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Minimalism

Simple Reminders for the Holiday Season

November 28, 2016

Simple Reminders for the Holidays

I love this time of year. I’ve always been the girl who unabashedly starts listening to Christmas music in November, sings while walking down the street by myself (even if strangers give me funny looks), watches the same movies over and over again, and feels like a kid on Christmas Eve and morning. I’ve filled three mugs with hot chocolate and taken my brother and sister on a tour of displays since they were kids. And I still marvel at how a single string of white lights can warm up a room.

Now in saying all of that, I will still admit that the holidays don’t feel quite the same as they used to. As a family, we’re trying to figure out what our new traditions are, and I imagine it’s going to be a little different each year now that we’re older, my parents aren’t together and we won’t all be in Victoria. The fact that we no longer exchange gifts actually helps, as it takes a lot of pressure off and makes the holidays so much more meaningful for us all. But it still takes a little more effort to feel the same spirit I used to.

So when Laura asked if I’d consider writing something about the upcoming holiday season, my first response was no. But the more I thought about it, I realized that most people feel some amount of stress this time of year. While you might not be able to relate to mine, specifically, I can appreciate the chaos and anxiety that gets stirred up by all the shopping, spending, parties and obligations. It’s not always as easy as some people make it look. If anything, we should help ease the stress from one another.

If that sounds like what you need, here are a few simple reminders for the holidays:

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The Most Important Piece of the Intentional Living Puzzle

October 31, 2016

The Most Important Piece of the Intentional Living Puzzle

I have written, edited and discarded this post at least a handful of times in the past two weeks. What started as my wonder of what the world would be like if we were all more honest with each other turned into countless conversations with friends on the topic. I quickly realized I was naive to think the questions I was asking were simple, because the answers were anything but. We would scratch the surface then go deep fast, and talk about things we might never have discussed if I hadn’t asked these not-so-simple questions. Then every time I tried to take what I had learned and write about the subject of honesty, I would get closer to what I believe is true – but I’m still not there yet. So, I’ll save that post for the day I feel more certainty in my words.

For now, I want to talk about something I’ve been thinking about for months, and have been actively trying to get better at: being more intentional in my relationships. I’ve shared a few thoughts on this before – namely, around the fact that I have learned how to let go of toxic relationships, or relationships that don’t serve either one of us anymore. I still stand by those decisions and believe it’s something we should all learn how to do. But if we only look at our relationships in terms of which ones we should let go of, that shines a negative light on it. The same sentiment could be attached to minimalism. If we only see it as a tool to help us get rid of things, it doesn’t mean much. The meaningful work is figuring out what you value and intentionally bringing more of that into your life.
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The List of Women I’ve Wasted Money Trying to Become

October 19, 2016

The List of Women I've Wasted Money Trying to Become

This is a guest post from my friend Chelsea Fagan, founder of The Financial Diet. TFD has quickly become one of my favourite sites because of the refreshingly honest stories and opinions they publish. I finally got to meet Chelsea and Lauren at FinCon, and am excited to continue our conversations when I visit NYC next month. If you want to learn more about Chelsea, I would also suggest listening to her interview on the Real Talk Radio podcast.

One of the ideas that’s been hardest to accept in my journey to become totally in-control of my spending is that there is no one item I can buy that will make me a different person. On some level, it’s easy to blame global media and advertising for my subconscious perception as a woman that this lipstick or that blazer will transform who I am, but I know that it’s more than that. I’m someone who has always had an extremely difficult time managing my impulse spending — especially when it’s directly driven by my anxiety — and I know that my own battle with thinking I can spend myself into a person I like more is mostly in my head. Yes, I am a victim of a society that pretends women can put on another persona like a themed Barbie, but I am also someone who is soothed and reassured by spending money.

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