Minimalisht Wardrobe

We live in a pretty good sized 1 bedroom apartment with a pretty tiny closet.
It’s a “walk in” closet; there’s quotations because it’s not really maneuverable.
The long end of the L is only about an inch longer than a hanger jutting out, so when there are clothes there, it is a jungle trying to find an aricle.

Also, I am an impulse buyer, emotional buyer, and just love clothes in general. That being said, my lifestyle has changed. COVID aside, in Florida people get super dressed up for just about anything, in Colorado it seems as though the definition is jeans and a black shirt.

I also have put on a little weight and really needed to stop pretending I’d get back down to a 26″ waist; and to stop hanging on to all the clothes that made me feel like I was too big.

I am not too big. My clothes are too small.

No, really. I’m 5’0″ with 32-32.5″ hips and weight about 135 lbs. Am I bigger than I used to be, yes. Am I bigger than I am happy with, no. I am healthy according to the doctors and do I like the way I look in the mirror, yes.

Obligatory “Not A Doctor” Notice.
This will be some research as well as some info about me. The information about me and/or discussed with my doctor are unique to me and should not be assumed to work for anyone who is not me. That being said:
I am not a doctor or medical professional. None of my “research” is clinical or medically viable. Do not make any diet, exercise, medication, or lifestyle changes without first consulting a medical professional.

Moving right along: A wardrobe for normal people

I admit, I have had too many clothes. I recently got rid of six garbage bags stuffed with clothing. No, I am not exaggerating. I got rid of about half of each article of clothing (pants 30->15, shirts innumerable->bearable, workout leggings 20->1, etc.).

I thought I still had too many clothes, so I took to researching capsules. Capsule, as a term, has become fairly misconstrued. Originally, a [c]apsule wardrobe [was] a term used in American publications as early as the 1940s to denote a small collection of garments designed to be worn together which harmonized in color and line” while now, it seems to be what people think they are doing when they create “a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear”. It is vastly different to KonMari Method™ your wardrobe and keep your favorite items, which is what I had done, versus whittling down to an exceptionally minimalist capsule which is meant to be comprised of fifty or fewer items in total, only discluding undergarments.

An example of a capsule that I had pulled is the five piece French wardrobe. “[T]he premise that once you have a core capsule wardrobe of basic, versatile clothing, you then purchase 5 or less trendy items per season to keep your wardrobe fun and up to date. Simple, really. Your core basics can amount to any number, but I would recommend keeping it between 30-50. The seasons are spring/summer and fall/winter, so you would end up purchasing about 10 new pieces a year, not 5 for each of the four seasons. Spring and fall are considered transitional seasons, so that’s why the seasons are grouped into two.”

Considering things will get worn out, you’ll also get rid of a few items each year, Ideally keeping tops, bottoms, layering, dresses, jewelery, and footwear constantly under 75 items.

That being said, none of these capsules are fully converible, There are summer capsule that include bathing suits, shorts, and other items rendered completely useless in the Colorado winter.

I ended up combining a bunch of capsule lists and tried to whittle down to the ideal wardrobe. This was not an easy task as some had short sleeve shirts and long sleeve shirts while others specified blouses, a henley, button downs, and so forth. This carried over into every aspect from bottoms to dresses, some even including overalls and jumpsuits.

The final list, therefore, is imperfect. Totaling 146 items, which does not include heavy winter coats, special occasion dresses, bathing suits, or accessories and undergarments. I decided to round down to 135. Here’s my work, linking the capsules I referenced.

I have yet to count my items to do this all again, but since we’re buying out first house this yea, hopefully in July, I plan to get this done by May.

