Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Minimalist Makeup Collection

Today I wanted to share my minimalist makeup collection with you. As someone who loves makeup but also loves having a minimalist home, knowing how much to have is all about finding balance. While there are definitely smaller makeup collections out there, this is size that really works for me. And it's certainly less than a lot of beauty vloggers out there!

I hope you enjoy a peak into my current makeup collection. It's not perfect but I'm pretty happy with it's current size.

Do you have a smaller or large makeup collection? What's one makeup product that you can't live without?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Minimalism Struggles: I want to Buy all the things

Making such a big change as embracing minimalism comes with it's ups and downs. Recently, I've been struggling a bit with wanting to buy all the things! I thought I'd become immune to the lure of consumerism but the shopping bug was biting. I thought I'd sit down with you all for a chit chat about what has helped me resist mindless shopping and make sure my purchases are good ones.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016


It's probably going to be pretty quiet on the blog for the rest of the week and next week. Hurricane Matthew looks like it's headed right for us and, at best, we'll be without power, internet or cell service for a bit. If there is any posting going on, it'll probably be on Instagram (@stephandless).

I'll be back once things are up and running again to let you all know that I'm still here!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bible Journaling Kit Unboxing (October)

I'm so excited for the October kit! It looks so adorable and very me! Let's get unboxing!

Monday, September 26, 2016

What do Minimalists spend their money on?

One of the key ideas of minimalism is consuming less. When you buy less, you have less and, logically, less money is going out the door. So what do minimalists spend their money on if not on stuff?

1.  Saving, Paying off Debt and Investing

The average American is carrying a pile of consumer debt on top of student loans, mortgages and car loans. Instead of buying new stuff, you can use your money to pay for things you've already bought! In fact, financial downsizing leads quite a few people to minimalism when they realize how much money they waste on junk every year!

If you've got debt under control, there's always building an emergency fund and saving for retirement.

2. Experiences

Many minimalists love to travel and spend money on other experiences. Even if you can't pack up your belongings in a back pack and travel Europe (though that would be lovely!), you can put your extra funds towards travel and experiences.

I'm a fan of experiences as gifts too if you are thinking ahead to a minimalist Christmas. Why not do a fun activity with a loved one or take the family away for a weekend instead of trying to find gizmos and gadgets for everyone on Black Friday? Those memories you'll make are priceless and, bonus, take up no space.

3. Higher Quality Items

When you buy less, you can afford to purchase better. Personally, I only buy jeans from one company and purses from another. I know that I can count on their quality and design. I'd rather have one nice purse from my preferred brand that will last for years than a whole pile of crappy purses that will need to be tossed at the end of the season.

You might also want to upgrade other areas of your life like eating healthier or picking up a new hobby.

4. Having a Better Work Life Balance

Instead of spending that extra money, some minimalists choose to downsize their income to fit their new set of needs. I've seen people start their own businesses, volunteer, be able to take a part time job or quit a job they hate because they no longer need the extra income. Even though this leap may seem like going the wrong direction, these have traded money for more time, more freedom, more passion and more rewarding opportunities.

Even if you don't leave your job, minimalism can give you the boldness to set better work life boundaries because more money for more stuff is no longer the end goal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Open Letter to Vintage

This post was inspired by Courtney of Be More with Less. She did a decluttering challenge on her Facebook page over the summer and one of the day's tasks was to write a breakup letter to your stuff. I decided to write my breakup letter to a certain category of stuff that has been a huge part of my life but now I'm ready to let it go.

Dear Vintage,

Thank you for being such a huge part of my life over the last six years. You have helped me to grow so much. You made me fee beautiful, helped me find friends and become more out going. You helped me learn new things and challenged me to do things I never thought I could do.

But it is time to let go. You have become a costume and an obligation instead of a joy. You make me feel young, immature and out of place. I have grown out of you. You are still beautiful and I may use you from time to time but it is time to remove you from my everyday life. It is time to let go.

I'm trading you in for more time, more energy and more comfort. I want the freedom of owning less, making less and consuming less. I want to be more approachable and more authentic. I need the freedom to move on to other things that I am more interested in.

My house is not a museum. You are not my responsibility. I am letting you go.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Will Konmari make you a Minimalist?

Isn’t that a question! Well, before I can even attempt to answer it, I want to set out what I mean by “Konmari” and “minimalist”.

