I could apologize and make excuses for what a terrible blogger I’ve been, with such poor consistency. My last post was months ago!
But I’m not going to do that.
What I am going to say is that I am having fun exploring different creative outlets and overall feeling very productive. My Facebook Group about Minimalism, Chasing Simple, has taken off and people seem to really be getting a lot out of it! It has been great to stay focused with a group of people on the same journey towards simplicity.
My sister and I have recently started a YouTube Channel called The Simplicity Sisters and it has been so fun to build something together. We’ve been so grateful for the enthusiastic response and we’ve had a lot of great interaction in the comments. We’d love to have you check it out here!
Of all years, 2020 seems to be the best possible time to homeschool and I am very grateful that we have continued on this path. My twin girls are now 14 and my son is 8. Every year is a new challenge and this one is no different. Except it is really, really different because everything is different during a worldwide pandemic. There are ups and downs, but we are getting through day by day. I guess that’s really all any of us can do at this point.
Probably the nicest thing to happen to us in 2020 is bringing home our Bernedoodle puppy, Elphie. The kids have loved having a puppy for the first time and we have loved the easy going, hyperallergenic qualities of her breed!
That’s all for now.
I admit I have a weakness for shoe shopping! Part of the reason is that my feet tend to be quite picky, and part of the reason is that I love a good pair of cute shoes! I’m super tempted by some of these awesome bargains so I had to share them here before I push “buy”!
As I’ve mentioned before, Amazon Warehouse Deals is really one of my favorite sources for finding deals on shoes. You can’t BELIEVE the prices I have snagged on some amazing brands. Remember, Amazon Warehouse deals includes products that might have been overstocks, or returns, or even damaged in shipping. So be sure to read the fine print. Amazon’s generous return policy still applies, so in my opinion you’ve got nothing to lose when it comes to deal shopping in Amazon Warehouse Deals!
The links you’ll find in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for helping me make my blogging hobby a little bit more productive for our family!
Birkenstocks as low as $35 in Amazon Warehouse
Birkenstocks are definitely some of my recent favorite shoes. It took me a few tries to get the right size, so make sure you check out this link for details on sizing.
Remember, warehouse deals mean returns or overstocks so be sure to read the fine print. Return policy still applies though!
Hunter boots as low as $25 in Amazon Warehouse Deals!
Hunter Boot Deals in Amazon Warehouse. Remember, warehouse deals mean returns or overstocks so be sure to read the fine print; the return policy still applies to these orders however. I just ordered my first pair of Hunters and I ended up returning them because the size was not quite right for me. But the footbed was comfy, I loved the look and could not believe the price.
Black Gloss size 9 $28.66!
Ugg Boots starting at under $40 in Amazon Warehouse Deals!
I have been a huge fan of Uggs since I found my first pair at the thrift store years ago (that was a great day!). Now I just can’t resist these cozy boots on a cold or wet day and I love that be machine washed if they get really dirty.
These are going to sell fast so don’t miss out!
I was excited to try Stitch Fix for the first time a few months ago when a friend passed along an awesome $75 credit. It seems like that kind of discount is fairly rare (and they expire quickly), so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to try an online Stylist.
Want to try Stitch Fix? Here’s a $25 credit to get you started! It will give me $25 too, so thanks in advance for helping me earn free clothes!
I have received two boxes so far, and for the most part I have really been impressed with them. Of the 10 items I’ve received, everything has been something that fits well, flatters me, and is a style I like and would choose for myself (keep in mind that one was a necklace, as I discuss in my video).
In my first Stitch Fix box, I received a dress, a cardigan, a necklace, jeans and a jean jacket. I liked every single item in the box. I decided the jean jacket and the cardigan were too similar to items in my closet and I didn’t really need any jewelry, so I kept the jeans and the dress. I really love both of those items and was amazed at how great they fit me!
For my second box, I received a pair of herringbone jeggings, a floral swing tank, a purple tank, a long kimono, and a cap sleeve mixed media floral shirt. I liked all of the items but decided to stick with keeping only the pants and the mixed media floral shirt. If I really needed to build a wardrobe, I would probably have kept 4/5 or even all 5 pieces. Since I am really just looking for a few boosts to my closet, I chose the two items that I liked the very best from the bunch, shown in the top photo on this post!
