Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Minimalism Side-Effects

One of my most favorite things in life is being able to look back on something after a few months and being so glad you started. It happens when you keep up with your exercise routine, or starting any new habit really. A few months ago I began a bit of a minimalism journey, and now I can look back and see both progress and places I'd still like to see growth. 

Decluttering and reassessing my life was literally the most enjoyable part of 2016 for me. I LOVED it. I went through every room in my house and critiqued everything I owned. I asked myself why I did things and why I had things. Brutal honesty was difficult, but SO freeing. I wound up with a humongous Yard Sale pile, and countless bags to give away and throw away. 

I've made a killing on Ebay selling a bunch of random stuff like cookbooks and old electronics. 
I had planned to have that Yard Sale this month. But, we had piles of stuff looming in our shed, and it didn't seem like much more needed to be gone through. We rescheduled it for January instead. I forgot how much I hate Yard Sales!! The worst people show up to your house and insult your stuff. But you have to be nice to them because you want them to give you a few bucks. It's ridiculous. I was thankful to have my sister there to be nice to the customers, while I rolled my eyes. 

A friend of mine drove by our house while we were having the Sale, and she saw me loading up a bookshelf into a lady's car. She was so surprised by that. But it was really really cool to tell her that I didn't need that shelf anymore because I didn't have any books to put on it! After the yard sale we ended up with about 5 rubbermaids that are just sitting empty, because I have nothing to organize in them. It's just the coolest thing to me. 

If you look closely here you can see some items that went into the Yard Sale. Perfume that gave me a headache, office supplies...and old neck pillow! Not a single drawer went untouched in our house. 
I still have artwork and knickknacks around the house, but everything here is serving a purpose, or is here because it makes me happy. I love interior decorating too much to ever have bare walls. But I do have cleared off surfaces, and that is really calming. 

The whole point of starting this process was to get us back to Keeping It Simple. Our life had become to cluttered and busy with unimportant things. I had too much on my plate and  I needed to change that because it was causing me so much anxiety and guilt. 

I needed less stuff to clean and maintain, but interestingly, now I don't want to buy any more stuff. My Amazon Wishlist went from 3 pages to 4 things. Getting ready in the morning isn't as hard because the clothes I have are ones I like and fit well. I literally had a cookie jar filled with pens and markers, now I have a small cup with just a few that are easy to see and grab. We were able to pay off 2 debts in one day- which was so exciting and definitely motivation to keep going.

We still have stuff! We have movies, but those bins used to be bursting. And that console table used to have photos and candles on it. Now it's nice and clean! 
Less stuff means less to think about. Well, more time to think about important things. That's the side-effect I wanted to talk about! I wasn't expecting that. All I could see was the hurdle of clutter that I needed to take care of. I didn't know or imagine what it would be like on the other side of it. 

For example, at work last Friday we had the slowest day I can ever remember. I accomplished everything on my desk, and tried to find any little thing to do after that. Even cleaning the microwave...But I still ended up twirling in my desk chair with 2 hours to go. Normally I would have just messed around on my phone. During this minimalism journey I also decluttered my phone. I only have a select number of apps and I unfollowed over half of the people I was following on Instagram. That coupled with very limited use on any other social network gave me about 15 minutes of scrolling through my phone. So, I ended up a little bored, but also really excited. That's exactly what I wanted a few months ago. I wanted to waste less time on pointless things and really focus on other areas. It's what I wanted to happen, but it's still taking me by surprise!

Before, I was just coping with my schedule and recovering when I could. But now I feel a lot more in charge with how my time and energy is spent. So, that's what I have to figure out next. What do I want to do with my time? What can have my attention now that I have it to give? 

We've had a ton more time to enjoy our back porch with the pugs! 
It's a super cool problem and an awesome side effect I wasn't anticipating. It's kind of like having a bucket list, and then actually having an opportunity to check some things off. I have a ton of goals, but they seemed kind of idyllic before. Instead of just slowly chipping away at them, now I have the ability to accomplish them.  

I won't say I'm completely over the 1st phase of minimalism. Because you do have to continue to assess your things and not let clutter creep back in. There are also some habits I'm working on to keep us on the simplification path, like chores I need to do daily instead of weekly. But, it's so nice to be able to be proud of something. I really can't wait to look back on this post 6 months from now and continue to see growth! Thanks for letting me share!

Leave a comment below if you have done something in the last 6 months or so that have you proud of yourself! I'd love to hear your decluttering progress or what you would do with your extra time! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Guys, I recently started up Delly's Instagram account again. I started it originally because I wanted to post lots of pictures of her, but I knew that would get annoying. Kinda like when people post 45 pictures of their kid in a row...You know who I'm talking about.

I got out of the habit of posting, but realized it was a good time to start back up since I want to share more of Bailey and Winston too. There are so many great pug accounts out there! I especially love following rescues and hearing great stories of pug's and their happy endings. 

You can follow my pugs at @dellyandfriends

A photo posted by Delly, Bailey & Winston (@dellyandfriends) on

In the meantime here are a few pictures and an update on my grumble. 

