Project 333 Update

I started Project 333 last week and have found it to be fairly easy during the work week. As mentioned in the previous post, I already have a work uniform that I adhere to, made up by me so I ensured that those items were part of my 33 items. The weekend was a little different. I longed to wear items that I haven’t worn in a long time. Items that I wouldn’t have even thought of wearing and only did because I’ve restricted myself. I think that’s the issue with these types of experiments – you don’t want things when they’re available but the second you can’t have them it’s all you want and all you think about.

I only went through a few items. I wore 3 different types of outerwear, 3 tops and one bottom. I wore 3 different types of shoes and no dresses. It’s been easy so far but one thing I realised is that I have to really be on top of washing my clothes as soon as I’m done wearing them. Being in Melbourne it rains every second day so I do tend to dry things on an indoor clothes horse and depending on the item it can take 2-3 days to completely dry but I’m sure as long as I keep on top of that, things should be fine.

I was thinking it will be interesting because when I decided to do this challenge, I don’t think I had planned to go on a holiday to the Sunshine State (QLD, Australia) where it’s usually quite warm. I don’t generally wear dresses without stockings and a jumper/jacket/cardigan but I think I’ll have to during this trip if I want to stick to the Project 333. I still have 2 items to choose so perhaps I’ll make that decision before my trip or alternatively, I may have to swap out some items for this specific trip. The problem with either of those options is that I only have one option for summer bottoms and they are the pair of shorts I already have included in my list so I’d have to go buy something else. But the point of this challenge for me was to help me work out whether I have a well rounded wardrobe so if I feel I’m missing a key summer piece or two then I’m more than happy to purchase something that fits my style.

Project 333

A few months ago I wrote a post about Project 333 where you wear 33 items for 3 months. I finally decided to take part from October – December. I will wear only 33 items (excluding underwear, socks/stockings and gym gear) for the 3 month duration. The exception being that I have an engagement party and a Christmas party to attend so I will wear items that are not part of the Project 333 and will come from my wider wardrobe. I’m looking forward to it. Initially I thought it’d be easy but October through to December in Melbourne, Australia encompasses such a wide range of temperatures and weather types that I’ll need to make sure that the items I’m choosing are practical and can be layered.

Here are the items I have chosen for the experiment.

Bottoms

  • Black Cotton On jeans
  • Stone Cotton On jeans
  • Black Asos skirt
  • Blue Jeans West shorts

Tops

  • Black Decjuba semi-sheer shirt
  • Black and white Katies short sleeve top
  • Black and white Portmans long sleeve top
  • Black and white Only long sleeve blouse
  • Black, grey and white Wayne Cooper short sleeve top
  • Cotton On black long sleeve top
  • Cotton On black singlet
  • Cotton On black t-shirt

Shoes

  • Burgundy Wittner ballet flats
  • Black Innovare heeled boots
  • Black Rollie flats
  • Tan Wittner boots
  • Berry Haviana thongs
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Wittner flats, Innovare heeled boots, Rollie flats, Wittner boots, Haviana thongs

Outerwear

  • Black Seed jumper
  • White Staff by Maff jumper
  • Blue H&M jumper
  • Black Cue jumper
  • Navy, blush and white Temp jumper
  • Grey Zara knit
  • Black and white Staff by Maff cardigan
  • Black Target faux leather jacket
  • Grey Cotton On cardigan

Dresses

  • Black ASOS long sleeve dress
  • Patterned Witchery dress
  • Black ASOS sleeveless dress
  • Black and white Kmart dress
  • Black Atmos&Here zip dress

I don’t quite have 33 items. I have 31. But I’m going to stick with the 31 to start with. I’m going to allow myself to add 2 more items during the time frame if I choose to. I don’t feel like I will need to but we will see.  I may add some other bottoms as the weather gets warmer but I’m very happy with my choices. I already have a self-appointed wardrobe for work so I’m actually giving myself a bit more to play with now.

I’m on day 3 so far and it’s been fairly easy. Day 1 was spent in pj’s as it was a Sunday and yesterday I wore my Rollies, black jeans, black long sleeve top and the Zara knit. Today I’m wearing Rollies, black jeans, Decjuba shirt and Seed jumper.

Only 89 days to go!