I’m including photos of the other items I was sent. I really did like everything! Another fun thing about Stitch Fix is that now you can order different colors in the items that you end up loving. I’m considering ordering another dress like the one I received because it fit me really well.
Have you tried Stitch Fix? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Jean Jackets have always held a special place in my heart. I actually vividly remember my very first jean jacket when I was probably 10 or 11 because it was the first clothing item I clearly remember choosing myself! Jean Jackets have been a fashion must-have for decades now and it’s hard to imagine a better choice for wardrobe staple than this American classic! But why is a good jean jacket SO hard to find? And why did I own SO many jean jackets that never really got worn? After years of searching, I’ve found a jean jacket that I truly love and it’s time to share with the world.
In my adult life I have probably owned 6 or 8 different jean jackets and tried on countless others. I have always liked the look and thought it would make a great addition to my closet but never loved the fit and always found myself reaching for a cardigan or sweatshirt instead. Why? Jean jackets are often stiff, too loose, and fail to allow for the range of movement I need in my life!
Because my Barefoot Dreams Cardigan post has been one of the most popular posts on my blog, I wanted to make a similar post sharing this awesome denim jacket find!
The Jean Jacket of my dreams comes from Costco of all places. (This is not the first time I’ve found closet staples at Costco!) I bought my first one last year and have worn it so much I’m thinking of grabbing another. Because it’s a soft, stretchy knit rather than a heavy denim, it is comfortable and gives me all the room I need to move, reach, grab and slouch to my heart’s content. This year, the Costco Jean Jacket is back and my store recently marked them down to $9.97. Can you believe it? I totally recommend grabbing these if you can find them because you can’t beat the price. Unfortunately they aren’t on the website right now, but I will update if they pop back up again this summer.
If you can’t find these at Costco, never fear! They also now available on Amazon. Click here for Buffalo Knit Denim Jacket. I believe this is last year’s version although the wash seems a little different. But the magic is definitely in the knit! Here’s another Buffalo Knit Jean Jacket, in dark wash and in a very pale pink which is a great spring/summer neutral. You’ll be paying a little more on Amazon than Costco but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the comfort you’re getting for the cost!
Here are a few pics of me in the Costco Denim Jacket. Both jackets are size small, but as you can see they fit me a little bit differently. The one downsize to Costco clothing is that I’ve found their sizes can be somewhat inconsistent. I’ll try to update this post soon with some better pics of my jacket.
Do you have the Buffalo Knit Denim Jacket? Let me know if you love it like I do!
This post contains affiliate links.
This post contains referral links. Thank you for helping to make my dreams of writing for a living come true!
During this difficult time, a lot of people have been looking for cleaner that will kill Corona Virus. A lot of cleaners that are typically recommended: Lysol, Clorox, and even bleach have been out of stock locally and online. It’s even been difficult to find rubbing alcohol! Fortunately, my cleaner of choice is in stock and still available for order (although shipping may be delayed).
Because our family has asthma, allergies, and autoimmune issues, I have been very careful about what cleaning products I bring into our home. I’ve replaced Clorox wipes, windex, lysol, and other all purpose cleaners with ONE safe, effective, and affordable natural alternative. I have been using it for almost 2 years and absolutely love it. It has also been approved by the EPA to kill COVID-19.
It’s as effective as bleach but so much safer!
What exactly is it? Force of Nature miniaturizes the electrolyzed water technology from the industrial space. Salt, water and vinegar are converted to electrolyzed water when an electrical current changes the chemical composition of the solution into germ killing magic!
Is it effective? To be EPA registered, Force of Nature was tested using EPA testing protocols, in EPA approved labs, across multiple microbes. It can be used as a disinfectant and sanitizer in hospitals, schools, veterinary clinics and restaurants.
Want to see it in action? When I first got my Force of Nature starter kit, I created a video to share with my followers. Watch it here.
So it kills Corona Virus? YES. Here is the EPA link to check it out for yourself. Just type “Force of Nature” into the search box to see the results.
How can I get a deal? You are in luck, because there are some great coupon codes available right now. Click here and use the following discounts to save!
