My Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide!

Hey friends!

Soooo, it’s officially April and spring is finally upon us. After this last year, it really feels like it’s time to shed the weight of 2020 and get ready for a fresh new start — and what better way to do that than a good, old-fashioned spring cleaning? I kind of love clearing out my home each spring — it really helps me feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Every year when I end up spring cleaning, I kind of end up making a whole event out of it — I’ll spend one or two days fully dedicated to just cleaning up my space. It can be daunting to take on such a big task if you don’t really know where to start — but don’t fret, because that’s exactly what this guide is for! There’s four main ways I freshen up my space each spring — deep cleaning, de-cluttering, reorganizing, and “cleansing the vibe”, so to speak. In this guide, I’ve broken down my usual game plan into twelve simple steps (don’t worry if that sounds crazy to you — a lot of the steps are super short, so it’s not as insurmountable as it sounds). This way, you can follow along, find new advice, or rework my plan into your own personalized cleaning schedule and get spring clean-ready!

Air Out Your Home

To start, open up all the windows in your house that you can and get some good fresh air circulating in your space. Now that it’s warm enough to keep the windows open for a while, try to leave them open while your cleaning up to allow you to get rid of all the musty, stagnant air that’s been sitting around your home. Even if you don’t feel much of a difference, I promise the fresh air will make you feel better.

Finish Up Little Tasks You’ve Been Putting Off

What little fixes around your home have you been avoiding? Things such as changing that burnt out lightbulb, tightening up the screws on a sticky door, or tossing and replacing old and useless appliances? Whatever it is, make a list between now and when you start cleaning of everything you’ve been putting off, so you can ensure you don’t miss anything. It’s so easy, once you’ve started putting off a task, to continue procrastinating on it until the end of time — you’ve already decided you can live with the problem, after all. However, that ends now! Before you can forget again, write down and finish up all the tasks you’ve been putting off — it’ll honestly be a weight off your shoulders.

Clear Out Your Closet

The most obvious step to a good, thorough spring cleaning is clearing out old clothes from your closet. While you can do this any way that suits you best, I’d recommend checking out Marie Kondo’s method — her Netflix show really inspired me back when it came out, and helped me declutter my life more effectively than I ever had before. When cleaning out my closet, I usually take the time to pull everything out, section my section, and go through all of it — making both a donation pile, and a pile of winter clothes that can be put away over the summer months to reduce clutter in my closet.

Throw Out Old Makeup and Bathroom Items

This is an important one — it’s really easy to hold onto hold onto old cosmetics and skincare items and not realize how bad they are for your skin if you continue to use them after their expiry date. Here’s a quick little guide I found that summarizes how long you should be keeping all of your items before replacing them — its worth double checking, even if you’re pretty certain you know how long items last. While it won’t kill you to keep items a little past their due, using items that are too far gone can lead to all kinds of problems — from issues with your complexion to infection. It’s worth taking the time once a year to evaluate what’s still good, and what needs to go.

Rethink Your Accessories

If you’re a big accessorizer, you’ll know how accessories can pile up over the years. Certain trends can come and go over a single season, and certain pieces can become very outdated over a short period of time. This spring, it’s time to rethink the accessories you have — is it necessary to keep them all? Sentimental items aside, go through the accessories you’ve collected over the years and decide if you still use them and if they’re still worth keeping. If not, you can always donate them (or even sell them) — that way, you’ll be able to reduce clutter and make room for new accessories in the future!

Kitchen Clean Out

Now it’s time to go through your kitchen. During this step, you’ll want to go through both kitchen items as well as good, and find ways to get rid of what you don’t need. Old, broken appliances or items you no longer use that are taking up space should be disposed of appropriately. Any expired food should be tossed, and non-perishable items you haven’t eaten and won’t end up using should be donated. The details of this step are really up to you — but the gist is to declutter and reorganize your kitchen the same way you did the other ares of your home in the previous steps.

Downsize Your Storage

Possibly the most daunting step — it’s a good idea to go through your storage and clear out everything you don’t need. It’s so easy to neglect storage items, with them being hidden away and infrequently used. While it’s easy to just ignore the problem, with time you’ll end up adding more and more items until you’re out of storage, or your storage is simply impossible to navigate. By going through once a year, clearing out items you no longer need and reorganizing what’s left, you’ll never get to the point where clearing out your storage seems like some insurmountable task, and going through it every so often reminds you of what you already own — before you accidentally end up purchasing doubles.

Clear Out Miscellaneous Items

The final step of cleaning everything out is to go around the remaining areas of your home and clearing out items you no longer need — which really changes from person to person. For instance, this year I’ll be specifically tidying up my bedside drawers, linens closet, and desk drawers — but what this step means for you will really depend on your own home. Similar to the other steps, clear out items you no longer need from cluttered spaces and tidy up what remains. After this, you’ll finally be done clearing everything out — so I know you’re tired, but power through and you’ll be able to get a really good, fresh start this spring.