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Reddit Threads that I Love

Reddit is an amazing place where real people get together, usually moderated for everyone’s protection. Questions and answers, help in specific or broad ways, and sometimes just cute or pretty pictures. You can find me on Reddit as u/alexag0509.

r/guineapigs – I get to ask questions about my cavis and also see pictures of other guinea parents.

r/miata – Seeing old school or suped up versions of my 2014 really fun; plus I get to read some technical Q&A.

r/birbs – Birds doing fun things

r/pornhubcomments – Hear me out, most of the time it’s actually good clean fun or positive; other times is dirty but not the way you’d think. The “this should be reported for nudity” ones make me laugh every time!

r/woooosh – Things going over people’s heads.

r/antiMLM – Have #BossBabes been “inviting” you to their “parties”, recruiting or selling to you from their “own” business, do huns try to tell you they make “tons” of money then show you a monthly check for $10-75? Go here. Get your laugh on, find some snarky remarks, and stay away from those not-quite-pyramid schemes.

r/minimalism – I’m not saying I’ll ever be a true minimalist, but this has made me realize how much excess I have and be able to find real ways to dial it back.

r/natureismetal – Amazing things in nature. From smaller animals destroying their would-be predators to beautiful insects, spiders, and bugs that will make you second guess the things that creep you out.

r/politics – I don’t know which news stories to trust so when I don’t want to turn to humans I know, I turn to Reddit. I read a headline, all kinds of comments, and get many sides and views of a single topic.

Got a hobby? There’s a thread for that! r/reading r/writing r/sewing…. and on and on and on!

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My Spotify Favorites

I’ve used many different music membership sites and streaming. I don’t know that I prefer one from the other, I just happen to be using Spotify because our Amazon Echo Dot can communicate with it.
My Spotify profile name is Alexa- Not Echo and my username is 1227062964.

I follow some playlists and I have created my own. Here are my top five playlists in no particular order:

  • You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon by Alexa – Not Echo
  • Punk N Stuff by Alexa – Not Echo
  • Ain’t No Crying in the Club by abigail.timberlake-us
  • Have a Great Day by Spotify
  • Jammin by Alexa – Not Echo

It should be a surprise that my playlists are in my top five; of course I love my cultivated collection! Poke around and find some songs you may not have heard in a while, or ever. I hope you find energy, comfort, or whatever you seek from your listening experience.

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Self care ideas / How to unwind after a stressful day

Obligatory “Not A Doctor” Notice.
This will be some research as well as some info about me. The information about me and/or discussed with my doctor are unique to me and should not be assumed to work for anyone who is not me. That being said:
I am not a doctor or medical professional. None of my “research” is clinical or medically viable. Do not make any diet, exercise, medication, or lifestyle changes without first consulting a medical professional.

Get Active: “Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries” – Mayo Clinic Staff
You don’t need to run 5 miles (unless you want to!), just hit the pavement and walk, jog, or run and get you blood flowing. You can also do an at-home workout, do some yoga, or even dance

Low-Key: “We need to give ourselves a break, and a little downtime works well for almost everybody. It doesn’t really matter what the activity or inactivity is. The idea is to give your body, mind, and heart a chance to relax and recharge. If you keep going at full speed every day, it can be really hard on you, both physically and mentally.” – Psychology Today
We’d all love an all expenses paid, all inclusive resort trip. For those of us that haven’t won that contest prize there are plenty of at home relaxation tools and techniques. Meditate, take deep breaths, count forward and backward slowly, review your positives for the day or what you are thankful for. You can also take a long shower, bath, read, stretch, needle mat, journal, doodle, or draw

Ingest: “When we’re stressed—whether it’s because we’re being chased by a mammoth or a fast-approaching project deadline—our body releases a group of hormones called glucocorticoids, whose job is to replenish the energy supply lost during the stressful encounter” – Eat This, Not That
Yes to: folate rich foods (spinach, avocado, lentils), fatty acids and omega 3s (salmon, nuts), vitamin C (whole fruits and veggies – not juice), vitamin D (eggs), aspalathin (rooibos tea), black tea, and dark chocolate
Avoid: refined sugar (ice cream, snack cakes), refined carbs (pretzels), high sodium (Chinese food, pretzels), bisphenol A (BPA) (canned and packaged food), phytic acid (soy) (soy milk, tofu), caffeine (coffee, soda)