How To Not Overthink Things

One of the things I’ve become really good at is not over thinking things when it comes to other people. I sometimes still fall into the trap but I’ve gotten really good at leaving a conversation once it’s done.

Here is what I do.

  1. Take everything at face value
    I’ve decided that I’m an adult and that the people around me are also adults. So when they say something to me, I simply believe it. I trust that if there was a problem that they would behave like an adult and have a conversation with me about it.
  2. Accept what others say to you
    In a similar vein to the above, accept what others ask of you. If someone asks for space, give it to them. If you offer something to someone and they say ”no” move on to something else. Treat others with the respect they deserve and allow them to make decisions for themselves. Again if they say no to something that you offer, trust that if they do want to take you up on it that they will ask.
  3. Assume the best
    There are many instances where someone says something and it can be taken the right way or the wrong way. Most of the time how you feel about the person at that point in time will dictate how you take it. For example, I was once at a New Years Eve party sitting in a gazebo where there were gaps in the palings. The owners dog peed on the gazebo and naturally some of it got on one of the girls. I said to her “there’s no one better for him to do that to” because she was a vet nurse and volunteered at rescue shelters and loved all animals. She assumed I meant that she deserved it and that it was a negative. At the time she and I weren’t in a good place which is probably why she assumed I meant it as a negative. I don’t blame her for doing that but it taught me to just assume that generally people mean things in the best possible way. And to be honest, even if they don’t it doesn’t matter. If you choose to take it as a positive it means that exchange won’t consume your thoughts.
  4. Communicate effectively
    Don’t beat around the bush. If you want to ask something ask it. It’s the best way to get your answer and that way you won’t have to think about what they meant when they said x and y. But it also helps to avoid misunderstandings. Last night I went to dinner with a friend and the restaurant we went to do take away pizzas. I sent my fiance a text asking if he wanted one. As I was out to dinner when he replied to my text I didn’t really read it and all I saw was if you can’t be bothered don’t worry about it. What he had actually written was if you can be bothered get some but if not don’t worry. If he had just said yes I would have gotten him some pizza and then we wouldn’t have spent 10 minutes when I got home arguing about who was right and who was wrong.
  5. Don’t dwell on things
    If you’ve said something that may have caused someone you care about to feel hurt and they aren’t responding to you, accept it – you don’t get to decide what hurts someone else. Ensure you have genuinely apologised (none of this ”I’m sorry you feel that way” bullshit) but move on. Allow them the time and space they need to work through their feelings. Don’t sit around thinking about it for too long. Allow them to come to you when the time is right for them.
  6. Be honest yourself
    It’s easier to not overthink things if you yourself are honest with those around you. It can also encourage others around you to communicate more honestly and openly with you.

It’s actually pretty easy once you get into this thought pattern of just assuming the best of each situation. I used to spend hours going over situations in my head, wondering what I said or did to cause (potential) offence to someone else. It was a ridiculous waste of time and wasn’t good for my mental health. These days I can say that more often than not, I say exactly what I want, depending on the other person I may have edit or censor myself but generally the meaning is clear. It saves misunderstandings, it saves time and it means that I can move on to other things without thinking back.

Why Being Polite Can Be Bad For The Soul

Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught to be polite. I learnt all about manners. I learnt to be quiet when others were speaking, to always say please and thank you, to address all adults by Mr/Ms Surname and to wait my turn. It’s served me well for most of my life. Growing up I learnt to work out when it was necessary and when it wasn’t. Unfortunately what I also learnt was that whilst it usually served me well, it could cause a great deal of anxiety.

Why anxiety?

Well, because being polite can translate to ‘being stuck doing what you don’t want to do.’ I’ve learnt to speak my mind with people close to me. When my fiance speaks to me about video games and I’m in no mood to entertain him, I simply tell him that I’m not listening or that I’m not interested. With friends, I can say the same if I really want to. If we have friends over and I’m tired, I go to bed. Sometimes without even excusing myself or saying goodnight. It works well. We can be honest with each other. With people who aren’t as close to you it’s more difficult.