Reorganize What Isn’t Working

What areas of your household just don’t work? Between now and when you get to cleaning, take some time to think about which areas of your space you are constantly irritated by, but never think to fix. For me, it’s always my bathroom drawers and bedroom closet. If the way your space is organized isn’t the most functional, perhaps it’s time to switch things up. Try purchasing some new organizers, or maybe try rearranging where in your home you store things. If you’re really up to it, you can even try building in new storage areas to get a good, custom fit.

Clean Every Nook and Cranny

Once you’ve cleared everything out and reorganized what remains, it’s time to deep clean. If you have the time, it’s worth making a day of it — set up a playlist, get into some comfy cleaning clothes and get down to it. If you can, try to do all the little tasks you end up forgetting — such as wiping down the windows, dusting the ceiling corners, vacuuming in the crevices, or whatever it is you find yourself putting off on cleaning days. It can be exhausting, but it’ll be really rewarding when you’ve completed your clean after going all out, with your space looking better than it has in a while.

Freshen Up With Candles

You’re finally almost done! Something that always makes me feel like the final steps of my clean out are coming together are lighting some candles, or turning on my diffuser, and freshening up. Odds are, after such a deep clean-out that your home may smell a bit like cleaning products, but hopefully between your open windows and scented candles, it shouldn’t be too overpowering. By the next day, your home should be smelling fresh, looking clean, and put you in a good mindset for a fresh start this spring. My personal suggestion, if you’re needing some new candles or diffuser oils to add to your collection, are always Indigo and Saje — they’re honestly two of my fave stores of all time, I’m totally obsessed with them. Indigo has more scented candles than anyone ever needs, so there’s totally a candle for everyone — and Saje is more a less the gold standard for diffusers and oils, so there’s nowhere better to shop.

Add In Something New

You’ve finally made it to the end! As a final step, I always love adding in something new — it really helps to make your place feel fresh and new. This can be anything from big decor items — such as a new wall art piece, to a carpet, to new lights or a tapestry — to something smaller, such as a new plant, vase, decor piece, or even some fresh flowers from the supermarket. It’s up to you, really, whatever it is your place feels like it’s missing to tie your spring clean up all together.

Happy April, everyone! It’s finally starting to get warm here in Vancouver — it’s kind of weird honestly, even though the last year has passed by so quickly, it still feels like another lifetime since the last time it was warm here. I’m personally super excited for summer this year — hopefully it’ll mean the end of a lot of lockdowns (since we’re right back in it here in Vancouver), as well as shaking off the seasonal depression and hopefully finding a new normal.

Are you all looking forward to the month ahead? Let me know what some of your plans and goals are — what are you most excited about this April? I’m looking forward to applying to new school programs, personally — as well, as March was the best month I’ve had on my blog in the last year, I’m hoping to smash my records again and have April be even better! Fingers crossed, we’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Much love,

Meredith

My April Bullet Journal!

Hello friends!

It’s the final few days of March, and April is finally just around the corner. The weather is warming up, the trees are blooming, the days are getting longer — and my life is getting busier. As Vancouver starts to, slowly, open back up, it’s beginning to seem like life may, actually, return to normal at some point — which is something that I’m, frankly, rather unprepared for. I’m so used to lockdown life at this point that I honestly can’t even imagine what “normal” life was like anymore — or how I’m going to return to it. It’ll be an adjustment, for sure, but as returning to a more regular life is on the inevitable horizon, I definitely think it’s worth trying to adjust slowly now, while I have the time, rather than forcing it all at once when I no longer have the option.

One way that I’m hoping to keep myself organized and on track is with my bullet journal. I’ve been having a bit of an on-again, off-again relationship with it since the start of 2021 — however, I can certainly say that I’m more on top of things when I keep up with using it regularly. I already keep an agenda for explicitly planning out what I’ll be doing each day, but my bullet journal goes above and beyond with keeping my life on track — especially since it can be tailored so specifically in any way I choose. While I use my agenda to schedule each of my days, my bullet journal helps me keep track of my mood, reminds me to stay on top of daily tasks such as working out and taking pills, plan my blog posts and keep all kinds of lists for all kinds of reasons.

This month, I’m expanding my journal even further and adding new segments, such as a page for brainstorming blog topic ideas — where I’ll write down every idea that comes to mind, whether I end up using it or not — and lists specifically for items I need to buy and what I need to do each week in terms of my job hunt. As well, I’m re-writing my daily schedule, with some slight changes, in hoping that writing it down will help me stick to it better. This way, by breaking down everything further, I’m hoping to make everything easier to track to ensure I’m staying on top of everything.

Mood Tracker

My mood tracker is one of my favourite parts of bullet journaling — not only does it help me to reflect on my day without expecting too much of myself (such as a full journal), but it allows me review how my mood has been cumulatively over time, so I am able to check in with myself and see trends that I may have otherwise missed. Rewriting the past is easy — we often dismiss things as being “not as bad as they seemed” or “better than they were”, but this way I can objectively reflect on how I’ve been doing, and not be swayed by how I’m currently feeling. I keep a list of nine colour-coded options for each days mood, ranging from “absolutely amazing” to “completely terrible”, as well as an option for days when I’m not exactly sure how I’m feeling, and days that are totally crazy where it kind of feels like a bomb has been dropped on your life (which, to be fair, I’ve only used once).

