#SparkJoy: My Intro to KonMari

Anyone who knows me or my family knows we are messy. I can't remember a time that we weren't messy, dating back to when I was a small kid. And I don't mean the fake "oh no don't look at my house, it's such a mess!" but there's only 2 socks on the floor and 3 dishes in the sink. I mean the type where an entire overhaul is needed each time people come over. And I have literally (half) joked that part of the reason I like to have events at my house is that it forces me to clean it regularly. It's a lifestyle I'm used to but hate with a great passion. I'm afraid that one day, it'll all become too much and next thing I know, I'll be surrounded by far too many things. This happened in my bedroom at my parent's house, the 1-bedroom apartment John and I shared, and now it was slowly but surely happening in our house. My attic, which is one of the biggest rooms in the house (which I have all to myself for my studio) had become packed, stuffed... HOARDED. It's a word I'm familiar with and fight to my very core. But I had all the makings of a hoarder and I was heading there on local train. Sure it made stops where I could get off, but I was riding it to the end. Like magic, as soon as I got pregnant, I had enough. Call it nesting, call it a miracle, call it whatever you please but it was a long time coming and needed to happen. 

KonMari Basics Web.jpg

I had looked around my house and noticed the clutter for the last time. Finally frustrated to the point of desperation, I purchased The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. People were always boasting about it, mainly for closet clean outs, and I always said I'd check it out "someday" but that day never came for me. Cleaning out my closet would be cool, for sure, but I needed a whole house overhaul. I was desperate, frustrated, and honestly a little scared of what my future would hold. I purchased the book after way too much deliberation and probably years of procrastinating, and I set out to read it right away. 

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The book starts with the author, Marie Kondo, explaining her history with tidying. She had been doing it all her life, with an almost obsessive need to clean. But she always failed. She explained the reasoning for this was that she was doing it all wrong. I think that for a lot of us, a messy home is equivalent to laziness. Things we know we should have done, but we prolonged it. Well, Marie Kondo was telling us that she didn't have this laziness- but she still failed at keeping her home clean. And that's because "tidy a little a day and you'll be tidying forever". I won't get into too many specifics about the book, because honestly it's a short, easy read and I think that she does the very best job of explaining it. But I know that reading her 100% success rate had me hooked from the very beginning. If I did this process and did it RIGHT, I could have a clean home by the end of it too. 

Putting the book into practice

I decided to read the book before attempting to clean any part of my house. Having been a borderline hoarder and shopaholic all my life, I wanted to do this once, the right way. I wanted to change my life. 

I didn’t realize the impact the book had on me (before even cleaning a single thing!!) until I had a stressed-out crying session. I was stressed about a whole bunch of things, and in my husband’s attempt to console me, he had only made it worse. A few tears turned into full-on bawling. And I shouted something like, “you don’t understand! There’s just so much I need to do and I feel the weight of it all on me! I feel like I just can’t get anything done!” And it hit me... I needed to do things in my business, yes, but I also majorly needed to clean my home. And the thought of just how badly I needed to clean my home was weighing on me to the point of exhaustion. I knew this, but it’s like for the first time I actually realized it in a way that could spark change. I had finally had a breakthrough: I’m really freakin tired of being a slob, and living a life overall that I’m unhappy with. This was my start. 

As I laid in bed that night, I began to think of all the other times I felt this feeling without understanding it. I thought of all those times I was about to do something (with excitement, I might add!) before realizing I hadn’t finished something else. I couldn’t even go up and work in my attic studio, and for a good reason- all my unfinished projects, all my abandoned hobbies, all my clutter, was literally... physically... preventing me from advancing. And I thought to myself, what sparks less joy than going up to make some magic while surrounded by your failures. Of course my studio didn’t bring out the best in me. Instead of showing myself the best, all my accomplishments and the things I loved, I was crippling myself with clutter, and doubt, and neglect. These were not the feelings I wanted to invoke. Not in my studio, not in my home, and surely not in my life. I had to make changes. And I had to do it soon. 

Slow Progress

I'm now about 3 months into the KonMari method and I have to say I fell off the wagon a little bit. I know that procrastination is my biggest weakness, but I had somehow managed to procrastinate this process even further. It's funny, because you often don't notice the passage of time until you look back and realize just how much has gone by. Just like clutter. You don't realize just how much there is until you literally can't function with it anymore. I've been meaning to write this blog post since April and I'm just now getting to it. I am tired of sitting idly by, doing things that don't serve me. I am going to be proactive and set goals for myself and achieve them. And I hope that you guys can join me in doing so!

Join Me! Your Homework

If you want to join me on this insane process of cleaning my house, I urge you to buy The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I only fully used the KonMari method in one room (my closet) but I gotta say that for the past 3 months, it worked. And for those of you thinking that you have a whole family or a partner that makes a mess and needs to contribute, she covers this in her book as well. I'm going to pop in here more often with before and afters, advice on my journey to a clean home, and hopefully an incredible home reveal by the end of the year. With Baby Sunshine coming at the end of September, this is no time to push this off any longer. And for once in my life, cleaning sounds WAY better than procrastinating. And that feels amazing.