I’ve found myself more often than not stuck in a conversation or a situation I don’t want to be in. I can’t tell you how often I’ve listened to my mother prattle on about my nephew, detailing every single minute of the last 8 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my nephew but he’s 1. His life is really not that interesting to me. I’ve spent countless hours listening to people go on and on about one of the things I really despise, travelling. It’s not that I hate travelling, I just don’t want to hear about it. I even wrote a post about it! But it’s so hard to get out of these types of situations.  And it makes me really anxious thinking about how long it’ll take or how I’m going to get myself out of it. Most of the time I’ve found that the other person doesn’t really give me an option before diving into something I’m not interested in so here is my question… why am I socially expected to stand there and waste my time on a conversation I couldn’t care less about instead of saying something? I understand that its not polite but is it not also impolite to trap someone in a situation they don’t want to be in?

I wish it were more socially acceptable to say no to these sorts of things.

So that’s what I’ve started doing.

My fiance’s mother recently ordered a photo book of every single photo on her Facebook account. Not only has she just uploaded everything without editing down her photos, but I’ve also already seen them when she initially posted them on FB. Of course she asked me if I wanted to see the book. She was halfway across the room to get it before she had even finished her sentence. I said no. Everyone in the room was a bit shocked because obviously social norms dictate that I should have said yes. But I just had no interest in seeing them.

So I’m going to continue that. I’m not going to be rude about it. I’m just going to say no if the offer does not interest me. People need to learn to accept it and learn that just because you want to share something, it doesn’t mean others want to be involved.

I want to stop having pointless conversations. I want to have deeper connections and whilst it seems counter-productive to have less conversations, I don’t want to resent those around me just because I feel trapped in a situation.

It’s a skill that I’m hoping to refine and extend. Refine by not allowing myself to be in situations that make me uncomfortable and to extend by extracting myself from those situations should I find myself stuck in one.

12 Ways To Make Yourself Feel Better In 10 Minutes Or Less

We all have days where our self-care game just isn’t on point. It’s ok, not every day can be a great day but there are ways to make the less good days seem a bit better.

I’ve had more bad days than good lately. I’ve been home sick a lot and I really don’t enjoy it. I had 3 weeks off recovering from surgery, was at work for one week and then off again for a week.

It’s the boredom that gets to me because I can’t manage to do much when I feel this way. If I do anything for too long I get a headache – sleep too long, read too long, watch tv too long, colour too long.  I still don’t have a lot of energy as it can take up to 3 months to recover completely from the surgery I had.

But I’ve found ways to make myself feel better, even if it is just for a short while.

Here are 12 ways to self care in under 10 minutes

1. Breathe

Its the easiest one that only requires you.  You can literally do it anywhere and no one will be any wiser because hey, we all need to breathe. There are many different breathing exercises that you can follow as well. I have a Fitbit Charge 2 that has a Relax mode and all you do is follow the breathing instructions for 2 minutes. It really helps when I need a me moment.

2. Freshen Up

Wash your face, have a shower, brush your teeth or do all 3. Feeling clean can really help your mindset if you’re feeling off. I know it’s tempting to stay in pjs all day but that can actually be counter-productive if you want to feel better.

3. Dress to Impress

But to impress yourself. Those days where I feel like shit and don’t want to do anything are the days where I know I need to get up and actually get dressed and not just in see through yoga pants dressed, I mean proper dressed.

4. Meditate

If you’re new to meditation or skeptical of the benefits, meditation will be really hard. It is called a practice because you need to do just that, practice, to benefit from it. There are apps you can use to help. Headspace have a 10 day guided intro to meditation but my favourite app is the Calm app. I use the free version and its great. My one complaint is that I wish you could buy certain features rather than sign up monthly but its a small annoyance. They have guided and unguided meditations where you can choose the length of time. I also use it a lot at night time as they have sleep stories to help you get to sleep.

5. Practice Gratitude

And not just the basic I have shelter, food and people who love me even though these are great. Something a bit deeper like ‘I’m grateful that I can buy a $40 umbrella cuz its raining and I don’t have to worry where that money came from’ or ‘I’m grateful that despite being caught speeding, I and no one else was hurt by my actions.’

6. Journal

Grab a notebook and write, draw or doodle for a few minutes. Don’t worry that its not all perfect. It doesn’t need to be. Just get out whatever it is you need to. It’s not about having an insta-worthy, perfect layout notebook/journal. It’s about having a space to let out what you need when you need to.