Auditory: “Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.” – University of Nevada, Reno
Listen to what makes you feel good. Explore, figure out what you like that also has relaxed you while you’re listen or when it’s over. Try different music, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Video Games: “[M]any people don’t realize the tangible benefits of video games. – [G]ames can help you with stress and improve mindfulness.” – Psychology Today
Audio, video, and brain usage all-in-one! Just like everything in this world, too much of a good thing can be bad so just keep tabs on your attitudes, etc. during and outside of gameplay.
Try active (FPS, MMO/RPG) or casual (Turn Based, Puzzle, or Simulation) games

Social: “Socialization also directly impacts our stress levels in multiple ways. First, socialization increases a hormone that decreases anxiety levels and make us feel more confident in our ability to cope with stressors. In addition, spending time with others directs our energy outward (rather than inward).” MentalHelp.net
“Pets have a lot of therapeutic traits. – They lower stress hormones – [, c]an bring down blood pressure – [, and l]et you step outside of your own problems.” – Explore Health
Social butterfly or introvert, socializing can help. Take some time call or video chat with a friend or family member, or spend some time with your fur/feather/scaled-baby.

Clean: “Cleaning [a]lleviates [s]tress” “[T]he act of cleaning your house can be a stress management technique in itself.” “-[C]lutter can be stressful.” “The act of cleaning, if done right, can bring the added benefit of getting you a little extra exercise, which can be great for relieving stress.’ – Very Well Mind
Tidying, organizing, and minimizing can all be fulfilling, cathartic, and create a more calming home.

Stress is always present, and many of us have added stress with everything going on.
I hope the above tips help you relax in the moment and calms your stress on a regular basis.

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WWBC: Five Best Places I’ve Visited

Each Wednesday, Long and Short Reviews hosts a weekly “blog hop”. For more details on how to participate including a full list of topics for the year, please click here.

A day late!

Cruises: I’ve taken 5 day, 3 day, and even the Bahama Superfast. There’s nothing like floating on a miniature island with a bar, music, sun, and breeze. The destinations and excursions are amazing, the cruise is an experience like no other. 24 hour pizza, saltwater pools and jacuzzies, casinos, jazz lounges, shows, fancy dinners, and elevators with day-of-the-week plates because time flies when you’re having fun!

San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma – For my 21st birthday my mom took me on an amazing trip to Napa and Sonoma. We went wine tasting, explored the city, ate oysters, and had an amazing time.
I got to pick our rental car and chose a mustang convertible. Riding around with the radio blasting and the wind whirling our hair was an amazing time. We went to the Muir woods, ate at Joe’s Crab Shack for roughly five meals, smelled the sourdough bakeries and Fisherman’s Wharf, toured Alcatraz, and looked out over beautiful vineyards.

I’ve been back to San Francisco once more, when my brother lived there. We went on a Family trip. We saw more sights, did a different trail of the Muir woods, and spent amazing quality time with my family.

NY – Every time I go to New York it’s an amazing trip. I love the shows, the shopping, the food, and everything about being there. I’ve been a few times, always with my mom, and we always had a blast.

St. Louis – I saw the gateway arch, the botanical gardens, and Bruce Springsteen! My mom is a huge Bruce fan, I think she’s been to 75+ concerts, at least 50 for sure. I grew up listening to his music and jamming out to it with my mom. This was an amazing concert.

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Goals and Plans

2020 may have kicked out butts, I think it was also a swift kick in the pants.
It’s made me realize that I haven’t been pursuing my goals.

Having goals is important.
Working toward those goals is enriching an fulfilling.
Having a plan for reaching those goals is key for a path.

This is my plan. I hope it helps you with yours!