Get $40 off & free shipping on Starter Kits with the code:
25% the already discounted price on Year Supply Bundles with the code:
These codes should be active through the end of April. If you have any questions about Force of Nature, you might want to check out the FAQs or feel free to leave me a comment.
Stay safe and well!
I’ve been using e-cloth for cleaning for a couple years now and just had to share this deal with you! Right now, get this 3 piece household cleaning set for only $7.50……plus you should be able to save $10 using this referral link:
Then click on the overstock clearance tab at the top to find the 3 piece deal and several other amazing bargains. I’m sorry I missed out on a couple other steals, but I did buy FOUR sets of these because I know I will use them daily.
E-cloth is an affordable alternative to Norwex cloths and they work GREAT. You can clean with just water or use them with mild cleaners (I use mine with Force of Nature). I especially love the polishing cloths for glass and at this price it’s a NO-BRAINER.
I’m not sure if the $10 off will work with clearance, but it’s worth a try!
This is one of my favorite products ever, ever! It’s great to have everything I need, nothing I don’t, and total comfort as I wear it every day. I have dumped all my old purses and haven’t worn anything else in 2 years.
When I first heard the phrase “take care of your future self” I thought it was a little strange. I had never thought about self-care in that context. (And honestly, the whole self-care thing gets a little old). However, I have found this idea extremely helpful as I plan out my schedule and work towards simplicity. A little work now takes away stress in the future, and I need all the help I can get with my future stress!
A great example of how this has worked for my family is when we travel. Can you imagine the luxury of having a maid or butler to take care of your home while you are away? This idea is so far removed from my life situation, that it truly is a great reach….however I do have a good imagination!
Picture arriving home after traveling. Whether you were traveling for business or pleasure, chances are you are coming home at least a little tired, right? Imagine walking through the front door and being greeted by freshly scented air, vacuumed floors, fresh towels and sheets, and everything neat as a pin? It would literally be a breath of fresh air right?
This might sound a little unrealistic. Travel is after all a frantically busy time for most families. No matter how hard you plan ahead, there always seem to be last minute details to take care of. But if you can work one hour of time into your schedule to take care of your pre-travel reset, you will find the rewards will be incredibly enjoyable and well worth the time and effort. If you can get your home into a routine of neat and clean, then the following steps truly will be quick and easy to take, leaving you with a beautiful clean space to come home to!
Remember, as I’ve said so many times, organization and cleaning are really not something that come easy for me. Believe me! I have to put a lot of effort in which is why I know that you can do this too. If this isn’t something you can manage yet, it might be that you still need to pare down the stuff to make your job easier. Click here for some of my other posts on Minimalism!
The best way to tackle this Pre-Travel Reset is after you’ve packed your car, one hour before you plan to leave.
One Hour Pre-Travel Reset!
1) Quick fridge clean out. This is just a chance to quickly throw out food that won’t last and maybe wipe down the shelves quickly. Also deal with produce & baked goods. For example this week before leaving, I tossed some bagels into the freezer and threw away a couple of stale pieces of bread. One lone banana also got the chop.
2) Quick Clean up. Wipe down all the counters, rinse coffee pot (don’t forget to toss the old grounds…..they will mold if left behind!). I’m not including dishes in this reset because hopefully you’ve gotten in the habit of taking care of these after each meal!
- Trash: This really doesn’t need any clarity, right? Don’t forget to gather trash from all over the house and put it in the dumpster so that you won’t be greeted with any unpleasant odors when you return home!
- Plants: If you have any house plants, you definitely want to water them before you take off. If you have difficulty keeping houseplants alive, I totally recommend these self-watering planters! They have made plant care possible for me.
- Vacuum: Quickly vacuum all the rooms. It might seem like a huge pain right now, but when you walk back through those doors you will be LOVING it. It’s so worth the effort, believe me.
- Surfaces: I don’t take time to do any scrubbing or serious cleaning (we’re on the clock, here). However, I do spritz Force of Nature Cleaner on all my counters, sinks and showers before leaving. This means that everything has been sanitized and any hard-core stains gets a nice long soak while I’m gone. Killing germs while you are traveling seems like a great plan to me.