So, tell me about your struggles. Have you tried cleaning before but failed? Do you truly hate cleaning? Are you messy, a hoarder, or just really great at hiding your mess? Let me know in the comments below!

29 Goals For This Year

Exactly three weeks ago, I turned 29 years old. That’s one year away from 30! Despite the fact that I feel like I accomplished a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do so far (mostly through stubbornness and perseverance) I feel like I could have done more in my life. One thing I’ve never been good at is making goals for myself. I have lots of ideas but never really plan it out so that anything actually happens. That means a lot of wishing, and not so much achieving. Since we’re throwing a baby into the mix this year, and technically that makes me a real adult now, I figured it was time for some goal setting and accountability! 

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Back in 2016, I created a list of 27 wishes for my 27th birthday. I went back and checked out how many I achieved, but it wasn’t great! My goals weren't quantifiable, so it's hard to determine what was "done" and what was not.

I made a list of things I hope to achieve this year, separated out by category. I’ll update this as the year goes on and tasks get completed. And, hopefully by this time next year I’ll have 30 brand spankin’ new goals. 

Home

  • De clutter the whole house (and actually keep it that way)

  • Finish fully decorating at least 3 rooms (initial thoughts- nursery, kitchen, attic)

  • Make the most of what we have- diy instead of buy

  • Make the bed every day

  • Make the craft room/attic a place I actually want to work in

Business 

  • Grow the blog into a lifestyle resource (DONE)

  • Launch an e-course by June 30 (DONE- but it launched in August!)

  • Launch a (successful) shop (I shut mine down since it wasn’t producing- sad but it’s ok! Bigger and better things ahead)

  • Make over $25k income with the blog (HAH. I wish! Hoping 2019 will be my year!)

  • Donate to more causes I believe in

  • Get published in a magazine

  • Attend Alt Summit

Family

  • Be the best mom I can be (DONE- a work in progress!)

  • Spend more time with my family without a phone or screen

  • Take a monthly drive to a new place

  • Take our first official family vacation (DONE- while I was pregnant we went to Colorado, Bermuda, and the Hamptons!)

Life

  • Go on more adventures

  • Finish what I start (DONE- goal setting has become a priority and really helps)

  • Do crafts or paint “just because” at least once a month

  • Make more of an effort on personal fitness (2x week)

Finances

  • Pay off our credit cards (DONE-ish. Mine are paid off, still woking on the joint cc!)

  • Spend less, save more- at least $2k this year (DONE but then I had to pay my cc so it’s gone now! Seeing as how I’m currently unemployed, seems unlikely it’ll go back up)

  • Create a budget and stick to it

Self

  • Spend more time on my appearance (DONE- I’ve been straightening my hair and it helps!)

  • Make an effort to dress better (at least 3 days/week) (HAH- with being pregnant and then having a baby, this was a bit silly :P)

  • Practice mindfulness and yoga (at least once a week) (DONE-ISH. I don’t do yoga but I’m thankful every day.

  • Remember to take a break and not be a workaholic (DONE! Pregnancy + a baby helped)

  • Stop procrastinating (DONE! Working so hard on this too)

  • Don’t let fear stand in my way & step outside my comfort zone (Work in Progress)

Some of these might be hard to achieve but I’m hoping that if I work hard at it, I can at least come close to achieving these goals. I’m also hoping that all these goals are kinda cumulative. That working out will make me take the time to dress well. That dressing well will give me confidence to achieve my financial goals. That achieving my financial goals will lead to working on my home and family goals. So on and so forth :) 

What’s on your goals list for this year? How do you actually achieve these things in your life? What’s the best way to plan? I need some help! Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Home: Colorful Bar Decor

Earlier this week, I showed you how to make easy and affordable book art. Today, I wanted to show you how I styled my bar! We've had this piece of furniture since we lived at our small apartment, so it held all our drinking glasses and acted as an entry table. Now that we have a larger home, it's only the bar. It's been a bit neglected, so I wanted to spruce it up after I added our artwork. 

*This post contains affiliate links

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

We bought our bar at Home Goods, but I found similar ones herehere and here. I wanted to set up my bar so that it would feature all my favorite items, while still being really colorful and simple to use. You don't really want to cover it in junk that needs to be removed every time you want to make a drink, right? 

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

I started by using my zebra tray for a drink station. I added some cute cactus glasses and my adorable confetti shaker. I love paper straws, since they are more colorful and better for the environment. I added some of my faves for easy access, and stored them in a tall shot glass/champagne flute. I put the cups on my cute glitter coasters and added painted animal and disco ball drink stirrers. I also featured my adorable Life is the Bubbles champagne flute that's handmade and oh so cute!

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

Since there was a random empty spot in the middle, I needed something with height that didn't block the light switch. I decided to add some fun and colorful books. I don't really read these books too often (if at all) so I thought they would look nice featured on the bar instead of stuffed on my bookshelf for a change. I also added my painted sketch book that I use a lot to sketch blog post ideas, home decor ideas, etc. It added some color and pizzazz to the whole thing.