7. Write a to-do list

Even if your list literally consists of get up, have a shower, get dressed, eat something nutritious. I get it. Some days that’s all you can manage. And you know what? Its still an accomplishment. You did it!

8. Tidy something up

Whether its your room, your desk or your car, you’ll feel better once things seem to be in order. Plus it amazing how much you can accomplish in 10 minute slots.

9. Sing and dance to your favourite song

I have a playlist called Shower and its all the songs I love to sing and dance to in the shower. I play it at other times and it always puts me in a good mood.

10. Stretch

Its no surprise that when your body feels tense, you feel tense and when your body is loose, you feel loose. One of my favourite stretch/yoga sequences is only 7 minutes long but it makes a world of difference.

11. Water

Drink water. And keep drinking water. It can help with alertness and movement and has so many benefits to your body. Chuck in some mint or lemon too if you feel like it.

12. Physical Contact

Physical contact can drastically improve mood. It can foster greater intimacy and trust between two people and can greatly improve communication, bonding and health.

So there you have it. 12 different ways to improve your mood in less than 10 minutes.

August Intentional Spending – Wrap Up

When I started writing this post, I thought I had massively overspent in August but looking at the numbers, my budgeted expenses weren’t too far off. I did overspend a lot on extra things but again, it wasn’t too bad considering some of it were bills that I didn’t know were due.

Here’s how I went for August.

  • Train ticket for surgeon appointment number 1 – $6.00
    Train ticket was exactly $6.00
  • Train ticket for surgeon appointment number 2 – $6.00
    Again, exactly $6.00
  • Rates Payment – $1432.00
    Paid off the rates in total which was $1432.00
  • Body Corporate bill – $350.00 (I’m not sure if this is actually coming but I haven’t paid one in a while so I’m anticipating it’s arrival)
    It arrived and it is due in October. I still paid it off this month because there is just no point waiting until next month – $345.75
  • Father’s Day gift – $50.00
    We got my dad a really nice bottle of whiskey which was $100 so my portion was $50.00
  • Nephew’s birthday present – $50.00
    I bought him another book which was $18.00
  • Beautiful You course repayment – $396.00
    Payment was exactly $396.00
  • Dinner out as a last hurrah – $150.00
    Dinner ended up being $220.00 between 4 of us. I ended up paying the whole bill with the other couple sending their half to my fiance. I let him keep it seeing as normally our friends send me their share when my fiance pays.

This is my list of additional purchases.

  • Black loafers/shoes for work – up to $150
  • A new water bottle that tallies how many bottles have been drunk, is BPA free and made of glass – $50
  • Single serve bowls that can be microwaved x 4 – up to $50
  • iPod – $219 (new item)

Again, I didn’t purchase anything off my additional purchases list but I did purchase a whole bunch of other stuff. I was very bored whilst at home and my recovery was so much better than I anticipated so buying things was a bit of a distraction. Here is how I overspent this month.

  • Credit Card Annual Fee – $100.00
    I didn’t even know I had an annual fee on my card so I’ve recorded it for next year
  • ASOS – $124.00
    I bought a few dresses on ASOS because I want to start wearing them more. They’re pretty plain but they do the job. I am returning one so I’ll get that money back shortly
  • Diffusers – $29.90
    My fiance and I decided that we wanted a couple more diffusers for our house. We have one in the laundry and one in the bathroom upstairs so we decided to add one in the lounge room and one in the kitchen
  • Zoo Trip – $72.00
    I wanted to go to the Zoo during my recovery period as I haven’t been in a couple of years so we went a couple of weeks ago
  • Vistaprint – $32.93
    My fiance and I realised that our wedding is now 12 months away and we hadn’t yet ordered any save the date cards so we ordered some to send out
  • Accor Discount Accommodation – $149.00
    I was given a discount for some accommodation to use at an Accor hotel so I took the opportunity and purchased it. This is good as we are planning to go to QLD in November so we’ll be able to use these two nights whilst we are there
  • Haircut – $25.00
    I was so overdue for a haircut. It’s been literally 2 years since my last haircut and it was so manky with it’s split ends
  • St Vinnies – $27.00
    I went op shopping as I was really bored at home and bought 3 tops, 2 books and 2 dvds. Overall I was really happy with my haul
  • RACV Roadside Assist fee – $99.75
    My bill came this month for my roadside assist. I haven’t used it in 8 years but I’m sure the second I don’t have it I will need it
  • Catch up lunch with friends – $70.00
    I paid for myself and for my fiance. For a meal that was just pancakes and a milkshake on my end, it was a really expensive lunch. Note to self – when splitting bills, order the same amount of food as everyone else!
  • iHerb order – $52.55
    I’ve decided I want to make my own hair care so I needed to buy a bunch of oils and ingredients in order to do it. I’ll be doing a post soon on how it all goes