Habit Tracker

This is perhaps the most important aspect of my bullet journal — which I’m also going to be expanding on this month. Each night, as I fill out my tracker, I’m not only able to hold myself accountable for habits I wish to form (ie. exercising regularly), I’m able to cumulatively reflect on how often I’m being productive (ie. working on my blog) and remind myself to complete tasks before bed (such as taking my medications and vitamins). In the past, I only kept six trackers per each month, and sometimes I would switch it up depending on what was important to me that month. However, this time I’ll be tracking ten different habits to ensure I stay on top of everything that I need to.

April Daily Schedule

As I mentioned above, I’ll be reworking & rewriting my daily schedule at the start of this month to hopefully serve as a reminder to stick with it. I really don’t expect myself to follow it perfectly every day (or even any day), but rather I use it for a guideline to make sure I’m getting everything I need to done, sticking to habits I’m hoping to form and keeping a regular sleep and eating schedule.

April Goals

I keep a goal list, separate from my to-do list, to help inspire me to reach above and beyond each month. Rather than forcing myself to achieve all of these goals, they serve as a motivator to push myself to not just do what I have to, but go the extra bit further.

Blog Planner

This is where I keep track of what I’ll be posting on my blog each week. I’ve been trying to get ahead on my blog posts so I can have posts ready in advance and have at least a rough idea of what I’ll be posting each week — so when a post gets written down here, it’s all but final. I don’t write everything down too far in advance — you never know when random inspiration may strike — but for certain posts that I’m absolutely certain will be posted that on specific days, I keep track of them here so I know what’s done and what still needs doing.

Blog Brainstorm

This is something new I’m adding this month, that’ll allow me to keep track of rough ideas and deadlines without convoluting my official planner. This page is both for keeping track of all of my ideas — good and bad, since you never know what bad ideas may inspire your next good one — as well as a rough posting schedule for weeks that I haven’t set in stone yet. I’m hoping, by doing this, I’ll be able to feel more inspired, come up with more ideas (and actually remember them), as well as be able to utilize my planner in a more official way to keep track of finalized blog ideas.

To Do List

Each month, I keep a standard to-do list of everything I need to get done. I add to it as the month goes along, and when I have the opportunity to get something crossed off the list I transfer it over to my agenda to help me remember to complete it. This way, I have everything I need to get done written down in one place — rather than in random iPhone notes or on random paper lists — and as long as I write things down, I don’t have to worry about forgetting them (since I’m the queen of “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it”. Spoiler alert: I never remember it. Figures.).

To Do List – Job Hunt and School Application Edition

Over the last month, I’ve been working with a career consultant (more on that later) to help me work out exactly what it is I want to do in life, and how to get there. Being a post-grad in a locked-down COVID world, I was having a lot of trouble finding any sort of job in my career path of choice, and honestly starting to question if it was really the right one for me. While I’m working with this consultant, I’m keeping a separate to-do list of things I need to get done specifically pertaining to job and school applications, even if they’re already in my agenda, just to ensure everything runs smoothly and nothing falls by the wayside).

Shopping List

As I mentioned above, I am absolutely the WORST about believing I’ll remember everything I need to get done in my head, not writing it down, and inevitably forgetting. In the past, I’ve written stuff down on all kinds of random lists with absolutely NO structure of any kind — which makes it easy to lose track of things. In the past, I’ve kind of mixed my “shopping list” in with my “to-do list”, but I feel it’ll be way more organized to keep them separate. This way, I can keep everything I need to go out and purchase in one place, and know exactly what it is I still need to buy.

TV Shows To Watch

Okay, so maybe TV shows I’m looking to binge isn’t the most important thing to keep track of, but whatever — I’m doing it anyways. Honestly, I already had a list (and multiple, in fact, in the past, that I re-wrote before completing) but I’m hoping that I’ll keep this list in order so I can go through and watch each show one-by-one until I make it to the end, before adding new shows to watch. (Shows that I keep up with week-to-week aren’t included, so this is purely a binge-watching list — hopefully keeping it more organized).

And that’s this month’s bullet journal! I’ve added a lot of changes this month, but I’m hoping they’ll have a positive impact and help me stay consistently motivated and organized for the upcoming month — especially since it’s going to be my busiest yet in 2021. Do you guys keep bullet journals of your own? What kinds of pages do you find work best for you? I’m always in search of new ideas and inspo, or ways to make my current pages more effective! Let me know in the comments what your bullet journal looks like, I’d love to hear it!

Happy Sunday, everyone, and happy last weekend of March! Spring is finally, officially here and the weather is only going to get better from here on out. Here’s to April, may it be a good month to all of us! 2021 may have started off a little rocky for some of us, but it’s never too late to turn it around. With a little effort and a little luck, hopefully April will be 2021’s best month yet.

