HAPPY FIRST POST OF 2019! As much as I appreciate the long blog posts looking back on how great the year was, I don’t have time to reminisce. I’m ready for a fresh new start, and new challenges to tackle. After completing 25 days of vlogging, I’m ready to tackle 25 days of blogging! I’ll be writing 25 posts in January! I’ll have six days of free passes, but I’m taking on a few challenges this month, and want to keep you posted on my progress daily! I’ll be participating in plant-based January, decluttering challenges, and the no-spend challenge. I’ll talk more about each one to explain how I’m going about them. I think Instagram and social media have taken over the daily connection and communications of blogs, and instead of posting daily on there, I want to connect here. ♥️
I’m extremely excited about Plant-Base January. I have about twenty recipes flagged in my cookbooks for me to try out this month, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts and recipe pictures in the daily vlogs. I’ll share which recipes I’m trying, the swaps I’ve made, and basically what I ate that day along with all the other stuff. Someone asked why I wasn’t doing a “vegan” challenge in January. Well, being vegan is a lifestyle. I have so much respect for people who follow the vegan lifestyle because it goes beyond food. To be a vegan, you pay attention to what your clothes are made of, what products you wear, and so on. I do not have the right to classify my challenge as “vegan.” Will the food I will be eating be vegan? Of course.
I enjoy and eat a lot of plant-based foods, and because I follow a dairy-free diet, I’ve had so many plant-based alternatives that I love. I know this is going to be easy for me because I don’t really crave meat as much anymore. I’ve never gone completely plant-based for longer than a week, so I’m very very excited to see how I feel after this.
The declutter challenge has already begun.
Do you follow the Minimalist on Instagram? They have pretty awesome plans for getting rid of clutter. My friend, Meighan, sent me their Instagram handle because she followed one of their plans last year. The bottom photo is from this morning’s cleanout. I cleaned out my art drawers, bathroom cabinets, and the bottom of my shoe closet. It’s insane to think that this stuff was in one small spot in my house. I cannot wait to tackle a new closet or room every day. It’s mind-blowing to think about all the things laying around my house that I haven’t touched in years. Getting rid of all of these things now is going to make it much easier for when it’s time to pack everything up and move one day. They say to start small, but I’m more of the go big or go home type of girl. I love starting big. When I first moved into my place, I took up the guest bedroom closet, my closet, and the office closet. Over the past year, I’ve eliminated my items to just my closet, but I know there are so many items I can toss. So where are they going to? Some of the boxes will be dropped off with the Red Cross, and a local church that my neighbor works at. They collect items for the homeless shelter.
Some of the things I tossed this morning were multiples of kitchen accessories, expired products lurking around the bathroom, and a bunch of pieces I haven’t touched in years!
Because I’m going to be working so hard on decluttering and minimizing my things, I want to make sure it all stays that way by limiting my spending. I’m not afraid to admit that I buy some pretty stupid stuff sometimes. I’ll buy things for blog props, or for trips, or things I end up never touching. This kind of mindless spending is going to stop this year, and I’m going to focus on saving, and spending my money on things like experiences and only the necessities. It’s impossible for me to survive without spending, so here’s what I’m allowed to buy and what I’m not allowed to by.
- Bills. Duh, but wish I could do a “no spend” on this one 😂
- Groceries – but I’m going to be better about saving when I shop and not just buying the most convenient thing. I need to make lists and stick to them. I’m going to save money by making more recipes and meal prepping, but it’s easy to get carried away with new products. I will budget each grocery trip and do my best to stay within the budget! These are things you will see in the daily blogs.
- Travel – I can buy experiences. It’s what I do during that trip that will make or break this challenge. I know buying mugs and t-shirts is great when you’re out on an adventure, but years later, I never really care about the things I bought. I will say no to souvenirs! Dining at restaurants, hotels, activities, trying new coffee shops, and experience new places on trips are fine with me. Again I will try to budget and bring my own snacks while traveling to save as much as I can. The less I buy, the more I’ll be WINNING during this challenge. One of my habits is to buy new clothes before trips, and that is going to be a big no-no for me. I will use what I have.
- Gym Membership – I need to use it more.
- Pets-ok so no more pet clothes.
- Necessities – toilet paper, soap, shampoo, vitamins, face wash, makeup basics, cleaning products, gasoline, and that’s it.
- Work-Related Items – no more blog props because I have enough to use. I may need ink, batteries, or pay for membership costs. I have been looking for a new lens for my camera, so that may also be a purchase, but it’s for work and can be validated. My job sometimes involves me trying out new products from companies or clothing. I’m going to continue to do my job and try new products. The problem will be keeping me from buying more if I love it so much!
- No more Starbucks just because. If I’m out of town or on a road trip, sure, but not just because I’m out and about and feel like it. I have a perfectly fine Nespresso machine at home that I can use.
- Gifts – This one I’ve been thinking about. I love to gift people things on their birthday and holidays. I need to budget out my gifts better, shop cautiously, and maybe dive into more meaningful/homemade gifts. You’ll have to let me know what you think about gifting during the no-spend challenge.
- Fun – I will allow myself a small budget for books (after getting through the ones I have) and maybe a few puzzles because Kyle and I love putting them together. I will also continue to get my hair done monthly because my hair will turn into a mop if I don’t. It’s already a mop and I get my hair done regularly. You don’t want to see it without care! Oh, and tennis balls.
When I feel like spending? Here’s what I’m going to do.
-put on a podcast and go for a walk with my dogs
-try to tag along to the gym each night with Kyle to walk on the treadmill (getting out of the house helps)
-make a cup of tea or coffee and watch a Netflix
-go do laundry or start straightening and cleaning the house
-read a book or do a puzzle.
-ask to borrow. If I need a book to read or a new dress to wear. I’ll try to borrow one or use rent the runway (if I have to)
Overall, I’ll do anything I can to not spend anything. I don’t want to make my life miserable or unenjoyable, but I have a feeling I’m going to feel so much better by not buying new rugs, new throw blankets, wall decor…and don’t get me started on throw pillows!
That is all for today, see ya tomorrow!! – I have my NYC recap/Christmas Recap/and some awesome recipes coming your way this week! xo
Questions for you!
- What was your highlight of 2018?
- Which challenge are you on board with?