Vitality Corner

I’ve done a few big projects to make my room a sanctuary and here’s a project I’d like to complete next: a vitality corner of encouraging quotes and pictures and many plants.

plant-leaves

I would call it a vitality shrine but some would take offense to that because of the religious connotations people assume with the word ‘shrine.’ It’s not religious in an idolatrous way, but it is reflective and meditative.

I want to use green plants as a reminder of all the things I want to be: 

– I want to bloom as I prepare myself emotionally, financially, and physically for mid-life. 

– I want to reach new heights.

– I want to seek the light even if I must bend and outstretch in one direction towards it. 

– I want to nourish my body with good healthy food and kindness so that my radiant outside reflects a well fed and cared inside. 

– I want to be growing in Christ. I feel tingling in my roots and hope to know and experience even more foundational truths about my God and our relationship. I need to be reminded that what I soak up in my roots helps me react to the world around me and feeds me substance.

– I want to prune and throw away the bad parts so that I can focus on what’s important and not feel inhibited. 

– I want to remember as I’m tending them that people who love me are tending me and to love them back fiercely with that devotion. 

– Like photosynthesis, I want to use good energy to fuel me and have that process produce beneficial things for my environment. 

– My assortment of plants may all look different and need different types of tending and soil environments for best performance, but they all work together to be beautiful although they are diverse. Similarly, I want to see my strengths and weaknesses more bigger picture and know that what I have works together to do even more good collectively.  I want to remember not to judge someone for not having similar outlooks, interests, faith, or personalities, but find ways to admire them and encourage our growth and relationships.

– Like potted plants, I want to accept help when I can’t get what I need from my limited resources. Plants need fertilizer, and I need other people’s wisdom, encouragement, and experiences to help feed me. I may need coaching, programs, and therapy to help me reach my potential at different times in my life and shouldn’t be afraid of needing these resources.

I think just a few years ago I would have thought this notion was silly, but perhaps that is a sign I’ve grown. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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KonMari Tips for the Plus Sized

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As many of you know, I’m still in the process of tidying. I did fairly well for my last space but moved and now need to find that ‘ah-ha!’ for my smaller space.

I have inquired about tips for plus sized but haven’t heard back officially unless Marie Kondo has touched on this subject in Spark Joy which I’m nearly halfway through.

There are a few hiccups for doing the KonMari method with plus sized clothing…

1. Our clothes tend to be wider and longer
2. Our clothes are more bulky in general
3. Our folding method articles often stand too “tall” to stand in an average dresser drawer
4. Some of us have more cover-up or modesty pieces (personal choice)
5. It can be hard to Spark Joy with certain articles of clothing depending on body type notions

1. Wider Longer Clothes

Our clothes require a few extra steps to fit our drawers better. I like to overlap the sleeves over each other more. This keeps the folded piece from being too long. A size L or XL person may not not have as much difficulty with width, but may need help with length. For length, take your finger and make imaginary lines or actually press into the garment where you would fold it until it’s short enough to fit the depth of your drawer.

File side to side, not front to back. This will help you fit more clothes and see everything in your drawer.

2. Bulky Items

Heavy winter pieces and outerwear DO NOT take up less space for us when folded. They take up whole drawers. Kondo suggests not hiding your clothes or storing them elsewhere lest you neglect the item. Here’s my suggestion:

Put your heavy sweaters, robes, and outerwear all in your coat closet (if you have one). Make sure you don’t keep ANY of them in your bedroom or other closets or you’ll be breaking the KonMari principal of all of one thing in one place. Or, use vacuum bags to suck up the air (individual bags per coat/sweater) and hang them in your closet on pant clips. Marie speaks of considering each piece and treating it with care, but unfortunately, your snow jacket will eat a good portion of closet space if you just hang it. Keep it loved by folding it and only using one garment per vacuum bag. Think of it as a case to display not to confine. It helps keep other clothes from getting lost in its bulk.

Do fold: slinky crochet sweaters, thin knit cardigans, lightweight sweaters, raglans, long sleeves, items that don’t wrinkle easily

Do Hang: jersey knit open sweaters, thicker cardigans, heavy but not bulky sweaters, embellished sweaters, raincoats, trenchcoats, heavy wool items, silky slippery materials

3. Items Stand Too Tall for Your Drawer

This isn’t just a problem for plus size people. Perhaps you are a standard or petite size but own some tunics that you wear with leggings or as short dresses and need to work them into a drawer. Or perhaps your significant other or son aren’t large in the weight sense but are just very tall and buy extra long clothes.

Remember how many folds you used and try adding one to two more folds to get it smaller. Remember to taper the folds a bit to help it “stand.” Draw an imaginary line or gently press down to crease where you would fold until you find that number. Remember how many folds you need for that type and they should fit.