Cheers,

Meredith

100 Prompts for When You’re Suffering Writers Block!

Hey y’all!

So — writers block. As bloggers, we’ve all been there. There’s absolutely nothing more frustrating than wanting to write, or trying to meet deadlines, but having absolutely no idea where to start. Since last year, when COVID hit, I started experiencing writers block WAY harder than I ever had in the past. Pre-2020, while I had rough weeks here and there, I was always able to find SOMETHING to share for each of my Sunday blog posts. However, as a lifestyle blogger, it got challenging to find inspirations when life came to a stop. Many of my posts felt straight up monotonous, and many weeks I felt as though I couldn’t come up with anything at all.

We can all agree that the frustration that writers block creates is just about the worst feeling ever. However, no matter what’s going on in your life in the moment, the reality is as a lifestyle blogger you always have a wealth of source material waiting to be tapped into. Life isn’t just what’s happening in the moment, after all — it can be past lessons learned, goals for the future, little things that make you happy or the hobbies and interests that make you who you are.

That’s why, this week, I decided to compile a list of 100 prompts for bloggers suffering writer’s block. I’ve chosen various topics, from fashion, to wellness, to budgeting or even blogging itself that pretty much covers at least one topic for every type of lifestyle blogger out there. No matter who you are and what your niche is — there’s a prompt in here that’s perfect for you. The prompts vary a little between them — some of them are more open-ended, some are meant to inspire your own fresh ideas for a post on a related topic, and some are meant to be a question that can be answered directly in a simple and concise way. However you interpret these prompts is really up to you — so I hope you enjoy reading through them and getting inspired for your future posts! Feel free to save this post for future reference, as well — so that even if you’re overflowing with ideas now, you’ll never have to worry about your creative well running dry ever again.

Media & Culture Prompts

  1. A list of the best TV shows for when you’re in a specific mood
  2. Music recommendations and playlists
  3. A list of movies that would make the best movie marathons
  4. Your take on the latest pop-culture drama
  5. TV shows/Movies/Music everyone should check out regardless of what genres they usually stick to

Fashion & Style Prompts

  1. Your favourite fashion trends for the upcoming season
  2. Your fave fashion staples that never go out of style
  3. Shoes and bags that work with any outfit
  4. Hair accessory trends for the upcoming season that you love
  5. Sharing your specific style and favourite clothing items & accessories

Skincare & Makeup Prompts

  1. What are your favourite brands and why?
  2. What is your skincare routine?
  3. What is your everyday makeup look?
  4. What secret tips do you have for completing your perfect makeup look?
  5. What’s some skincare advice you’d share with beginners?

Lifestyle and Advice Prompts

  1. How you’d plan out the perfect self care night
  2. Your favourite ways to take a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed
  3. Organization tips and tricks that helped you get your life/living space/time management under control
  4. Positive mantras and affirmations you use when you’re feeling down
  5. Activities and advice to help get out of a mental health funk

Blogging about Blogging Prompts

  1. What did you wish you knew when you started blogging?
  2. What are some of the best hidden resources for bloggers you know of?
  3. What did you do that made your blog take off?
  4. What are YOUR favourite posts to read as a blogger?
  5. How you started to monetize your blog and grow your reach

Social Media Advice Prompts

  1. Best locations in your city for Instagram posts
  2. Best poses for people who hate taking photos
  3. Best ways to utilize Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest for outreach
  4. Best apps for perfecting your Insta pics and feed
  5. How to best utilize Pinterest (seriously, someone please write this! I’ve been using Pinterest for over a year and I still don’t understand how it works)

School and Education Prompts

  1. Studying hacks that have helped you ace classes
  2. Your best advice for surviving high school/first year/university
  3. How to handle tough situations in high school/university
  4. How to take legible, organized notes
  5. Your morning routine to ensure you’re ready and organized for the day (+how you wind down at night!)

Work and Careers Prompts

  1. How did you decide what career to pursue?
  2. Advice for people joining the workforce right now
  3. Advice on how to be successful in your specific field
  4. Secrets about your field the general public doesn’t know
  5. How to perfect a resume (+anything else related to applying to jobs in your field!)

Friends and Social Situations Prompts

  1. How to meet new people (+ especially if you’re not meeting people from school, university or work!)
  2. How to deal with friendship drama
  3. How to identify toxic relationships
  4. What do you think makes someone a good friend?
  5. What are some little things your friends do for you and each other that help you feel loved?

Love and Relationships Prompts

  1. What was something you wish you knew before your first relationship?
  2. What advice would you give your 16 year old self when it comes to love?
  3. What are the best ways to prep for a first date?
  4. What are some great date ideas for long-term couples looking to try something new?
  5. How did you know when your partner was “the one”? (+do you believe in soulmates?)

