotten I have but now I know thanks to decluttering activity !!!

Exciting. A serious shopping freeze is in place re: clothes 🙂

joy journal – August 15, 2015

I have not written my joy journal for quite sometime (due to vacation). I missed expressing gratitude and the good feeling coming out of it so much.

1. I have many things to be grateful about the time I spent with my family – there is no short way to express all of them here. I cherish every memory and every smile, hug, and kind word. I am grateful that my family members are well and sound; loving and supporting; and genuinely interested in my well-being. Thank you all of you for being there for me.

2. I am grateful for my job. I have gotta give its credit; it gives me a sense of purpose, excites, and provides me with livelihood (despite the challenges and occasional crises that I face). Thanks to my job, I get to see around the world, live in different cities, meet with people with diverse backgrounds, and get insurance. Insurances are important too – providing a sense of security if something out of ordinary occurs in life.

3. I am grateful for my house. It is in a quite neighborhood that is close to downtown as well as my work place. It is true that the prospect of the serious repairs (e.g. the foundation problem I probably have) has been giving me the chills and depressed me beyond my imagination; that I cannot develop trust to the previous owners/renovators, which prevents from feeling peaceful in it; and that I constantly find myself checking for potential issues and thus further create anxiety in myself. But then what can I do? I did not know there may be problem in my house. I did not know when I purchased my home that houses can be fragile and they require constant maintenance. I did not know that it would take me a long time to accept these and then finally find peace in this acceptance. I have not still fully accepted these and thus am emotionally suffering deeply, but I know eventually one day I will give up the resistance and glide into acceptance gracefully. I thank my house-troubles for this; reminding me that it is a process and I am going thru it.

4. I am grateful for my retirement plans, however small they may be. It is true that I could have saved and invested more for my retirement and in the past I have had very obvious expenses that I could have avoided. Yet past is past and I can only look at the present and the future. I have been giving serious thoughts about budgeting lately (mostly motivated by the expenses related to the repairs at home) and have progressed quite satisfactorily. I have a healthy and abundant budget that will take care of my fixed as well as variable but essential expenses that I have been implementing in the last 2-3 months. I know I can do better once I feel comfortable with it. It is awesome to feel this hope and confidence. It is awesome to know that I am making a difference in my financial situation, however small it may be.

5. I am grateful for summer; where I am usually is cool in summers (15-25 C). But since I came back from vacation, it has been hot, sunny, and lovely. A perfect summer 🙂

6. I am grateful for the document I have to finish till monday evening. I have made quite a progress with it yesterday and today. Seeing that I can work effectively under mild stress by taking it lightly (the benefit of having a wonderful vacation prior to it) is one thing, but more importantly the fact that I had to do it in such a short time is what helped me to adapt to work so soon and to stop feeling the emotions associated with leaving my family.

7. I am grateful for my blog. Writing is therapeutic, reading other posts and interacting with fellow bloggers are fun, interesting, and informative. It certainly helps me feel better.

8. I am grateful for the breakfast I have had this morning together with a friend/colleague of mine. I had my usual bagels and coffee after 6 weeks of vacation and a wonderful conversation with my friend, which felt great 🙂

9. I am grateful for walking to and from the coffee shop and sweating a long the way.

10. I am grateful for my new little fryer that makes fried eggs so tasty, so different 🙂

11. I am grateful for doing the laundry and aerating my home today. No I am not cleaning my place this week. My friend who house-sat while I am away already took care of this. I am feeling blessed.

12. I am grateful for being keen about starting a huge decluttering at home. Yep! I have been meaning to do it for quite sometime. I will start easy with bathrooms (which are easier to declutter) and slowly move to the other parts of the house. I will open every single box, purse, bag, and drawer. I will sort things out generously, collect the usable items for donation, and dump the rest. I really need this – I feel like I am carrying a huge and unnecessary weight on my shoulders. This feeling gotta go. I am also excited for the possibility that I will find out many stuff that I had forgotten I have had but are useful or valuable. cannot wait to rediscover my stuff 🙂

13. I am grateful for my couch that provides me with a comfortable place to sit on and write this journal.

14. I am grateful for my laptop, internet connection, cable, TV, phone and all others that help me have a comfortable and engaging life at home.