- Towels. Put out fresh towels in the kitchen and bathroom. You’ll feel like you’re walking into a posh hotel room that’s ready for relaxation and rest!
- Diffuse. If you are into Essential Oils (and in my opinion, you should be) add some oils to your diffuser and set it on intermittent so that your house will be getting some lovely aromatherapy while you are away. It will kill germs and keep things smelling lovely. 9 times out of 10 I’ll choose Relax by Plant Therapy but another great option for killing germs is Germ Destroyer. Both are Kid-Safe!
- Details. Make one last walk-through and close closet doors and dresser drawers, open all the bedroom doors, make the beds and neaten up throw pillows. Check the thermostat. Turn off lights and leave on a couple of lamps. Be sure none of the toilets are running or faucets are dripping!
Have an awesome trip and enjoy the knowledge that a clean home is ready and waiting for your return!
This post contains amazon referral links for your convenience.
WAIT? There is an EVEN NEWER 2020 Update to this post! That’s right, click here for the latest and NEW pics!
The Barefoot Dreams Knock-off Cardigan has been one of my most popular posts, which is why I’m super excited to update it! I have had three of these cardigans since last year and wear them all the time! In my opinion, these are an excellent dupe for the Barefoot Dreams Cardigan and I would definitely consider them a wardrobe must-have. Click here to check out this awesome copycat Cardigan by Max & Mia.
Interested in another awesome budget topper? Click here for more World’s Best Jean Jacket post!
A couple years ago, I read about the Barefoot Dreams Cardigan from a blog. They are pretty pricey (click here for the Barefoot Dreams Cardigan) but I was able to hunt down a gently used one on Ebay and I absolutely loved it. Until I ruined it in an unfortunate laundry disaster (not my first one, either). So sad.
Ever since then, I had been watching for a deal on the real thing, but it was just really out of my budget (although having owned one, I do kind of think they are worth it). I had recently even been googling “Barefoot Dreams knock-off cardigan” hoping to find something similar at a lower price point. I never got lucky enough to find it, but this week I stumbled across exactly what I was looking for completely by accident!
The newest version of the Barefoot Dreams Cardigan is the Circle Cardi and I found a very similar knock-off for only $25! I couldn’t believe how similar they are! Check out the two stock photos; they are identical!
Last year, I found a Costco version, the Max & Mia Travel Cardigan but it sold out pretty quickly. It’s no longer available at Costco but it’s now sold on Amazon! YES!!! Click here for the Max & Mia Travel Cardigan starting at $38.99.
I have had three of these cardigans for a year and I absolutely love them! I do feel that the sizing is a little inconsistent across the colors. The black runs a little small and I would recommend sizing up to get the fit that is shown on the model. I ordered the Medium Size in black and here are photos of me wearing it. For reference I’m 5’6″ and 150 lbs. Yes I just shared my real weight on my blog. Seems like a mistake, but we’ll go with it for now. I think I would like to try a large but unfortunately they are out of stock at this moment. Hopefully they will restock because this is a newer item and I’m sure it will be very popular.
The only difference I want to point out is that the Costco cardigan is recommended to be hand wash rather than machine wash. That’s kind of a bummer, if you ask me, but not a deal breaker.
I will most likely just wash it cold gentle and lay flat to dry. Indeed, I did machine wash these cardigans and hang dry and they seem to be holding up just fine!
Here’s a pic so you can see how long it is in the back. I would prefer a little more length, I think. The sleeves are also pretty tight but I believe that is similar to the Barefoot Dreams cardigan and they aren’t too bad for me. It wouldn’t work for layering over a thicker shirt. I hope this was helpful for you! If you happen to have a Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardi or the Max & Mia Cardigan please let us know what you think!
The Holiday Season is quickly approaching and one of our favorite ways to enjoy the cozy colder months is with matching holiday pajamas. Traditionally, we have invested in Hanna Andersson pajamas because they are incredible quality that really lasts from year to year (through child after child) but if you can’t find a deal they can be really pricey! Last year I found Christmas pajamas on a great sale in January or February but this year I’m scrambling in November.