Making It Through Bad Situations Prompts

  1. What’s something you’ve been through in your life that was particularly challenging? What advice would you have for others facing similar situations?
  2. What is something you knew about life when you were 16 that you learned the hard way?
  3. What is some life advice you have for others based on what you’ve experienced in life?
  4. What was a mistake you made in life that you learned from?
  5. How has the last year of your life changed who you are or how you view the world?

Self-Reflection Prompts

  1. What are some life lessons you learned that you’d like to share?
  2. What was a toxic trait you had that you reflected on and changed?
  3. How did you learn to break a bad habit?
  4. How did you become your authentic self (both in person and through your online persona?)
  5. How have you actively worked to improve yourself? What worked and what didn’t?

Cooking, Baking, and Drinks Prompts

  1. What’s your favourite recipe?
  2. How do you make the perfect menu (charcuterie, appies, drinks food or dessert).for hosting dinner parties?
  3. What are the best recipes you’ve learned since lockdowns?
  4. What are some great recipes for those with limited time/beginners/people on a budget?
  5. What are some go-to recipes that never fail you?

Travelling & The World Prompts

  1. What is your current travel Wishlist?
  2. What are your favourite places you’ve ever been to?
  3. Where are the best places for tourists to visit in your city?
  4. Think of a location you travelled to in the past. Where would you recommend someone visiting there go?
  5. Where are the best ways you’ve learned to travel on a budget?

Home & Decor Prompts

  1. How did you decide how to decorate your first apartment?
  2. How do you find your perfect design aesthetic?
  3. Where should you start when decorating on a budget?
  4. What are some cheap/easy decor additions to make your living space more homey?
  5. Share your apartment decor + specific niche style!

Budgeting Prompts

  1. What are tips they don’t teach you in school about saving money?
  2. How did you learn to manage your savings and control your spending?
  3. If you coupon — what are your best tips and tricks for finding the best deals?
  4. What is your best advice for avoiding unnecessary purchases/compulsive shopping?
  5. What are they best ways to stay stylish on a budget?

Adulting Prompts

  1. What is something you wish you knew before entering the “real world”?
  2. What advice would you give your 16-year-old self about practical, real-life adulting skills?
  3. What are some secrets about being an adult that no one tells you (or admits to — even when you’re all adults!)
  4. What are some of the best hacks you’ve discovered for handling adult life?
  5. What is the best advice you can offer for those in their early adulthood?

Lockdown 2020/2021 Prompts

  1. How has your life changed over the last year?
  2. What are your favourite COVID-safe/at home ways to keep in touch with loved ones?
  3. What are the best new hobbies for those who are looking to try something new?
  4. What new skills and hobbies have you tried over the last year? Which ones did you like best?
  5. What tips do you have for maintaining good mental health during bad times?

Organizational Prompts

  1. What are your favourite hacks to keep your living space organized?
  2. What products changed your life in terms of staying organized?
  3. How do you go about keeping your personal space clean, even when you’re at your busiest?
  4. How do you organize your planner and schedule your daily life?
  5. What routines do you maintain that help you stay on top of everything?

Health and Wellness Prompts

  1. What are your favourite quick and easy healthy recipes?
  2. What are some great exercise routines for beginners?
  3. How did you get started on your fitness journey? What did you wish you knew before you started?
  4. What are some realistic ways to stay active and motivated day to day?
  5. What are your favourite tools (ie. meditating, exercise, sleep) for mitigating stress and maintaining your health?

As always — happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’ve all been doing well and staying safe. We’re really closing in on one year since COVID lockdowns hit now, which is absolutely insane to think about. This time last year, I was away on Mexico on vacation, life was good and I had absolutely NO idea what was about to hit me in the weeks to come. It’s been a long year, but I’m finally feeling like I’m going to make it out in one piece. How are you all feeling about the one-year anniversary of lockdowns coming up? Drop a comment below and let me know — it’s going to be an interesting and difficult time reflecting on it all, certainly. At the very least, with any luck, we’re nearing the end of the pandemic — so at least we’ll have something to celebrate sometime soon. I, personally, truly believed that lockdowns were going to last two, maybe three weeks at most — and look at us now! If I could go back a year and tell myself what was coming, there’s no way I’d ever believe it.

Much love,

Meredith

Setting Realistic Goals For 2021

Hey y’all!

First and foremost — HAPPY NEW YEARS! We’ve finally made it, and 2020 is now nothing more than a memory. I know that realistically, the issues that plagued us (no pun intended) in 2020 don’t magically disappear just because of the calendar change, but it DOES feel nice to have a fresh start.

While I am hoping that 2021 will help bring me out the funk that 2020 left me in, I know I have to be realistic. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and setting colossally large goals for the new year without a plan on how to achieve them often leads to disappointment, or simply forgetting your goals all together. Not that you should avoid dreaming large, of course — it’s important to know what you want and go for it. However, especially when the world is so unpredictable, managing expectations can be a useful skill.

While I did work on breaking down goals last year, I set my sights high with what I wanted to achieve in 2020 — and while some of my goals still pushed me to improve myself (whether I achieved them or not), others were left incomplete by the end of 2020. Whether it was simply a little out of my reach, effected by unseen circumstances, or due directly to COVID — it doesn’t really matter, as they incomplete either way.

