Routine into Rituals (Or How I Live Out my 1800s Medicine Woman Fantasy)

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Last October, every part of my life was feeling hectic, and I wanted to find ways to streamline my routine so that I didn’t dread the daily tasks that will never go away. I felt like I had to accomplish 30 things just to leave the house to go to work, and frankly, I had hit a wall.

My version of Minimalism includes living with intention, creating a ritual out of a routine, and removing extraneous choices when possible. I decided that if I could find a way to enjoy (or at least not abhor) the daily tasks (putting on makeup for work, making our lunches, washing the never-ending supply of sippy cups for daycare, etc), I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed.

IMG_3996I am a huge fan of Joanna Goddard, and particularly love the Beauty Uniform series on A Cup of Jo. The feature with Holiday Kumar inspired me to buy the book Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur. It’s a book on skincare based on Ayurvedic principles, and you use ingredients that you would eat to clean, nourish, and moisturize your skin. The idea of creating skincare concoctions spoke to the part of myself that wants to be a medicine women in the 1800s, and I found myself excitedly purchasing ingredients and essential oils at a health food store in Bloomington, Indiana while visiting my in-laws over Christmas.

After reading the book and determining my skin type, I have been washing my face with a mix of almond flour, dry milk, and a pinch of sugar ever since. I put sesame oil with drops of essential oils on to moisturize, and it has made the daily task of washing my face into a ritual that I enjoy. Although I have not incorporated all of the book’s techniques into my life, I have benefited from this small step. It makes washing my face feel like a fun experiment instead of a chore. Plus, my skin feels fantastic.

Last year, on a mama brunch & shopping date with my friend, Olivia, I also bought new makeup so I could get ready for work and not have to think about what to use. I work in a corporate office, and feel best when my makeup looks natural but polished. I love Nars and MAC cosmetics, and think that they last forever .

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For choosing what to wear, editing my wardrobe and doing Un-Fancy’s Capsule Wardrobes have been so helpful. I know that everything hung up currently fits and is something that I would like to wear.

When I wash the dishes, I do two things. If I painted my nails or my skin is dry, I put some olive oil on my hands and slip on dish gloves before washing the dishes. I also started bringing my iPad in the kitchen to watch funny 30 minute shows that don’t require a lot of attention, like Blackish, Fresh Off the Boat, and Last Man Alive. It’s a fun distraction and helps me enjoy the time while I get the dishes done and our lunches packed for the next day.

About 5 months into these changes, I’m feeling much better and think I have a handle on our daily routine. I know that things will shift and you have to be flexible, but the important thing is my mindset has changed.

photo 2P.S. As a former makeup junkie, you know that I had to draw all of my daily products, right?!

The 100 Day Project

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I first heard of Elle Luna’s collaboration with The Great Discontent for The 100 Day Project a few months ago on Instagram and knew I’d love to do it. However, after recently quitting a daily drawing exercise (coincidentally, after 100 days), I worried that it would be flaky to commit to another project, put too much pressure on myself, and need to quit again.

The 100 Day Project can be anything you want to do for 100 days. You could meditate, conjugate a new verb daily, bake something, write a letter, whatever you want. The idea is that it will help you learn something new or hone a skill and hopefully make it a new habit or gain confidence.

After much introspection, I knew I had to follow the tingly/excited feeling in my gut that told me to do this. Plus, one of my favorite internet friends, Michelle Ward, says that if you’re equal parts scared and excited, you should go for it. (If you’re just scared, don’t do it!) Continue reading

Painting What I Broke & New Custom Painting Listings

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I recently painted a treasured watch for a someone to honor her father’s memory. I felt grateful that I could create something to help another person during a tough time. I thought the idea was so meaningful, and it made me want to paint something that belonged to my brother to celebrate his life.Someday I will paint my Andrew’s treasured punk rock leather jacket that he painted on, sewed patches on, and studded all by hand. I love that jacket, and it makes me smile whenever I see it at my parents’ house. It’s heavy and has the weight of a hug from afar I like to thinkIMG_0961With all the Marie Kondo “tidying” I’ve been doing in my home, it’s impossible to not think about meaning behind objects and why we choose to hold on to them or let them go. I thought this would also be a perfect way to either help someone remember or let go of an item that they loved but could no longer keep. Conversely, it could also be a painting of something that they loved that sparked joy! I don’t know if Marie Kondo would like me trying to add more to people’s homes, but if it makes them happy, who am I to stop them? Heck, it could be a painting of a pair of shoes that someone is pining over but will never be able to afford. The options are endless. Continue reading