Konmari is a Japanese decluttering method created by Mari Kondo and outlined in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Possessions are subdivided into categories. For each category of items, you round up all of those items from around your home and pile them in one massive pile on the floor. Then you touch each item and ask if it “sparks joy”. If so, keep it. If not, it goes. Once you’ve worked your way through each category, you’ll have touch each object in your home and then you can organize what’s left.

I’ve been through the decluttering process once and am currently working through it again and I can say from personal experience that you will jettison a lot of stuff during this process! It truly is life changing!!

What a minimalist is a bit harder to tie down. Typically, you think of bare white walls and a mostly empty home. Konmari will not turn you into this kind of minimalist unless almost nothing in your home sparks joy. A more general definition would be a person who strives to live with a minimal amount of things. (The exact amount of items will depend on the person and their life.)
Using this definition, Konmari will not make you a minimalist. Sparking joy and having a minimal amount of items aren’t mutually exclusive but also don’t go hand in hand. For most of us, many, many items will spark joy so we’ll end up with a decluttered home full of things we love after Konmari rather than with a minimalist home.

My personal favorite definition of a minimalist, however, is a person who is intentional about the things in their life. This resonates with the Konmari ideas of keeping only what sparks joy (intention in choosing objects) and by the end of the process, you will have gone through each item in your home and they will now “intentionally” be there. Where Konmari fails this definition of a minimalist is that there is no mention of changing the inflow of items to the home only increasing the outflow. Also, most minimalists would agree that sparking joy is not a good enough bench mark for whether an item stays or goes.

In my own experience with Konmari, I found that while I had hit my spark joy click point, I still felt like I had too much stuff! That’s one of the reasons I decided to do Konmari again. Minimalism really changes your relationship with things and goes beyond the bounds of Konmari decluttering. It’s really on a whole different level.

So, the real answer is no, Konmari will not make you a minimalist.

Having said that, I do recommend the Konmari process. It is a great way to declutter your home-wannabe minimalist or not. If you are looking to start a minimalism journey, it’s a perfect jumping off point. While there are plenty of other decluttering methods out there, Konmari really shines is in going by category rather than room so you really have to face how much of each type of item you really do own, in the idea of spark joy as a requirement (why do we keep so much stuff we don’t even like??) and in the organization of categories from easiest to hardest so you don’t get bogged down with the hard stuff at the beginning.

If you are looking for a well-organized, rapid process for decluttering your home, Konmari is for you. If you are seeking a minimalist life, you’ll have to continue to dig a bit deeper to find your “enough” below all the stuff that “sparks joy”.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Project Pan 2016: Update #1

I know that I just announced my project pan for 2016 a few weeks ago but being the type a person that I am, I wanted to get my updates on some kind of regular schedule and posting them at the beginning/end of the month seemed to be a good place to do it. If you missed my intro video (which was actually my Konmari round 2 of makeup as well), I'll recap here. I genuinely like all of the products that I currently have and don't want to pitch any more. The problem is that I also want to get some new products but I don't want to grow my makeup stash that much. The solution: pan some stuff!

I decided to pan a few things that I wanted to replace with new products. I'm hoping to use some of them up completely and hit pan on a few others. The products are as follows: Benefit POREfessional deluxe sample, Garnier BB Cream, Red Apple Lipstick in Coral Crush and the Tarte Be Matte-nificent palette. This is my first panning challenge so I didn't want to overload myself. If I finish any of the full sized products, I'll probably throw something else in.

Let's see how I did!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit Unboxing (September)

I'm so excited to unbox September's Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit! Yay! The past few months have featured very fine artsy artists but this month is very simple and graphic. One of the things that I love about these kits is that they challenge me to try different styles or color combinations that I wouldn't normally try. It's so fun!

Speaking of fun, I really enjoyed working through the I am Strong devotional from August. I decided to journal in the devotional booklet and then carry that idea into my bible or praise book the next day if I felt really inspired. My bible is getting really full and that allowed me to create outside of my bible and also to spend more time thinking about each devotional.