I was able to claim back a fair bit of money from my surgery. I got back about $1300 from Medicare and another $400 from my private health insurance. I’m still waiting for my claim for the anesthetist to be processed so I can get some money back on that and then also claim it on my health insurance. With this money I actually made a voluntary repayment on my HECS debt but as would have it with government websites, I’m still waiting to see if it actually worked. I also did my tax refund which I was notified that I would be getting back shortly so that’s good news.

You’ll notice that I don’t include many items that other people would. I don’t include my phone bill, netflix payments, monthly donations, groceries or petrol expenses. This is because the bills and donations don’t vary from month to month and the groceries and petrol are things I don’t really have a budget for – if I need them I get them so I figured it’d be difficult to stick to a budgeted cost when I don’t actually have a budget for those things. I’m also going to stop including the Beautiful You course repayments because they will remain the same for the next 10 months.

Again, I know it looks like a lot of money and it is but as I’ve said previously, I still put away a portion of my pay to save for future bills and so if I can pay the whole lot out of my monthly pay without transferring the savings over, it means I’m actually saving a lot more than I planned. So I’m actually really quite happy with the amount I’ve spent.

Budget Spend – $2440.00
Actual Spend – $2526.30
Extra Spend – $729.58

 

 

Spring Clean Your Life

With Spring in season, it’s easy to get lost in cleaning the physical parts of your life. There’s lots of decluttering and changes to be made. But it’s also a good idea to spring clean your life. Clean your life of all the things that feel like a weight on your shoulders.

Toxic Relationships

We all have people in our lives that bring little value and little joy. Those people who no matter how much we give, are selfish and can’t seem to get out of their own heads. It’s ok that they’re like that but if they cause you stress and you feel it’s a duty to hang out with them, it’s ok to let them go. There’s nothing wrong with letting a friendship fade out. There’s no need for a big stand off, unless there are some deeper issues that you want to clarify. But what’s important is that most people who are toxic will very rarely admit they have any fault so whilst it might seem like a good idea to have a confrontation, most of the time it won’t achieve anything.

Baggage

Spring is a good time to deal with any of your emotional/mental issues. Whether it’s seeking out someone to speak to or working through it on your own, it’s a good time to deal with those issues head on and work out ways to either resolve them or come up with solutions to help you accept them and move on.

Debts

Time to get your debts under control. There are so many resources available for free to help you get debt under control. Whilst it’d be great to be able to make a grand gesture in ridding yourself of debt, even starting with an extra $20 a month of repayments will help you get there faster. Look at your budget and if you don’t have one create one. Track your expenses and see if/where you can skimp and put more money into your debts.

Finances

As with the above, start saving if you haven’t already. Again start with $20 a month if you need to. Most work places will have the capability to pay you into a couple of bank accounts so set yourself up to have x amount sent straight to a savings account, that way you won’t even miss it and you’ll be saving without really trying.

Digital Detox

Go through your social media and emails. Unsubscribe or unfollow anything that no longer interests you. These could be newsletter subscriptions, blogs you don’t read or even people. Go through your email inbox and delete anything you don’t need anymore or file away the important stuff. Then go through your folders and do the same. If you have multiple email accounts, think about whether you really need all of them.

Health

Focus on your health. Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you feeling lethargic? Do you need help to gain control over your health? Again, there are a number of free resources available to help you in any aspect. Use this time to find yourself a good doctor – I can’t begin to tell you how invaluable a good doctor is. Find yourself a dietitian or nutritionist if you need someone to help you wade through the multitude of information available. If you don’t already, start finding ways to practice self care however you see best.

It doesn’t actually matter when you start doing these things, it’s important that you start.