So, this year I’m switching it up and taking a different approach. I still want to push myself to move forward and be able to track my progress, so I’ll still be setting goals for myself. But a lofty new years resolution? Not so much.

Breaking It Down

This year, I’m taking a bit of a different approach. I’m setting a couple of “wishes” for the end of the year (things that I’d like to work towards that can be changed or aren’t set in stone). In terms of goals, I’ll be setting them monthly based on what my life looks like. In the past, I used monthly goals as more of a to-do list, but this year I’ll be using them as more of a monthly resolution. For instance, whereas in the past I would list out things such as number of blog views I wanted to achieve or Instagram posts I wanted to make in a month, but this month I’ll be setting more holistic goals, and I’ll be focusing on getting back into a regular workout/yoga schedule and meal prepping.

Letting Life Lead Me

Right now, everything is far too up in the air right now for me to ever even predict what my life may end up looking like by the end of the year. Rather than limiting myself based on my expectations a year out, I’d rather play things by ear and see where life takes me. Considering how many ways my life could go from the point I’m at right now, making set life goals for the end of the year may only end up limiting me or blinding me to new possibilities. So, I’m taking it one month at a time. While this month I’m hoping to perhaps find a job and get back into a regular routine of working out and eating, next month my goals and needs may be totally different — I’ll see when I get there.

Not Playing The Numbers Game

In the past, many of my goals were based on numbers — gaining so many new followers, achieving so many blog views, etc. However, not only does setting number-based goals start to drive you crazy with the constant counting, it isn’t very motivating in the way I need it to be. Not only does it focus on the wrong side of things, but it’s easy to ignore until you start to fall behind — and then you just end up in a cyclical game of catch-up. I’d rather set more holistic goals that help improve my life as a whole, and watch more number-based results materialize as a result.

Not Making Everything About Productivity

This year has really shown me our culture’s toxic obsession with productivity. I know this shouldn’t really be a radical concept, but really — you don’t need to be pushing yourself 24/7!!! In the midst of a global pandemic, in a time that was stressful for all of us, it seemed almost every single piece of media out there seemed to be telling us how to keep busy, start our life-changing project, fix up absolutely every little thing around our homes, and become this theoretical best version of ourselves. Even our self-care had to be cute and perfect. I won’t lie — at the beginning, I kind of fell into this trap too. Everyone else seemed to be out there being to most productive they’d ever been in their lives — I didn’t want to be the only one taking a break. However, I can pretty much guarantee that all the other bloggers and influencers who make their life seem 100% perfectly in order 24/7 are lying to you (or at least enhancing the truth). You don’t need to have it together all the time. I’m honestly experiencing some of the worst burnout I have in years from trying to be perfect during such a stressful year. So next year, no matter what 2021 sends our way, I’m allocating some of my goals to legitimate self-care, hobbies and happiness — just for the hell of it. Not everything needs to be about being productive 24/7.

Using Goals to Check In With Myself

While I want to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard in 2021, I still want to be checking in with myself to make sure that I’m on the right track. While it was a bit of a necessary break, the last new months of 2020 I kind of found my life falling apart — and it’s taken more effort to get back on track than it would have to simply maintain it. I’m hoping that in 2021, I’ll be able to turn my life around a little and get myself back on track. I’m hoping to build a routine, get ahead on my blog posts, start working out and feeling a little normal again — BEFORE I start a new job. So instead of setting goals with the aim of pushing myself, I’ll be setting goals to check in with myself and make sure that I’m keeping everything on track — no matter what ends up coming in 2021.

Happy new years, everyone! I know it can be kinda scary staring down a whole new year, especially since we really don’t know what this year will hold. I have hope that it’ll be a better year than 2020 was, but I also know that nothing much is going to change without putting in the effort. This time last year, I had a plan that was meant to push me tony limits and help me become my “absolute best self”. I thought I was being realistic — and who knows? Maybe if 2020 hadn’t turned out the way it did it may have been. But it wasn’t, and it’s caused me to reevaluate and hopefully make 2021 a better, more successful year.

So fingers crossed — 2020 was absolutely brutal, but with any luck 2021 will be our year. I’m keeping my expectations small and realistic — maybe I’m just a little jaded, but I don’t want to dream too big and end up disappointed. But hopefully with this plan, a vaccine, and a little luck, 2021 may just be my year.

Are you guys setting resolutions this year? If yes, how are you doing it? Are your goals similar to what they were in the past, or are you taking a whole new approach? Perhaps, even after reading this post, you’re feeling a little inspired to set goals monthly and forgo a resolution this year. Or maybe you’re just over it and not setting goals anymore after 2020 (which is totally fair). No matter what your plans are, drop a comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear all about your goals, and what’s changed for you in 2021. Hopefully, within luck, we’ll all end 2021 on a better note than we started it on.

Much love,

Meredith

My Fall 2020 FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey friends!