Ok, on to the pretties!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Skin Care

More Konmari! Yay decluttering! I'm not one to have a ton of personal care/skin care items and I actually want to improve my skin care routine this year but I still figured I had some old stuff I could get rid of. What is it about beauty products that make us want to keep them even if they have gone bad, we didn't like them or we haven't used them in months?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Minimalist Moving Tips

Moving is not something that most people look forward to. You may get excited at the thought of leaving your old place or venturing somewhere new but the actual process of boxing up things, moving them and then unboxing them is no fun. Today I'm going to share my tips to help you have an easier, more minimalist move.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Makeup (Project Pan 2016 Intro)

It's time to talk makeup! When I went to go Konmari my makeup collection again, I didn't find anything I just wanted to trash. Even though I was a bit bored with the things I had, I did like them all and didn't want to just trash a bunch of stuff so I could go buy new stuff.

Then I found the world of makeup panning on Youtube! Hitting pan on makeup is when you use up enough of it to see the bottom of the container or pan. Panning projects aim to hit pan on makeup or completely use something up. I thought this would be a great way to deal with those consumables that are still perfectly good but are still taking up space.

So I'm embarking on a panning project for the remainder of 2016 to use up some old makeup. I've picked the Tarte beMattnificent palette to pan as well as two Red Apple lipsticks, my Garnier BB cream and one deluxe sample of Benefit's Porefessional primer. As I finish these products, I can then replace them with new things so I'm clearing out my stash, getting to try some new fun products and keeping my makeup stash from growing too much.

This will also help me keep from shopping my using my favorite minimalist shopping technique-waiting. By waiting, I often find that I don't really want the thing I thought I needed. I may find that I have something else already that will work in it's place or that I don't need it at all. If I still want to make the purchase, I have plenty of time to do some research which will help me have the best chance of making a good purchase.

Currently, I'm looking at purchasing one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes (either the original or 3 ) and possibly one more colorful palette. I know lots of fun things will come out over the holidays so waiting until the holiday season to purchase will allow me to take those options into consideration. I'm wanting to replace the coral lipsticks with a nude and a fun colored lipstick. The BB cream will get replaced with some sort of foundation product as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Home Decor

There's something about a good piece of art that makes me go weak at the knees. My husband also enjoys art so we've amassed a rather eclectic collection of pieces over the years. In this round of Konmari, I wanted to limit our art collection to the pieces that we really loved and wanted to display in our new apartment. So let's Konmari home decor and art!

Monday, August 8, 2016

On Downsizing

Moving week is here! Moving can be so stressful but it doesn't have to be. Next week, I'll be sharing some minimalist moving tips to make your move go more smoothly, but today I wanted to talk about about downsizing.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Books

I'm rolling right along with Konmari. This week, I'm tackling books. I adore books! Growing up, you would never find me without one. But adulting leaves a lot less time for reading. While I do have more time for reading since embracing minimalism, I'm still out to let go of a few more books.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit Unboxing (August)

It might seem a bit odd that a minimalist would do an unboxing video but minimalism is about making time and space for the things that really matter to you. Bible journaling has become an important part of my faith journey so I'm making space and time for it! Buying these its helps me budget (both in volume of stuff and monetarily) how much I spend on Bible journaling. So let's get started!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zero Waste Baby Steps

There are two approaches to making changes in your life- a huge jumping off the cliff, all at once, no looking back approach and baby steps. When I got into minimalism and found The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I definitely took the first approach. Bye bye clutter! But that's not the only way to do things.

Along my minimalism journey, I discovered Zero Waste. It's really another sort of minimalism but this time you minimize your waste. Sending less stuff to the landfill? Sign me up! But life is pretty crazy right now and I'm still in the throws of a minimalist growth spurt so I knew I wasn't going to stop using my trash can overnight.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer 2016 Project 333

Clothing seems to be a category that a lot of people start with on their minimalist journey. I'm no exception! At the beginning of 2015, I had a huge, bursting closet full of things I never wore. Being a seamstress, I had a difficult time letting go of things that I'd made. Once I got over that, I was able to let go of quite a few things.

In the summer of 2015, I found Project 333 and started shrinking my wardrobe even more. Project 333 is a capsule wardrobe plan where you choose 33 items of clothing and accessories and wear them for 3 months. Included in your 33 items are jewelry, shoes and purses but you can ignore underwear, work out clothes, jewelry you never take off (like a wedding ring) and any sort of uniform you may need for work.