The great thing is, more companies now make cotton pjs in family sizes and Amazon has a great selection right now, making them more affordable with our favorite 2-day-shipping. I really appreciate you clicking through my Amazon links which will help cover some of my family’s Christmas purchases (at no extra cost to you).
So let me share what I’ve found! I’m only sharing pajamas that seem to have great reviews and most are also 100% cotton because we are obsessed with the softness and durability of our favorite Hannas!
Holiday Pajama Deals
First up, these Shelry Cotton Holiday PJs, in tons of sizes starting at only $12.99. There are traditional green white stripes, plus several festive prints including a really adorable Christmas Tree Truck style!
If you just need children’s sizes, these Shelry Striped Pajamas are the cheapest I could find for the traditional red and white or green and white striped sets in sizes 18 months through Kids 14. All sizes are only $11.99-$14.99 so these are a great deal!
Hoping for a Red & Green option (with no stain-tempting white)? Here’s what I found from Leveret! This brand is a little pricier but I have found they have great quality and similar thickness to our favorite Hannas. (And still beat them price-wise).
Looking for something a little less traditional? I love this black and white Sykooria Christmas Family option with prices starting at only $16.59. There aren’t baby sizes for this style but this might be more fun for families with older kids like mine, since the style is a little more “cool”.
I know a lot of families would abosolutely adore this PajamaGram Star Wars pattern! The pants for thsese are polyesther but seriously check out the cute pattern and these are priced starting at only $14.99.
Back to Red & White again, these Gold Treasure PJs are crazy affordable at only $9.90 each with limited sizing.
This Yallet Christmas Family PJ listing starts at only $14.99 and includes lots of sizes. I love the plaid!
There are so many Christmas holiday pjs available on Amazon, with really affordable and unique styles. Click here to check out the whole selection and get ready for a cozy family holiday season!
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Leave it to me to find the perfect planner in the middle of February when everyone has already purchased their calendars and books for 2019!
I had been looking for a new planner for awhile. For the last couple years I have been using the Happy Planner plus my bullet journal, but I really was only utilizing the calendar piece of the Happy Planner. I thought about refilling it, but the options were really overwhelming and I was still hoping to find a book that would combine my calendar and bullet journal without me having to jump through a lot of artistic hoops.
I’m creative when the need arises, but I am not naturally artistic and I don’t have any interest in making my planner pretty. For me, it’s just utilitarian and the main function is keeping my anxiety under control. Brain dumps help me stay on top of the crazy in my head while accomplishing at least a few of the tasks that are hanging over me! Which is why I love my bullet journal. If you aren’t totally sure what a bullet journal is, here’s a post I wrote on the topic.
After some fruitless searching, I finally came across this little gem that seemed to meet most of my criteria: undated calendar, undated weekly layouts, empty pages in the back, pen holder, bookmarks, stitched cover so it will lay flat. This will solve my problem of combining my calendar with my bullet journal lists in the back!
Now that I’ve handled and tried the Perfect Planner by Bullet Keeper, I’m super happy with all of its features! It’s smaller than my previous planners so it will be a little less bulky to carry around.
One last feature: I am happy to relay that the pages in the Perfect Planner are quite thick and the ink does not bleed through using my Papermate Flair pens!
Awesome right? If you are interested in seeing a video of the book in person, I will be doing a review on my Facebook page later today and will post on youtube for anyone who is interested!
✔ STRUCTURE YOUR LIFE, YOUR WAY! This personal organizer features flexible structures that allow you to keep track of daily tasks. Use it as a planner, organizer, academic agenda or note pad.
✔ UNDATED DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY CALENDARS. This planner is a fit for daily and long-term goal setting and tracking
✔ VEGAN LEATHER HARDCOVER. Luxury and stylish thanks to its leather hardcover soft to the touch. We’ve sourced the materials meticulously to make sure the cover is eco-friendly and long-lasting.
✔ ELASTIC CLOSURE & PEN HOLDER LOOP. This compact A5 notebook planner comes with an elastic band closure and pen holder loop on the side.
✔ BONUS FEATURES! To assist with organizing bringing productivity to your life. We’ve included some additional items: a 6” ruler, 2 bookmarks and a back pocket along with 2019-20 calendars for reference on the back page.
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