15. I am grateful for all the stuff I have brought from my vacation. Many of them are the gifts that are given to me by my family members, which I love and cherish. Seeing them around make me feel extra grateful and happy.

16. I am grateful for the music I am listening to right now. It is relaxing and something I have not had heard before and thus is interesting.

17. I am grateful for today being Saturday. I can enjoy it as I please without going to the office.

18. I am grateful for my joy journal and my continuous wish to write in it.

19. I am grateful for life.

20. I am grateful for being grateful.

decluttering – still continuing

I have been decluttering lightly lately; here and there without much care or planning. But three things today made me get serious about decluttering.

First of all, while looking for a pair of shoes today, I found 15 other pairs that I had forgotten I have had.. They are all lovely shoes, yet I have not used them in the last 3 years and I am highly unlikely to use any of them anytime soon.

Second of all, I finally dumped an old pair of sport shoes today; they were with me for 5 years, served me very well, and now all worn and torn, and had to finally go.

And third of all, I found a small bag of receipts in one of my kitchen drawers today – I have no idea why I collected them or how long they have been there.

Where am I going with this?

When I am back from my vacation, I will purge this place real good.

decluttering and weight loss – is there a connection?

Out of boredom, I opened the first book I have not read for some time. It is a book titled “Does This Clutter Make Butt Look Fat” by Peter Walsh that links the clutter in our environment with extra weight.

Made me think: one of my over-weight friends had told me that there must be a benefit of being over-weight: in sickness when eating may be problematic or not possible, certainly the extra weight helps to provide the body with the energy required for its functioning. As an over-weight person myself, I remember that very well. It also made sense to me biologically (we need a certain amount of energy everyday to keep going). Yet, I am also quite aware of the disease risks associated with being obese/over-weight. Nope, the extra fat needs to go..

This book also made me think my shopping habits: I have the habit of stocking durable items, such as cleaning products, canned or frozen food, stationary items. Sometimes without even using what I already have, I keep buying them. Where does this need come from? Why do I stock up stuff?

Because I feel comfortable and abundant if I have many items I regularly use. Because I may get lazy to go shopping when I need something. Because I like the convenience of not running out of anything. Because I save by doing so, as I usually purchase and stock when items are on sale. BUT would that mean that I also “save” my weight for the sick days? Feel “abundant” and “comfortable” with my weight? Possible. Sub-conscious mind works in a way that I will never understand fully.

Since a while ago, I decided to do the grocery shopping as I need, I will switch to the same with other items now. I will also continue with my decluttering activity at home and yard. Let’s see whether I will this time send the right message to my sub-conscious mind that I am abundant in any way, in sickness too my body will function just fine, and I will buy/eat as needed, not because it is convenient or saves me something.

wish me luck 🙂

random thoughts – decluttering

I would like to do some extensive decluttering real soon.

I wanted to clean up one of my cabinets today, which has been on my mind for a long time. There are so many boxes, especially empty ones there that it is ridiculous. Why do we keep stuff? I think we believe that we will need it in near future, yet that future is possibly distant. So better to get rid of those now. That is what I have done. I also found a nice small rug that now resting on the floor; many shopping bags that now are in the garbage; a nice art work that I was craving for; an extra folding chair I have no idea what to do with; extra purses that can be donated; and a very old keyboard that is now rightfully in the garbage.

I know that I have many stuff here and there that I keep. I also know that some of them are useless so should be dumped; some of them are useful so should be either used by me or be donated to charity. The clothes and shoes are the biggest group as I keep those that are in good condition but are a little bit small for my size. I know I am determined to lose weight and have been progressing in this direction lately; so I will still keep them for some more time. But I am really excited to let go the big size items. I have a box now that I am collecting all those that will be donated and it feels good.

