HOMEBODY BOOKSHELF | WHAT'S TO COME


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“Reading creates a sense of human fellowship…putting us in direct contact with other minds and sensibilities, it is a form of solitude which banishes loneliness.” - Eva Hoffman, How to be Bored

I’ve always thought of myself as an avid reader. Making my way through series, thumbing through pages of poetry, and drifting off to sleep before being able to properly dog-ear my page. When I started both working and attending classes full time my leisurely reads came to a halt and I started falling asleep with textbooks on my chest instead of novels, my not yet husband graciously marking my page with my pen and setting it aside for me.

An engagement, a wedding, a house purchase, on-going renovations, more school, more work, and a pregnancy later, here we are. At the beginning of 2019 one of my very few resolutions was to read more. The goal of one book per month. Carrying my love for literature into my daughter’s life is something I find to be incredibly important and I thought, how on Earth can I do that if I myself, am not reading? I entered January in full force, diverging myself at jury duty into a true story of a nomad seeking refuge in the woods of Maine. Living on the brink of society, aware of everyone else but lost to the rest of the world. Yet the ease of comforters on cold nights and take out with my husband after a long week quickly ceased my drive for finishing my first book of the year. March quickly approached and it’s not until my rambunctious pup tore the back cover off of my loaned story that I realized I still had pages to complete.

During a declutter of my, what will eventually be, home office I found a full box of books transferred over from my parents house. I have been keen on decluttering before baby and thought of it as the perfect opportunity to fuel my resolution and empty the box at the same time. I quickly finished my January selection and picked up my choice for starting April. How to be Bored by Eva Hoffman. 168 pages of self-help, included in Hoffman’s School of Life “Maintenance Manuals for the Mind” series. It seemed fitting, a book highlighting the importance of slowing down, disconnecting, and diving into the world of self awareness.

I am making my way through the pages, finding inspiration and new favorite quotes with each page. I have been finding a rhythm in my early morning which has started to incorporate a few pages along with a warm coffee. I spend some days, mornings, or evenings reading more than others but aim to fit it in where and when possible. Small books are so convenient for keeping in your bag, aren’t they? I’m still busy and I know come August I’ll only be much busier (and much more tired), but I want to take time to read more and seek guidance and escape through the stories of others.

I would love to bring my bookshelf to this page, sharing my thoughts and feelings on what I am reading and opening up the conversation. You can keep up to date on my reading progress via Goodreads as well as going forward I will be posting some of my seasonal picks along with a reflection after completing my monthly read. I hope you’ll join in, whether with my monthly picks or one of your own choosing. Let’s take a step back from our screens and starting reconnecting with our bookshelves.

xx
Kate

INTENTIONAL CONSUMERISM

 
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With the awaited arrival of August and our baby girl it’s been easy to get caught up in the market of maternity clothes, nursery must haves, and spring time revamps for our home. I strive to create a cohesive home, with pieces I not only find lovely but that are useful and bring value to our lives. Although even with minimalism intentions, I fail in more categories than one, which is fine by me from time to time but something that I believe should be recognized to avoid future buyers remorse. I have been taking a few steps recently to steer myself in the right direction and become more intentional about the items I am purchasing, their ethical backgrounds, and the need for them. I wanted to share a few idea with you to help bring a little bit more mindfulness to the forefront.

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Creating a ‘Want’ List | First and foremost, keeping a ‘want list’. Such an easy idea but one that often goes undone, the want list, wish list, whatever you prefer to name it. Whenever you stumble across an item and you think ‘I want that!’ take a second to jot it down. You can keep a small notepad in your bag or simply keep the list on the note section of your phone so you always have it with you. This will help you avoid impulse purchases. Try to revisit the list every few days, every week, or every month, whatever works for you and browse through the items you added. You’ll likely find that you won’t even remember adding half of the items you thought you wanted so badly and you’ll be able to review the items you still have on your list. For the items you find sticking around, try to be specific about what you want that item to possess. For example, I have had a pair of loafers on my list for months. Specifically soft leather, tan or black, and easily transitional from spring to fall.

Following the ‘30 Day Rule’ | This is easier said than done, I’ll admit, but it has helped me save a ton of money. You want an item and you add it to your list. Take a minimum of 30 days to really think about the item (you’ll probably forget about it after a few days), take the time to search different brands, price points, and materials to make the best choice possible, and make sure the item is useful to you in multiple aspects of your life. If after 30 days you’re still pining for the item, feel free to purchase it, as long as it’s in your budget!

Planning Ahead | Here’s where Pinterest comes in handy. Pinterest is great because you can create your own mood boards, vision boards, visual wishlists, etc. You can easily plan ahead anything using the site from your wardrobe, to dinner, to what you want your bathroom remodel to look like. Something I like to do often is go through my personal Pinterest boards and rearrange and delete items that I no longer find appealing or stimulating. By doing so regularly I can see what items really stick around and what my true style is reflecting. I like to do this for clothing, homewares, and even planning our backyard patio that we are going to start working on this spring.

Avoid Social Media | Social media has become the haven for all things tangible and intangible. You like that shirt? Just tap the Instagram photo and it’ll tell you how much it costs and send you directly to a link to purchase. In the era of bloggers galore it’s easy to get caught up in keeping up with what others are wearing, eating, and using. What is important to remember is that many of these people with thousands of followers is they often get paid to promote these products that they receive from sponsors. If you find yourself scrolling through apps and starting to feel bad about what you don’t have, take a break. Put your phone in another room, disable your apps, or whatever else you may have to do. Remember, you don’t have to follow anyone you don’t want to. If you find yourself envious or jealous of someone on social media simply unfollow them. You can always follow them again at a later time if you choose.

Quality over Quantity | Self explanatory but something that should be said in the world still surrounded by fast fashion. I know shopping quality is daunting. The price points of sustainable brands, well made clothing, and investment pieces is heart wrenching but in my experience, well worth it. Do your due diligence before purchasing and try to choose hearty fabrics when purchasing clothing that maintain their quality over time such as linen and cashmere. It may take a little more work when washing but you’ll see the item last for years to come.

BENEFITS OF INTENTIONAL CONSUMERISM

Sustainability | Where we decide to shop and use our purchasing power says a lot. By being mindful of the amount of items you choose to bring into your life you’ll help reduce emissions, textile waste, hazardous gases, and harmful dyes finding their way into our land, air, and water systems. Since the boom of more ethical and intentional consumerism, larger retailers have been starting to take notice and hop on the bandwagon by using more natural fibers, ethical working conditions, and working towards reducing their carbon footprint.

Cost Savings | Simply, it’ll save you a ton of money and help you kick impulse purchases to the curb.

Do you have any of your own tips you use to maintain mindful and intentional shopping?

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