I did a few rounds of Project 333 but then decided to take a break for a while. When June rolled around, I decided to start another one. So here's what my wardrobe consists of from June 1-August 31.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Kitchen (Nonfood)

Oh, the kitchen! One of the more dreaded categories of Konmari because it's so huge! Last go around, I subdivided the kitchen category into several smaller subcategories. Since I did such a good job of streamlining the kitchen in my first round of Konmari, I decided that I only needed two subcategories this go around-food and nonfood.

This week, I tackled nonfood items-dishes, utensils, small appliances, pots, pans and anything else you can't eat. I really wanted to do a great job in the kitchen since our new kitchen is going to be tiny, like almost tiny house tiny but with full sized appliances. Storage is going to be at a premium so only the essentials are coming!

I'll be coming back to food items much closer to my actual moving date although we are trying to finish off between now and then.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

His Love Endures Forever

Sometimes, my bible journaling pages are inspired by my daily quite time or by powerful messages. But sometimes, that dries up. And that's when I love to turn to my faith based products for inspiration. This page started with one of the Illustrated Faith verse cards that come in the monthly kits and a cute little flag that says love. These pointed me to Psalm 118 and a reminder that His love endures forever!

I pulled out the rest of my color palette from some other cardstock pieces and this page was all set to go. Unfortunately, you could really see the pink paint and black in from the page behind.

So I pulled out some white acrylic paint and applied that down the margin of my page. It didn't 100% block out the design from the other side but it really toned it down so that I could focus on designing this page.

Then it was time to lay out all of my pieces! Starting to look so cute!

I used this really cute stamp set from a new to me company, the Latina Crafter. She makes darling faith based stamps in English and Spanish! I love that this opens up Bible journaling to a whole new arena of people! This cute alphabet is perfect for adding those longer words.

In the end, the page is really simple but the sentiment is so powerful. It's so easy to take God's love for granted but it is so wonderful. He loves us, just the way we are and He'll go on loving us past the end of time!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Sewing Patterns

Crafters are not the sort of people you would expect to be minimalists, but they can be! One of the secrets to being a minimalist and a creative is to curate your collections and stash of craft supplies. Being realistic about what you actually like and will use will help get your crafts under control. So I'm definitely going through my crafts again!

This week, it's sewing patterns! Since they don't take up much space, it can be tempting to keep them all but they are not all staying. In round 1, I got rid of quite a few of my sewing patterns but I still have more than I'll probably sew in my life. So let's go through them again.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Konmari Round 2: Scrapbooking and Knitting

I just adore crafting and creating! Unfortunately, most craft stashes like they'd be more at home on an episode of Hoarders rather than on Tiny House Hunters. But minimalism and crafting don't have to be opposites! I knew that my crafting supplies would need a second go through so they were high on my list of categories to do for Konmari Round 2.

Crafting supplies can be so hard to get rid of because they all seem useful. But I could use that one day! It's hard to be objective when craft supplies spark so much joy. But I read a really excellent quote by Joshua Becker in his new book, The More of Less that really helped me with this category:

"Sometimes parting with our possessions means a dream must die. .... 
Sometimes, it takes giving up the person we wanted to be in order to fully 
appreciate the person we can actually become."

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Love is a Blessing

This month, I'm working through the How He Loves devotional kit from Illustrated Faith. It's been a really awesome journey for me so far. (I may have started it a bit early.....) I never quite know what to expect from these devotionals since they are by a different author each month.

Today's devotion was centered around Psalm 85:12: "The Lord will give what is good." Junelle talks about the restoration and love that God wants to bring to our hearts. So moving! I really wanted to capture how amazing God's love makes me feel.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Why I'm Doing Konmari... Again

If you're reading this post, you've probably heard of Mari Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her decluttering method that involves only keeping things that spark joy. I've already worked through the method one time and now I'm ready to address one of her more fantastical claims. Kondo states in her book that you will only need to do her method once to have your home completely tidied or decluttered for good.

Well, I'm working through her method again! I was able to get rid of quite a bit during my first journey through the Konmari method. So much decluttering! So why am I doing it again? There are a few reasons that I'm having to disagree with Mari's assertion that once is enough.

Friday, July 1, 2016

What is Minimalism?

What comes to mind when you hear the word minimalism? Stark white walls and a mostly empty room. A young 20 something traveling the world and living out of a backpack. A tiny house on wheels. A wardrobe of black and white. A person living with only 100 items.

Back to Top