So, I am very happy with the work I have done around the house today.

I did pretty amazing job at the yard too. Removed many plants here and there, especially at the corners that keep growing. Those around the trees are the most versatile ones. I know that the mower cannot reach everywhere; so removing them was a great accomplishment today. Also, the grass is mowed and OMG, was I huffing and puffing ) ; it is tiresome and I do not enjoy either the cutting or collecting the cut grass off the land. But all is done now and it feels good. Plus, it is a great exercise 🙂

I have more decluttering plans for tomorrow. I am really loving the motivation I have 🙂

e-decluttering – finding forgotten stuff

Well, I have been cleaning my emails and I have found 15-20 pictures from 8 years ago.

I look so young in these pictures!!!

I am so happy that I found them – there are other friends of mine in them. We all look awesome.

Time flies so fast. I just thought “when did I get this old? How did that happen?”

There is nothing much to do I guess. Thought timing is interesting – just this morning I got up thinking “I am getting old and getting close to end.” That is not comforting.

When I was young, I thought 50 was too old; now I am a few years short of it. In a lot of ways I have had a regular life, did exciting work, and lived in beautiful places.

I have regrets of course but I guess the important thing now is to enjoy my life while I can. Appreciate my health, family, and friends. Stop worrying about things that bother me, but instead start seeing the big picture. To live the life to its fullest when I have a chance.

And also the short hair suits me better than the long hair – the pictures have proven it once more. It also makes me look younger 🙂

random thoughts

A little bit grey day, which will likely turn into rain in the afternoon. And that is okay; I do not plan to be outdoors and the seeds in the yard need water. Great! 🙂

Even though I find doing the same routine over and over boring, I also appreciate it time to time. Got up, had breakfast and worked at the favorite cafe, cleaned the house and keeping the windows open to refresh the indoor air, and doing the laundry. Pretty much the same things I do at the weekends, in the same order 🙂 But they need to be done (e.g. the house work) and the breakfast and the ability to comfortably work at a nearby cafe are amazing. Plus, when I am done with them, I have the freedom to work, read books or blogs, or explore topics on the net, which add an additional level of pleasure to the weekends. Thus, my routine may be boring, but when it is done, it frees time and provides a sense of accomplishment with the activities in it.

It is only afternoon and I have plenty of time to spend the rest of my day the way I wish or the way it excites me. Exploration and learning are always fun. So which topic should I explore today?

I decided to continue with de-cluttering; I have already started with the emails and accounts. This is what I plan to accomplish today. Then, I will switch my decluttering activities to my house. I have so much stuff stocked up here and there and which I can easily get rid of: books that are not interesting anymore, those clothes that I cannot fit into, the paperwork here and there, and all the extra items I bought once hoping that I would use them somehow. Those in good conditions can go to the charity and the rest to the garbage.

Let the electronic, itemic, and emotional cleaning to continue 🙂

happy weekends everyone.

e-decluttering continues

Permanently deleted an email account and will delete another one tomorrow.

Next, it will be the emails by people I have no interest in remembering or keeping in my life.

I  feel like kicking (unwanted, unnecessary, un-useful) things out of my system, life, and mind (yay!) and creating space for new experiences (another yay!).

Awesome 🙂

e-decluttering

It feels good to unfollow the blogs that have been unuseful or uniteresting.

Those which do post very infrequently (thus give only a little chance to get to know) are the ones axed next; game theory for sure works for me.

The space cleared is now being filled with new blogs.

I am not interested in following a lot of blogs – anything more than a couple of hundreds is not manageable for me. Clearing up and refreshing with new ones feels good.

No hard feelings anyone I hope – I sure can catch you up later once things change.

In the mean time, I am going to enjoy the change and the satisfaction coming out of the decluttering. However electronic it may be.

best.

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