4. More Layering Items

Just to clarify, this isn’t a problem for everyone. This is something I’ve noticed for me, though. Being overweight, I find I personally have more undershirts to smoothe my silhouette or to make low cut or thin tops more modest. I am busty and while I understand some cleavage is bound to happen, I don’t like being self conscious about shirts revealing more than I like if I bend over or slouch or cross my arms. Clingy shirts tend to show my rolls and so I use undershirts to make them less visible or have the shirt hang better. I also like to add cover ups like boleros and cardigans and open jersey knit sweaters to cover my arms and keep perpetually cold me comfortable temperature wise. They don’t all spark joy because of how they look, but they spark joy for the extra comfort they give me. If you feel guilty about keeping a lot of layering pieces, you may feel like I do. That they help you feel more comfortable and help you wear your clothes better. Don’t feel bad.

Don’t keep everything, though. Be honest. Maybe you have some white undershirts or tanks that are em…not truly white anymore. They’re now yellowing from regular wear and are so off white you can’t show them under deep v’s and scoops so you hide them under thin tops. That’s when I’d say it’s time to thank it and let it go. Or maybe you have 10 black undershirts and really only need 4 to rotate through. Find which ones flatter you most and thank the others and donate the rest. Same with the layering pieces. If you find that you are just trying to hide stuff, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to those tops or dresses and find more flattering pieces. If that outerwear isn’t versatile enough to wear with other pieces from your closet, maybe that top/dress and that outerwear piece both need to go into the donate pile.

 5. Body Types and Being Uniquely You

Whether you enjoy/are comfortable being plus size or are struggling with it, remember clothing is a way we get to express ourselves. We are all unique. Some people struggle with being super slim, other people struggle with carrying extra weight. Others easily embrace their size. Wherever you are, don’t let your unique shape be a negative. Part of the KonMari process is to learn more about yourself and where you want to be. Do you need to make body peace? Do you need new clothes that express who you are? Do you need to let go of smaller sizes that rob your joy for the pieces that fit you currently?

Perhaps you carry it all in hips. Or all in your belly. Or you feel disproportionate. I guarantee you that you’re not alone in these feelings. Get rid of articles of clothing that bring you down. Allow yourself to only buy clothes that spark joy so you don’t have negative energy in your closet. Or remember that you have that piece of clothing because it’s functional and meets a need. Create a sense of style that helps you shine and displays more than the physical appearance of you. Something that defines you as a whole – body, spirit, and mind.

Maybe you’re placing all that focus into clothes when it’s accessories that will bring that expressive factor. Bright scarves? Dainty earrings? Loud statement necklaces? Soft and sweet hairstyles and hairbands? Nerdy pins on your purse or sweater that proclaim your fandom or smarts? If you can’t communicate who you are to the world with your clothes, go for that wow factor with accessories. Whether you gain more weight or lose weight in the future, these pieces aren’t defined by your size. They exist to help you show who you are, at any size. Let them add joy.

I hope these tidbits help you! Please give me some KonMari tips too, I am all ears!

12 Articles for 7 Days

Look what I put together!

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My outfit combo chart

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The doodle I started with

I’m an over-packer. I wholeheartedly admit it. That’s why I’m challenging myself to 12 articles of clothing this trip. The problem with overpacking is that nothing ever packs down quite as well on the way back. I’m also plus sized, so clothes already take more space. Add souvenirs and gifts to the mix and I’m smooshing and hopefully not smashing things just to try to get them all to fit!

In preparation for a future trip, I’ve configured my own packing mix and match up. As a visual person, seeing what I have to work with is really helpful. Thanks to pinterest, I’ve also found tips to make my outfits work out better.

1. Don’t go print crazy.
2. Stick to neutrals and a color family.
3. Use layering techniques.
4. Wear your heaviest outfit on the plane (but make sure it’s comfy!)

This just makes a lot of sense and saves tons of room. I’m also bringing a travel space bag with me to roll up clothes if need be to pack something bulky into my luggage.

The purpose of this trip is not sightseeing: it’s to spend time with my bestie and her family. I can get away with shorts and leggings which I don’t usually wear out because much of the trip will be hanging out around her place. It’s very laid back. Just in case the mid-may humidity kills me or makes me a sweat monster, which it might, I have the option of laundry at their apartment facility. I may cave in and throw a pair of black pants and an extra top into the mix. We’ll see. 🙂

The Cute and Comfy Shoe Secret

I have a secret to share with you guys. Maybe you already know this secret, but it’s something I’ve just slowly figured out and am excited to share. This shoe type is cute for ANYBODY. Tall, short, slim, plus size, and everything in between. It goes well with skirts, shorts, pants, crops, and even leggings. It has a chunkier heel and more toe support for better shock absorption and comfort. It holds your feet in place and often has some ankle support so there’s less klutz potential. And you can usually wear them for longer periods of time than heels.

Have you figured it out yet?

It’s clogs!

Yeah yeah yeah…the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear clogs is something like this:

 

And if that’s your thing, you keep on rockin’ them…

But these are the clog styles I have in mind. Clogs may be a bad word in fashion but these are incredibly cute!


Over the last 5 or so years I’ve finally figured out a couple things about my feet.

