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Notes from isolation: Week 2

Saturday, March 28, 2020
It's amazing how many dishes you make when eating all your meals at home.

Dining room chairs from the 80's do not make good office chairs. Old French textbooks help raise your monitor to still-terrible-but-not-as-bad height.

Social media is a godsend. Most of my friendships were already long-distance and so I've always relied on social media and texting/chat to keep up with people, but now more than ever it's been nice to see what other people are up to.

Vlogs are my solace. I could watch people putter around at home for days.

I'm so lucky to work somewhere that's relatively stable, even when our industry (travel) is in shambles.

I feel rebellious going outside for walks.

Cooking is a lot less arduous when you have super simple meals.

My cats are annoying. And adorable and lovely.

No commute is amazing. Even if my commute is usually only about 7 minutes.

My house has never been tidier.

I should call my grandma more.

I certainly think I should do a lot more things than I actually want to do.

Reading is hard to do right now. My brain just can't concentrate, even though I'm normally quite a reader.




Counting my stuff


So, true to my pattern as of late, I'm back with another report on an experiment I did thanks to Hannah Louise Poston.

Hannah recently started her new project for the year which she is calling her year of less stuff. The whole goal of which is to end 2020 with less things than she started with.

Plain and simple.

Part of doing her project entails counting and then sharing those total counts of everything she currently owns in each of her self-assigned categories. After watching all her videos and hearing her talk about how surprising and motivating the process was, I wanted to give it a try myself.

I chose to count my makeup, skincare, nail and hair products, perfumes, jewelry and clothing.

Now, to be completely honest, I'm motivated to try this, but also thoroughly lazy. And for that reason, I didn't include all of my clothes because I couldn't be bothered to go up into the attic and unpack all the spring/summer clothes I have stashed away in my suitcases. Fortunately for this experiment, I am actually very short on warm-weather clothes so I know that whatever that total may be, it won't be anything I'd feel is inappropriate. Win for the lazy column! I also excluded my loungewear because, again, I have very little and didn't care to dismantle the cupboard it's all stored in.

Let's dive into my totals!

Makeup (79 items)
3 foundations
3 primers
4 concealers
1 powder
9 blushes (4 in a palette)
2 brozers (1 in a palette)
3 highlighters (1 in a palette)
6 mascaras
1 contour
2 brow products
1 eye primer
3 eyeshadow palettes
2 single eyeshadows
6 eyeliners
3 lip masks
4 lip balms
3 lip pencils
2 lip liners
1 lip gloss
10 lip sticks
10 brushes

Skincare (60 items)
3 oils
8 masks
13 sheet masks
5 moisturizers (4 backups)
2 cleansers (2 backups)
2 sunscreens
7 actives (5 backups)
6 body care products
3 self-tanners

Nail products (20 items)
2 removers
18 polishes

Hair products (23 items)
23 products

Perfumes (16 items)
16 perfumes

Jewelry (46 items)
9 necklaces
17 pairs of earrings
2 ear cuffs
10 bracelets
4 rings
1 hair pin
1 barette
2 watches

Clothing (210 items)
55 pairs of socks
56 pairs of undies
7 pairs of jeans
2 fabric pants
14 sweaters
3 cardigans
1 blazer
6 shirts
8 long sleeve t-shirts
7 t-shirts
8 dresses
1 jumpsuit
4 tank tops
4 shorts
7 bras
7 workout leggings
4 sports bras
2 workout crop tops
1 workout jacket
2 workout long sleeve pullovers
6 workout tank tops
5 workout shorts

Shoes (26 items)
1 tall boot
2 ankle boots
1 snow boots
4 sneakers
1 loafers
1 gym shoes
2 hiking boots
1 oxfords
5 sandals
1 flats
4 heels
3 gardening/outdoor shoes

Phew. Got all that?

So, in total, that's 480 items.

If you had asked me to guess, I definitely would not have guessed anything close to 500 items. I probably would have estimated I had somewhere around 250 to 300 items. That's kind of the point of this exercise though, right?

My initial thoughts go immediately to the socks and undies. Clearly one person and her two feet and one bum does not need that many pairs, especially because I know so many of those items are de-elasticated, pushing 10 years old or not something I'd pay money for now (tons of my undies are free from old Victoria's Secret coupons). I can very easily downsize those categories, make my socks and undies drawer a lot more easily manageable and feel next to no loss.

Similarly, I have a ton of beauty products that are far too old to be holding onto, but haven't been tossed yet just because they're out of sight and out of mind. I know for a fact that I've only purchased 2 mascaras in the last year, so those other 4 are probably old enough to have been with me since my bachelorette life. Yikes. Nail polish is the same. 18 polishes and I can only recall purchasing 1 of those within a reasonable timeframe. Time to get out of my life.