So, it’s been a minute. I know. I’ve decided to stop apologizing for delays and needing to take breaks this year — in all honestly, I’m incredibly burnt out. The stress of keeping up with the news, trying to stay active, productive and healthy, finding a job, dealing with my newfound seasonal depression and just overall how 2020 has made me feel in general has just left me completely worn out. So I’m not apologizing anymore — this year has been brutal and I’m not going to pretend it’s all been smooth sailing because honestly, anyone that’s told you that their 2020 has been going well is lying to you or trying to sell you something. While I tried to force myself to keep up with my self-imposed blogging schedule, I’ve spent the last two months dealing with not only writers block, but a severe lack of motivation and an overall feeling of exhaustion. Eventually, I was sort of forced to take a step back — I just couldn’t keep up with it all anymore.

However, now that I’ve taken a bit of a break and am feeling a little rejuvenated with the holidays coming up, I figured it’s time to start sharing with you all again. Will I maintain my blogging schedule? Will I always end up posting on time? Who knows. I’m not making any promises. Forcing myself to adhere so strictly to my blogging schedule, regardless of how much pressure I was putting on myself, is how I ended up in this mess in the first place. So, basically, I don’t know. I’m excited to start writing out some holiday and end-of-year content to share with you all, but whether it arrives on Thursdays & Sundays, on time, or just whenever I feel like it will really depend and I’m not going to force myself to do anything I’m not feeling up to.

But all that aside, I do have something I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for a while now — my fall FabFitFun box! Receiving this box was really exciting, not only because I was hyped about the items I was receiving but also to see the changes FabFitFun has been making with COVID and to actively help the environment! Certain changes are very visible — such as redesigning the boxes to be smaller, as well as using 100% recycled materials to make their box, as well as all the tissue paper that comes inside. The magazine also appears to be made out of new materials, as well, and they note inside it that they predict that these changes will lead to a 43.78% difference in their greenhouse gas emissions as well as save 31,302 trees! So yeah, I’m pretty hyped about that — climate change is one of the biggest issues facing us and our planet and it’s great seeing companies take steps to combat it.

Overall, I really couldn’t be happier with this box — not only is it always a lovely pick-me-up at the start of each season, but sending a little surprise gift to yourself really helps to combat the COVID blues. Plus, this time around my box had CRAZY value for my money — while I did add on more items this time around than I ever have before, my items would have costed me $504.49 in real life — which is significantly more than the $117.50 (including shipping, add-ons and all) that I paid. Basically — I really couldn’t recommend these boxes more! I’ve yet to let a product go to waste, and the discounts you receive through FabFitFun are unreal. Plus, each box really does feel like a little gift to yourself. What’s not to love?

Anyways — enough rambling from me, let’s get into what I received this season!

Botkier New York Trigger Backpack

When I saw this product in the little “sneak peek” FabFitFun offered into their Fall box, I knew I had to have it. First of all — it’s super cute. But not just that, it’s a backpack!!! Which I adore. My biggest pet peeve is having to carry around a purse that forces me to dedicate an entire arm to simply carrying around the essentials — almost every bag I own is a crossbody or something similar for that exact reason. However — in my opinion — nothing beats backpacks when it comes to bags. I haven’t had a backpack for a while now, but this one is just so CUTE! I’m absolutely obsessed with it. It’s probably one of my favourite items I’ve received in a FabFitFun box, like, ever.

SOIA & KYO Woven Scarfigan With Fringe

Anything that combines cute and cozy is a win in my books — especially in 2020. I’m personally always feeling like I’m lacking in cute sweaters and cardigans, so any chance I have to add one to my collection is something I jump at. This cardigan isn’t just comfortable, though, it’s also really high quality and elevates any outfit you pair it with. I’ve been needing some warmer-weather statement pieces, and I’m absolutely loving that cardigan for this.

JENNY BIRD Leana Pendant

I’m not usually one for jewelry, but lately I’ve been trying to change that. (Evidently, since two of my add-on items were necklaces!). This necklace is SO pretty and classy — and it’s defintely something I wouldn’t have usually bought for myself, which really made it feel like a little gift from me to myself. It’s cute and adds a little statement to an outfit while still being simple, and really adds to almost any outfit.

Masontop’s Glass Water Bottle with Neoprene

There’s really nothing I needed more in my life than good, reusable water bottle. While I do have one I bought off some Instagram page complete with a giant crystal inside it (read: cute but small and impractical), I haven’t had a proper reusable bottle in a while (on account of me often misplacing them). It wasn’t much of a problem pre-COVID as almost any situation involving me leaving the house for long periods of time was to head to work — at a bar, where I could get a glass and refill it with water as often as I pleased. However, that isn’t the case anymore, and while I don’t have many reasons to leave the house nowadays with lockdowns, it feels nice to be prepared for when life goes back to normal.