Goal CategoryGoal LengthGoalStep(s)
ProfessionalLong TermRun a hospitalWork my way up the corporate ladder within a hospital and/or healthcare system
Short TermBecome a manager of clinical staffI have my undergraduate in business and a Masters of Healthcare Administration
I am enrolled for pre-reqs for nursing
I will finish my associates of nursing, begin work as an RN, and complete my BSN
I will cross train within departments and move up into a house supervisor role
I will continue on this path
Home LifeLong TermHomeI will have a successful career to be able to afford the lifestyle that I would like and I will keep myself healthy in all the ways I can control
Short TermCareer
Cleanliness
See Career
I got a new app called Sweepy to help both of us do a better job with chores
RelationshipsLong TermSolid, stable relationshipsI will maintain solid relationships with my spouse, family, and friends
Short TermReinforce, mend, and build bridgesI am calling and texting my family and friends regularly
I created a Facebook with a fake name to try to find and get in touch with family that I have fallen out of touch with
HealthLong TermBe healthyI will maintain my health in all aspects
Short TermImprove my healthI am seeing my doctor(s) as needed for preventative care
I am using my FitBit Charge 4 and the Fitbit Coach app for physical health
I am enrolled in an Enneagram course
I am trying different mindfulness and growth journals
I am using Daylio to track my moods and write short journal entries daily
FinancialLong TermFinancial stabilityI can afford the things that I need and want as well as take care of those I care about and spoil those I love the most
Short TermLess debt
Better Career
I have an appointment with a financial advisor to discuss my current and future financial status
Better budgeting to pay off debt
Pursuing a nursing degree for both short term and long term career growth and satisfaction

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Transitioning to only accepting digital payments is a form of classism

In a world where classism plays a major part in many issues, the ability to obtain, have, and spend money CANNOT be another space where we leave human beings behind and locked out.

#MillennialLifeCrisis

Fair warning: It’s Friday night and I have been thinking a lot this evening. While I follow this train of thought in my head, I question my ability to adequately convey the thoughts.

Prior to COVID, the western world was already deeply entrenched in digital payment systems. Credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Crypto Currency, these are all forms of digital payments that have been driving the economy for several years now. This transition to digital payment mediums was only exacerbated by the pandemic when many businesses transitioned away from accepting cash because they wanted to limit their employees handling cash.

Cash carries germs. Germs could get employees sick. COVID is bad. COVID comes from germs. Therefore cash is the enemy. At least around here it has been.

I can’t tell you the number of businesses I’ve been to since March in which digital forms of payments are…

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Wicca | Naming

Where To Find Your True Name:
True names may come from any source.
Commonly, as inspiration for choosing a Wiccan name, witches use things like . . .

  • Plants, such as iris, sage, rowan
  • Elements, such as wind, rain, river, mountain, moon, star, forest
  • Gems, such as topaz, ruby
  • Animals, such as wolf, raven
  • Goddesses and Gods, such as Tara, Brighid, Artemis, Mary, Pan
  • Gifts, such as singer, dancer, weaver

But anything can provide you with your Wiccan name.
Often, a name or inspiration may come from an experience or something that catches your eye.
The intention to find a name is a great start, asking a deity for guidance, or going into nature and being open can help.

Many Witches choosing a Wiccan name that represents things that are sacred to them, that inspire them in some aspect of life, or that represents their matron Goddess.

I have chosen Luvenuis Flos meaning Young Flower.
My dad, who passed away a little over a year ago, his middle name was Young. He meant a lot to me, I miss him, and hope to find more ways to reconnect with his spirit.
I’ve always been connected to flowers. They have stages, like humans; seed, sapling, bud, blossom, reproduction. Plants that provide food and shelter, those that eat living things.

I’m Jewish. I am proud of being Jewish. I also feel there’s more out there that I can add to my life to enrich my whole self.

I love nature. I miss the stars from a childhood camp with minimal light pollution. I feel connected to a certain rock from a hike and bring it home. Sitting on the beach and listening to the waves, feeling the sand, and enjoying the sun and the wind is calming and rejuvenating. In feeling this connection, and wanting to explore it further, I have begun researching Wicca.

I’m organizing my notes in OneNote because I love how you can create sections of the notebook, when you paste from the internet it also pastes the website, and it’s easy to organize with drag-able sections and easy editing and adding of pictures and tables. Please bear in mind this is research in progress.
To view the whole Notebook, click here.

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ARC: Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

ARC from Suspense Magazine of compilation of short stories with an element of mystery and/or suspense.

I would give it 3.5 stars. It was good, some stories were amazing; well written, suspense, great story from beginning to end. Other stories were not so good, no meat no potatoes and nothing that felt new or interesting. I will say this anthology is definitely worth a read, just skip the few that don’t pique your interest.

Comes out 11/17!

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