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

In the corner, I featured some of my favorite liquors (or are they liqueurs?) and my favorite drinking glass, a pink ombre wine glass (similar). I had two but one sadly broke, so it's extra special to me now haha. Some Polar seltzers as mixers help guests to serve themselves, while fake flowers add some elegance without any upkeep.

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

I placed these items on an extra placemat I had from my dining table, and a C (for Cardona) statue thingy that I usually put on my entry table. I thought it looked really elegant amongst all the colorful bar items. For a finishing touch, I added my pineapple garland to add a bit of whimsy to the space.

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

To fill in the gaps, I gathered some random decor items from my home. I had these fake potted plants from an Easter DIY so I added them in for some color. I love these candles that I got from Ikea so I added those as well. Some appropriately themed napkins added a finishing touch and an extra pop of color.

Add a pop of color to your bar decor! Click to see how I styled mine for everyday use.

If you want to have a bar in your home for parties but don't have room for a permanent piece of furniture, I highly recommend this foldable bar cart. It's really compact, sturdy and it works indoor and out! It's really versatile and I love mine. It's also a great add-on for bigger parties.

Do you have bar cart at home? How do you style it? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY Affordable Book Art

As I mentioned in my last post, I've got a serious lack of artwork in my home! I wanted to find some cute and colorful cocktail-related images for above my bar, but everything was either cheesy or expensive. Also, the space is a weird size- there's a light fixture above and a light switch below, so I only had about 2 feet in between for art. I had a book of cocktails that I rarely used, which had some GORGEOUS photos inside. That's when it hit me- why hide the images in the book, when I could display them proudly on the wall?! I went to Michael's to pick up some cute and simple white frames with a mat so the images would take up enough space while also "popping" against the frame. I'm sooo happy with the result that I decided to show you guys exactly how I did it.

Got a spot that needs some artwork? Why not save some money and use some artwork from your books?! It's affordable and easy as can be. Click for the full how-to.

The best part is that you can use any type of book or magazine that you have. My suggestions? HGTV books and magazines for cool and colorful homes, Cooking Magazines or Recipe Books with tasty recipes for the kitchen, and Artwork Books and Magazines for the rest of the home. Even National Geographic would be great with its artistic animal photos!

*This post contains affiliate links

You will need: 

Frame (from Michaels, similar here)
Books (here)
 

Directions:

Got a spot that needs some artwork? Why not save some money and use some artwork from your books?! It's affordable and easy as can be. Click for the full how-to.
  1. Flip through your book or magazine to find your favorite images. Tear them out as close to the spine as you can.
  2. Remove the back of your frame and take out the placeholder image and the mat.
  3. My mat was double layered white and gray, so I carefully pulled off the gray one from underneath to leave only the white one. It worked perfectly!
  4. Position your artwork within the mat, and tape in place if needed.
  5. Place the mat and artwork into the frame, and close up the back. Make sure there is no dust or hairs on the inside of the glass before you do!
Got a spot that needs some artwork? Why not save some money and use some artwork from your books?! It's affordable and easy as can be. Click for the full how-to.

I mean... how cute does this artwork look?! This is such an affordable way to add some artwork to your home, especially if you have gorgeous books that you occasionally look at but don't use. This way, everyone can see the beauty within- right there on the walls! I also styled my bar with some really cute, colorful stuff. That blog post is coming later this week, so stay tuned!

Are you planning to create your own book art for your home? Let me know what you plan to use in the comments below!

DIY Colorful Abstract Artwork

Nothing makes a house a home quite like artwork. It really completes the look and helps to show some personality. Unfortunately, I've got a whooooole lot of empty space on my walls, and I really want to change that! Or, I guess fortunately... since now I get to have some fun with artwork! For starters, I made this super easy abstract artwork using a spare canvas I had and some paint. It was basically free! The best part about this type of art is that you can really get creative and free by painting any way you like! For those that want a similar look to mine, here are the steps that I took.

Create easy abstract art with just a flick of your paintbrush! Click for the full how-to.

You will need:

Canvas Panels (here)
Paints (similar here)
Metallic gold paint (here)
Brushes (similar here)
Newspaper or similar to cover workspace

Directions:

Abstract Art Painting Collage.jpg

 

  1. Using a large paintbrush, start painting thick lines of your first color. I went from light to dark, since it covered better. I tried to cover as much of the canvas as I could the first time around.
  2. Using a thinner paintbrush, paint smaller strokes of all the colors once again. This is a good time to try to cover any blank spots.
  3. Once I painted all the thinner lines, I went over them again lightly with a dry brush to “blend” the colors and make it less streaky. 
  4. Using a medium thickness brush, paint on some white paint to lighten up the whole look. Be sure to have enough on the brush so that you’re adding some white, not just smearing around the paint already on there.
  5. Add more thin strokes of color to reduce the giant white streaks, then grab a wide brush for your gold accent.
  6. Paint on your gold strokes, then add more white if you want it to be a little lighter once again. And you’re done!

To hang up your canvas, add a hanging string using glue or purchase some inexpensive 3M Velcro. You can also put it in a frame!