HIP Cutlery Set

This might sound silly, but this cutlery set actually solves a huge problem in my life. In university, every time I got my life together enough to make myself lunch to eat between classes, I never really knew what to do about cutlery — bringing a fork from home meant I risked losing it, plus I never knew where to keep them without using a plastic bag. Finding plastic cutlery on campus was a pain, but also meant I had to be wasteful and overall wasn’t a great solution. However, with this cutlery set, I’ll be able to be more eco-friendly and prepared for days when I have it together enough to make my own lunch. Plus, the little carrying case looks like a total lifesaver in terms of storing your cutlery in your bag.

Voesh New York Pumpkin Spice Pedicure In A Box

Okay, this was been THE best thing my self-care nights have experienced in lockdown. This box comes with two pedicures — complete with a salt soak, scrub, mask and massage butter for your feet. Going for a pedicure is basically off the table right now (like, I’m sure you can go get one done — but is it really necessary?) but it’s nice to be able to pamper yourself, especially considering the current state of the world. I’ve already made use of one of the two pedicures included in the box, and not only was it massively relaxing, but my feet felt amazing after. I’ve been really getting into doing my own nails in lockdowns — I used to be really good at painting my own nails back before I discovered acrylics. However, I’ve been taking it a step further lately and trying to learn how to give myself the full mani/pedi experience, so I really loved these pedi packages.

NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Hair Treatment Masque

I haven’t actually had the chance to try this hair mask out just yet, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. FabFitFun has never steered me wrong on hair care before, so I’m pretty excited to give this product a go. I JUST used up my latest Ouai Treatment Masque (which you all know I love) so I’m going to be able to start on this hair mask pretty soon. It’s loaded with all kinds of great ingredients, such as keratin, so I’m sure it’ll keep my hair healthy and strong this winter.

The Beauty Crop Glow Milk in Blind Date

This little liquid highlighter came at just the right time for me. I’m a huge fan of CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops, but sadly I just used up my bottle. While I’ve purchased makeup here and there this year, it feels awfully pointless to be spending loads of money on makeup right now when I’m hardly leaving the house or wearing any (especially since Sephora no longer carries CoverFX, so I’d have to go out of my way to buy it). This liquid highlighter definitely isn’t quite the same, it’s more in line with what I need right now. It’s not as pigmented, which gives a nice, natural, every-day glow — unlike CoverFX, I can wear it without a full face of makeup and it would look perfectly normal. I’m really happy to have received this product in my box, and I’m hoping that I’ll have more chances to test it out soon!

Add On: FOXYBAE 25mm Curling Wand

When I saw this curling wand available for this season’s box, I knew I had to have it. I haven’t owned a hair curler of my own in SO LONG, so it feels nice to finally have one again. I really don’t know much about hair, so buying a hair curler myself was a bit of a daunting idea — I really wouldn’t know where to start on finding a good one. However, I trust FabFitFun to not steer me in the wrong direction — PLUS, I got this $100 hair curler for only $15, so it made it feel like a much less daunting commitment. I’ve only gotten once chance to try it out so far, but it works probably, without exaggerating, as least 3x better than any curler I’ve ever owned before and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Add On: Genevive Jewelry Heart Necklace and Jennifer Zeuner Star Double Necklace

I decided to add these on to my box this season to add to my little jewelry collection. Not only are they super cute, but they collectively cost me $50 — a FAR cry from the $250 I would have spent if I bought them retail. I don’t know how FabFitFun manages to offer so many products at such a large discount, but I won’t question it.

I hope you guys all enjoyed this post! I won’t lie, it actually feels pretty good to get back into writing and doing something productive for myself. While forcing myself to write only ended up adding to the stress that this year has already caused me, writing in itself is one of my favourite hobbies and is usually something that brings me peace. Here’s to hoping that for the rest of 2020, I can get back on track with it and maintain it as an escape from burnout, rather than a source of it.

If all goes well, I should have a lot of new and exciting posts coming up for you all! I’m going to hold off on posting my favourite products on Thursdays until I’ve built up a good backlog of reviews as one of my biggest sources of stress over blogging was sharing my Thursday Favourite’s posts. While I do love sharing them and I hope you guys have found products you loved based off my reviews, they can be a little more challenging to write as the scope of what I share in each post is more limited and I felt I was always playing catch-up trying to get each post out to you guys each Thursday. In the meantime, I’m going to be writing up a whole bunch of Holiday content — such as my Holiday Gift Guide series some of you may remember from last year, as well as New Years 2021 content! I’m also going to be sharing my first EVER ColourPop Cosmetics haul with you guys soon, as well as my Winter FabFitFun Unboxing!

Thank you all, once again, for being so patient with me as I’ve learned to be patient with myself. This year has been a rough one, but slowly I’ve been learning to get myself back on track without pushing myself too hard or causing myself too much stress. It took a while, but I’ve learned that progress doesn’t happen overnight and trying to force it to just leads to a cycle of burnout and needing to take time off. 2020 hasn’t been easy for any of us, and while it may seem like everyone is preaching productivity in lockdown, it’s okay to cut yourself some slack. This year has been stressful enough without you adding a larger burden on yourself.

Much love,

Meredith