1. Having large, wide width and flat feet, shoes are difficult to find. Period.
2. Being over 250 pounds means flimsy shoes stress my feet. They have A LOT to hold!
3. Ballet flats are dainty but rub my heels and pinky toe. I feel the shock and no support.
4. Heels over 2 inches really hurt me and stress my toes if standing/walking past 15 min.
5. There is more to life than flip flops. Sorry, Havianas.
6. People really do pay attention my shoes and feet. It’s a noticeable part of my outfit.
7. Rounded toe styles squish my feet less. That makes them happy.
8. I have long toes. Deep cut flats give me toe cleavage. Toe cleavage is gross.
9. My big gal calves don’t fit longer boot styles. This makes me sad, but it’s reality.
10. I am a practical shoe person, but I like to keep sneakers to workouts and outdoor activities.

So booties and clogs to the rescue! They provide a comfy shorter heel and more support for my feet. They tend to be more roomy which makes my wide width feet happy. They usually have a little upward curve to the toes or extra padding, which minimizes stress. I can walk in them without feeling like I’m wobbly and keep them on for long periods of time and be comfortable. They tend to look cute with and without socks and tights which means I can wear them year round. They also tend to make my outfits look more put together and I feel more fashionable in them.

lula-roe

This isn’t me, btw. Photo credit unknown.

So, there you have it. Clogs are my new best friend.

I feel like booties are fairly easy to find in several types of styles. And clogs have always kind of been around, they are just highly overlooked. Many of you who follow my blog know that I’m trying to keep a KonMari mindset for my belongings. So I’m nixing a lot of those cheap flimsy shoes I hoarded from clearance end caps and sales. Those DO NOT bring me joy. Once I get enough pennies saved up, I’d like to purchase a pair of Swedish Hasbeen clogs, and once I reach 50 pounds lost, I would like to reward my hard work with a pair of Frye boots. If I stick with timeless styles and practical colors these shoes should pay for themselves with how well they wear.

Do you have any shoe advice to give me? Have you figured out what you like on your feet for style and comfort?

Creating a Safe Sanctuary

I moved months ago but I’m still slowly adjusting. The largest setback is a smaller space and some space sharing. In fact, the space sharing is a large reason why I need to make my bedroom a sanctuary for my sanity.

I made a huge resolutions list this year and de-stressing and organizing are both on that list. Both can be in harmony, right? Right?

The truth is I’m still figuring things out. So walls are empty even though I have art to hang, and accenting/styling still needs to be done. Right now, it’s more like an extended stay hotel than a room.

My bedroom needs to be functional – it’s my office, study desk, library, and place of rest. It’s also weirdly shaped so my furniture doesn’t suit it well.

I’d technically do better with a smaller bed, but then again my bed is my de-stressing zone and my couch and book nestling area. I’ve also got a desk that barely clears the side of my closet and the end of my bed. But do I keep an awesome desk or try to sell it and spend a ton on a new one that has to be so small and so wide to fit better?

Here’s my layout [not accurately proportionate in scale]:layout

Can you see my plight a little? The bed ONLY FITS in one end really…it can’t go against the window because that window lets too much chill in at night. The random cut in the wall where my bed backs against is the closet of the room next to mine. Apparently my room used to be an office at one point and the closet for this room was in the space between my door and small dresser. The owners converted it from a room to office by closing up where my door used to be, and taking out the original closet. Because the door is now there, when this was reconverted to a true bedroom, a closet was attached to the inside wall. Thus my crazy little nooks.

I’m thinking at one point I may have to downsize my desk but in the meantime there is a writing leaflet that pulls out…see the thin dashed rectangle? I’m using that as a laptop desk for quick web surfing and stuff and as a keyboard and mouse area  for the desktop…while sitting on the end of my bed. I can technically move out my chair and carefully scoot in, but I’m not little and this is quite a hassle. I also don’t have an outlet where the folding bookcase is so I can’t just go buy a tiny laptop type desk and put it there unless I want to run cords across my floor from the wall  where my bed touches on the top.

ANY TIPS ARE WELCOMED.

Here are my basic thoughts for helping it transform despite being on the tight side:

1. Add a pretty privacy film to my window so I can let the sunshine in without having the street peer in on my life.

2. Place some plants around to give it some life and pep.

3. Decorate my walls some so it looks personalized and not so renter-ly.

4. Keep busy patterns and designs to a minimum.

5. Get some nice big pillows I can pile when my bed is in book nook or couch mode.

6. Whittle down miscellaneous knick knacks.

7. Washi tape a headboard?

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My walls are a powdery green blue. Brighter than the picture above. Very baby boy nursery in color, but I chose it. I wanted something soft and not white and not neutral. Blue has been my new mood color and I think some gold/yellow and silver accents will compliment it nicely. Blue is known for being calm and restful – in fact, it’s one of the colors recommended for a nice restful sleep. I think in the back of my mind that’s why I picked it.

What do you think? Any tips or suggestions?