Winston's eye is basically completely healed after his puncture incident. On a really sunny day you can see a small scar on his eye, but it doesn't affect him at all. He doesn't seem to have any vision problems. He is a healthy little guy, and SO rambunctious. He is fully potty-trained, but he does still need complete supervision because he chews on anything he can. He is 6 months old now, but still not lifting his leg to pee. Kinda wondering if he ever will - I've heard some dogs don't. He will probably be getting fixed next month.

Bailey got spayed 2 weeks ago. She did SO well with her surgery. I was worried because she is older and just had a c-section in July. They also cleaned her teeth and cut her nails way back while she was out. That pug breath was no joke. She had to have 1 tooth pulled, and I think that was the culprit of the smell. This old lady hasn't quite gotten back to her old self yet. She still doesn't have a big appetite. I started feeding her Winston's puppy food so she wouldn't lose any more weight. We worked so hard to fatten her up when we adopted her, so I don't want to have to start over! 

Her eyes have also been really dry since her surgery. They were very bad when we first got her, but between good nutrition and artificial tears, she had been good. The other day when I got home from work her eyes were completely gooped over - I thought she had gone blind! I'm guessing when she gets to eating more and adding extra drops, it will get better. 

Delly is the same as always! She has definitely been siphoning the puppy food, so I know when we go to the vet she is going to get a lecture. She was already a few pounds heavier than they like.

After we ended up with 3 pugs, I started clipping their nails, instead of taking them to the vet. Delly used to go once a month for her nails and glands. It is just too expensive to take all 3 like that! I found some great nail clipperson Amazon. She HATES getting her nails clipped. One of the reasons I had the vet do it! Blake holds her and I do the clipping. I'm just doing little bits at a time since they are black nails and hard to see. She is a strong little thing though. Blake has a nice bruise on his bicep from last time. Bailey and Winston on the other hand behave perfectly during nail trims. Delly needs to get her teeth cleaned as well, so when they put her under they will clip her nails really far back and then I think maintaining them will be so much easier.

I recently talked Blake into doing a 5k with me, doing the Couch to 5K program to train. Since the first few weeks are such short runs we've taken Winston with us. He loves it! I swear he is going to be the first muscular pug in existance. 

Hope to see you guys over on Instagram! Leave a comment below if you have any tips for nail trims or if you had an older dog spayed. 

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

3 Apps That Will Make You [EASY] Money

I purposely don't work full-time. I know myself really well. If I did work full time I know I would quickly become a workaholic. It runs in the family and my personality is totally predisposed to being obsessive with things. It's a huge plus that my schedule allows me to keep our home running well! I also do all the yard work and I have time for volunteer work each week.  

Overall this works out great. But sometimes the budget is tighter than others. I'm always on the look out for extra income, just in case. I have a few cleaning jobs and I buy and sell a lot on Ebay! I thought I'd share the 3 apps on my phone that make me money. And I'm talkin' easy, painless money! 

This is the app I've been using the longest. Google sends you short surveys and rewards you with Play Store Credits. I mostly use them for songs, but you can buy movies or pro versions of your favorite apps. The money you earn seems to line up with how long the survey is. Some are 1 question long, and others are more in depth. I've been asked about my experience at Walgreens, and also if I've ever foraged for truffles. (True Story!) Sometimes you get several surveys a day, and other times it's a few days in between. 

   Google Opinion Rewards- screenshot

I started using Ibotta in November and since then I've earned about $50 in rebates. It took a minute to figure out how to use it, but it's also another app that's too easy not to use. Basically you search by your favorite grocery store. Their rebates will appear, and you unlock the ones you want to use. Buy those products and scan your store receipt. Then you get money back! I've only purchased things I would have bought anyway. If you aren't particularly brand-loyal this will work for you. 

My favorite rebates are the Groupon and Ebay rebates! You get a certain % back when you buy through Ibotta. Basically- open Ibotta first, click on Ebay and it opens your Ebay app. Once you make the purchase, Ibotta processes your rebate. I shop on Ebay and Groupon all the time, and it's nice to get a few bucks back. 

This is my referral link, at no cost to you - but you do get $10 when you sign up! The money you make can go right into your bank account. 

   Ibotta: Cash Savings & Coupons- screenshot

This is the newest app to my list, but I'm already excited about it! MileUp gives you points everytime you drive. (Automatically!) And those points can be redeemed for gift cards. You can also report your car accidents through the app and they will pay you for that information. 

I easily drive 400 miles a week, so the points add up really quickly. And if you take a long car trip, even better! FIY it does take a day or two for your trips to show up. I was nervous that my 85 mile drive the other day wasn't counted, but it just took about 24 hours to appear. It's kinda cool to see the little map at the end too. 

This is my referral link for you mobile readers, also at no cost to you.

   MileUp- screenshot

I'm sure there are a million apps that can earn you money, but I love that these 3 are SO easy and uncomplicated. Leave a comment below with your experiences with these apps, or if you know of another easy to use app! Thanks for reading!

This post contains affiliate links!