Another category of items is the "I used to use this a lot but now I no longer do" category. Lip products like lipstick, liners, pencils, glosses or balms top this list. My lips have been far too dry to wear any of this for years now. I also used to wear earrings a lot more often, but these days I've been living in my Mejuri mini hoops and only wearing a few other pairs a couple times a year. I need to pare down my collection to the stuff I absolutely love and face the fact that I just don't get glammed up that much anymore. I also seem to have a lot of things that I thought I would use when I bought them, but it as it turns out, I never actually did. Foundations, most of my hair products, bracelets, heels -- all of these things have been mostly wunworn or unused so I should re-home them.

Lastly I have several categories of things that I love but that I simply have far too many of. Perfumes. Who needs 16 perfumes? Granted several of those are sample sizes, but still. I need to use them up, or pass them on. They're doing no good just getting older and laying around my drawers. Self tanners are another thing. I have 3, and while I like them all, I only need one. I'm very pale and I'm fine with that so having one around seems reasonable for those odd times I want a bit more of a glow, but that's plenty.

Now that I've done all this counting and really examined what I have, I definitely want to follow up with a good declutter. For the things I still like and want to keep I think I'm going to work on using them up in a focused manner. This way nothing will go to waste and I'll get my money's worth out of things, but I'll still be able to reduce the amount of crap I'm keeping around me. Luckily (?) we've got all kinds of time on our hands right now so this will give me something to focus on. 

I hope this was at least mildly entertaining or enlightening to you and that you're staying safe and home. If you count any of your things, let me know how it goes for you in the comments!

2020 Bullet Journal setup

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Ok so somehow it's March.

And the whole world has shutdown.

It's fine, everything's totally cool.

Regardless, hello! It's been awhile. Here I am. Back to talk about my Bullet Journal, once again.  Even though we're practically done with the first quarter, I thought I'd take a second to share my Bullet Journal setup for the year. As you all know from previous posts in years prior, I start a new Bullet Journal every year. I always have a few annual-level pages that I include prior to the January pages, and this is the post that I ramble on about them to you. So, without further ado, enjoy!



Firstly, my future log. I don't think I've changed this layout since 2017. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, etc. Luckily the Leuchtturm medium notebook has exactly enough dots across to make the whole year fit in 4 pages, with 3 months per page. It's simple, not toooooo terrible to write out every year, and lets me highlight important dates each month above any run-of-the-mill stuff like meetings, dentist appointments, etc.


Next up, a reflection of the prior year. I started doing this back in 2018 and talked a bit more about it here. In short, I list my highs, lows, accomplishments, failures, good habits, bad habits, my best time investment and my worst. Like I talked about in my last post on my 2020 goals, I start here as a reference point for how things are going now, then turn my focus to the future and how I'd like things to be ideally, leading into the next page -- my vision spread.

My vision page is literally just random idealizations of different facets of life. No planning, just dreaming. To be quite honest, I struggle with this. I'm more a live in the moment kind of person and definitely don't envision my future easily, or have very clear visions of things I desperately want. Ambition is definitely not one of my Gallup strengths. But I do it anyway, and even if some of those "dreams" are small, it's good practice.


In theory, from all this dreaming would come a 5 year plan. I wrote out a spread for a 5 year plan. And then I promptly ignored it. Maybe this won't make the cut next year. 😂

After the bleak and empty future I've laid out for myself, we have my 2020 goals. Again, theoretically these goals would be things that would get you closer to your five year goals, but as I apparently have none, my 2020 goals will just keep me alive. I think that's pretty par for the course of this year. I've already outlined my goals here if you want to go check them out.




Okay, enough with all the goal setting. Now we're onto trackers and whatnot. First up, my finances tracker. I've been tracking my 401k and IRA contributions in a page like this for a couple years (nerrrrddddddd), but this year we have a new addition -- a simply tracker to make sure we do our little budgeting activity each pay period. Since I got married last year my own budgeting process has changed and subsequently this is the first year I haven't had a budgeting page each month in my Bullet Journal. Instead, this little guy appears.

One to track my career goal of reading 4 tech books and doing one learning tutorial a month over various topics, one to track my period (which I apparently can't spell), one to track when I do workouts and yoga, and a chore tracker. I think you can figure those ones out pretty easily.

Lastly I have two spreads to keep track of some thoughts over the course of the year. I have a spread to write down any gift ideas I have throughout the year in the hopes that holiday time won't be so stressful (lol, right) and that someday I'll turn into that person that just gives gifts spontaneously throughout the year. And finally I have a page to note what kinds of things worked well in my wardrobe each season, what I might be missing and what is just not working out at all.

And that's that! My 2020 Bullet Journal annual spreads. Hope you enjoyed and that you're all staying safe during these crazy, scary times! See you next time.