17 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself in the Winter

comfort and kindness for long days

It’s been gray and rainy for the last two days, and for us Arizonians, that’s enough to propel us into despondency. For those of you living in climates that have an actual winter season, you’ve been trudging through gray, slushy, cold, bleak days for months. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition of having less energy and motivation, sleeping more, eating more (especially sugar and starches), and ultimately feeling depressed every year during the same season, affects six percent of the population, while another 14 percent of people suffer at least a form of SAD, the “winter blues.” And even if you don’t fall into those categories, right about this time of year most of us can’t wait for spring to come already.

So, how do we get through? Eating all the donuts in the break room and binging on clearance Valentine’s Day candy doesn’t seem to help for long!

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Friday Finds

A few things I’m loving lately that I just had to share:

To Watch: Videos from the Evangelicals for Life conference

I had the privilege of attending the Evangelicals For Life (EFL) conference this year in Washington D.C., and I honestly wished that the speakers’ messages could be played in every church, all across the United States. I came away encouraged, challenged, convicted, and motivated.

Thankfully, you can have the experience of watching the speakers at this link!

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How to Make New Year’s Resolutions You’ll actually Keep

Notebooks for goal planning

Today is Monday, January 15th. That means that by now, 80% of us have already given up on our New Year’s Resolutions. That’s if you made them at all – in the poll I created on Instagram, 75% of you said you didn’t make resolutions, but instead preferred a “Word of the Year,” a single word or phrase to focus on throughout the year.

I have a hybrid approach that combines the best of both. I’ve developed this method over several years, refining and adjusting the process along the way. I started with classic resolutions I’d make in January, and forget about until the end of the year, and then feel guilty that I hadn’t accomplished what I set out to do, and amazed at how different what I thought I wanted at the beginning of the year was from what I wanted at the end. This method of setting goals certainly wasn’t having much of a positive impact on my life. But I couldn’t give up on the idea.

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Make Your #BlackFriday Shopping Matter

ethical shirt, jewelry, boots and heels

As you know, I’ve been on a minimalist journey for a few years. I remember feeling that urge to get swept up in the Black Friday fun. Because let’s be honest, shopping IS fun! But having a closet overflowing with junk I didn’t wear wasn’t. Knowing the true cost of cheap clothes on the people who make them wasn’t. Feeling trapped in a materialistic cycle where I never had enough to feel like I was enough was not worth it.

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When You Just Can’t Rest

When you can't rest

“Mommy syndrome.” The oral surgeon removed the tongue depressor from my mouth, and leaned back in his chair.

I stared back blankly, starting to feel offended. I’d come in for an emergency follow up after my oral surgery a week before, sure that the non-stop excruciating pain was due to an infection, or dry socket, or something that required an urgent medical intervention.

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DIY: How to Make Fabric Pumpkins

It’s officially fall! Although, for me it was a little anti-climatic, since I started decorating for fall the first week of September. But now, we autumn-aficionados can revel in our favorite season and post too many photos of pumpkin spice lattes while wearing cozy sweaters and boots.

I shared in my Friday Finds post these adorable velvet pumpkins from Target (for $1!) but bemoaned that they only had one color left. After I brought them home, I remembered that I have yards of bright blue velvet in my fabric stash, thanks to the Ikea curtains we bought for our master bedroom that needed about a foot cut off of the bottom to fit our windows. I didn’t have any real pumpkin stems, so I DIYed a cute way of getting around that, so don’t despair if you don’t have any pumpkin stems either. I like the contrast of the hemp twine and velvet anyway; it’s very farmhouse chic.

Let’s get started!

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8 Fall Trends To Add to Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe

8 Fall Trends to add to your capsule wardrobe

It’s already been a year since my capsule wardrobe experiment began! Just to recap,last fall, I decided to do another closet cleanse to get back on track and out of the mindless shopping rut. Although, not as quite as drastic as Fashion for Freedom. Capsule wardrobes are often around 30-40 pieces of clothing, 37 seems to be a very popular number. The idea is that you have a set of basic pieces that can mix and match, and then you rotate in 5-6 new pieces for different seasons.

Over the last year, I’ve changed out my capsule for each season, ranging from 30-40 pieces in my closet each month (not counting workout clothes, pajamas, etc.). For this fall, I knew I wanted to shop the clothes I’d packed away last year, but I also wanted to add some updates for this fall’s trends.

Here’s eight trends I wanted to incorporate into my capsule:

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5 Friday Finds: Inexpensive Fall Decor & Style

1. Gold frames from Dollar Tree

These frames look way more expensive than the one dollar that they are! I bought two 8x10s and two 4×6 frames, and I could use a few more.

2. Glasses from Warby Parker

I’ve written about my love for Warby Parker glasses before, but my loyalty was recently renewed after my eye appointment last week. My eyes have gotten worse, a symptom of now being in my late twenties, and they tried REALLY hard to get me to buy glasses in the store. Even with my vision insurance, the glasses were still more than Warby’s, and they weren’t as cute! Nor did they give one pair away when you buy one. The sales lady was skeptical of my $99 glasses, and sniffed, “These are way better quality that what you’re buying online.” I told her they have the same anti-glare, anti-scratch coatings and the frames are acetate – which is exactly what the ones they sell are made of – but oh well. I’m shopping for some new frames tonight, although I might stick with my “Wilkie” frames. Brian called them “sexy librarian” style, and I’m ok with that.

3. Target Dollar Spot Pumpkins and Towel

I always love the fall stuff in the Dollar Spot (or Bullseye’s Playground? Whatever it’s called) bins, and I couldn’t resist the velvet pumpkins. I bought all they had left, three of this light green color, for $3 each. Some stores apparently have navy blue ones, and I’m very jealous. These mini porcelain pumpkins are too cute, and were $1 each. Here’s a link to similar-ish ones online. The towel has stitching in rose gold/copper, so that’s going to look stellar in my kitchen!

4. Zoya Purple Nail Polish

I’m going to the dark side, and trying this on my fingernails. Zoya nail polish doesn’t contain the “big 3” most harmful chemicals. This color is called “Debbie,” and it’s perfect for fall. Tip: if you’re not sure about a bold or dark color, I find that I typically like using it on my toes.

5. Fur Pillow from TJ Maxx

Maybe this pillow looks a little ridiculous, but I don’t care. IT’S SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE. So cozy and soft, it’s perfect for cuddling with my coffee and a good book. Here’s couple more options if you’re interested in adding some texture to your couch: Amazon fur pillow, TJ Maxx patterned fur pillow.

What’s one thing you’re loving? Let me know in the comments!

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