Decor · Real Talk · Uncategorized

29 things your house doesn’t actually need

Let it go, let it go…

There are plenty of things we hold onto for good reason. Treasures from our travels, family heirlooms, sentimental birthday cards—all justifiable keepsakes. Then there are the odds and ends we accumulate just because we have the space to store them. You know, the “But what if I need this one day?” items. It seems like a rather harmless habit—until those non-essentials add up and turn your cabinets and closets into living nightmares. The chaos stops here. It’s time to re-purpose, recycle, or kick ’em to the curb.

While I’m not here to push a hyper-minimalist agenda, I do believe every object in your home should serve a distinct purpose or, at the very least, brighten your day a little. I really doubt your excessive tote bag collection or rubber band–filled junk drawer is offering you much. Since many of us are adjusting to our new reality of working from home for the future, it’s the perfect time to think about this. Here are the 29 things you’ll be better off letting go:

kitchen

THINGS IN YOUR KITCHEN:

  • The ominous cloud of plastic shopping bags stashed under the sink
  • All those spices that are long past their prime time (yes, they do have a prime time)
  • Mismatched Tupperware that is taking over your cabinets – invest in quality containers that stack neatly
  • Extra knives, because all you really need is like 3 good ones
  • Single-use accoutrements from your last Uber Eats order (think: chopsticks, napkins, ketchup packages)
  • The logo-heavy cups and shot glasses from your college years
  • Any subpar tote bag or lunch bag you snagged just because it was free but you never use
  • Stemmed wineglasses – simple stemless glasses work for your water, juice and vino

bedroom

THINGS IN YOUR BEDROOM:

  • Dingy hangers from the dry cleaner
  • The top sheet, unless you really do love to bundle up with it
  • Beat-up shoe boxes and the accompanying protective bags – streamline your collection either with shelving or a tiered rack over the door hanger
  • The stack of books you’re done reading (donate them to a used-book store or pass them along to a fellow bookworm)
  • The obscene amount of decorative pillows you purchased during your boho phase

bathroom

THINGS IN YOUR BATHROOM:

  • Every hotel toiletry you’ve ever stolen
  • Sad towels that are filled with holes or makeup stains
  • That horribly ugly shower caddy – invest in a teak stool or over the tub tray that won’t make you cringe every morning
  • Expired medication, makeup and sunscreen (yes, these all have an expiry date)

living room

THINGS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM:

  • That dead plant you keep trying to revive
  • A china cabinet (re-purpose your plates as wall art instead)
  • Subpar vases from those very kind and thoughtful flower arrangement deliveries
  • Trophies and any other inconsequential childhood memorabilia collecting dust

office

THINGS IN YOUR OFFICE:

  • The dead batteries rolling around in your desk drawer
  • Junk mail (unsubscribe from that stuff and save a few trees while you’re at it)
  • Old magazines you haven’t looked at in years and never will again
  •  Supplies from that creative project you started and keep meaning to pick up again “someday”
  • Chargers that belong to old devices. And old devises which no longer hold a charge
  • Half-used cans of paint
  • Clunky filing cabinets (try going digital or keep super important documents in thin transparent envelopes instead)

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Real Talk · Uncategorized

Ways to be a better friend right now.

Hey, friends! Today’s post is one I’ve been really looking forward to sharing because it’s a topic that has come up in my life a lot lately. I used to like to think that no matter how old I got, I’d never let anything get in the way of my friendships because they’ve always been so important to me. Well, fast-forward to moving to another town, getting engaged and just wanting to spend more of my free time with Tyson and our families, and I’m struggling. It made me think, OK Becca, what can you do better? Like what are some simple things I can give to the girls in my life that mean so much to me so that when we do have time to spend together or get to talk on the phone, I’m being the best friend possible. This is what I came up with:

Ask if they want advice or someone to simply listen.

I put this one first on the list because it’s one of the most important things I’ve learned about being a good friend in the last few years. In the past, I feel like I’d “add my two cents” or share an opinion that wasn’t really being asked for. I was just trying to help, but sometimes that’s not what people are looking for out of a conversation with a friend, they simply want someone to vent to – someone to hear them. So, as weird as it might sound, if you have a friend that needs a minute to just let things out, ask her first if she wants advice or just someone to vent to/listen.

Don’t judge.

This is a BIG one. Try your hardest not to judge anything your friend is saying at face value. Trust me, I of all people know that saying things correctly or getting things across the way you intend them to sound doesn’t always happen on the first try, so keep an open mind. Now more than ever I’m learning the importance of having tough conversations with friends and family and going into those moments with a non-judgmental mentality will make it a lot easier to be willing to learn from what your friend is saying. Plus I think it will make them more comfortable talking to you moving forward, knowing they can be honest and you won’t judge them for it.

At the end of the day, try thinking of it this way: I know I have things to work on, so that means other people probably have things they’re working too. Assume positive intent, keep an open mind and ask questions.

Encourage them to step outside their comfort zone.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that something I personally love most about some of my best friends is when they push me to do something I’d usually shy away from. Whether it’s work-related, personal or something silly like trying a new kind of food, it’s super refreshing to have people in your life that encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. For example, to put this into action, the next time a friend asks you if they should go out on that potentially awkward blind date or stay home, encourage the date! Or if they want to change up their career path, help them figure out how they can make it happen. We all need a push in the right direction sometimes and being the friend who does that will mean a lot I think.

Prioritize your friendship.

It really is true what they say about actions speaking louder than words and showing up for your friend and making the relationship a priority means a whole lot in my opinion. I know defining your priorities can be tricky (read the post I linked to for help on this!), but going through everything you have going on in your life can help you find the areas where you’re not giving enough and where you’re giving too much. If friendship is one of the areas lacking, time to reevaluate and make a change. Definitely taking my own advice on this one!

Give your friends grace.

And on the flip side, you know how you can get busy and not prioritize friendships? Well, that happens to other people too. And the best thing you can do in these instances is to not hold it against them. The older everyone gets the more they probably have going on, especially when you factor in kids and well- covid, so give your friends the grace you’d hope they’d give to you. We’re all doing our best, right?

I hope these thoughts are helpful! Do you want more talk on friendships? Things have really changed for me a lot in this department over the last few years, so I’d love to have more conversations about how you guys maintain friendships and also grow as a friend too. Let me know!

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Fashion · Uncategorized

The rise, the fall, and the resurgence of the Fanny Pack.

Despite being the butt of many jokes, the fanny pack has been around for thousands of years and will likely be around for a thousand more.

Back in 1954, Sports Illustrated ran a print advertisement for a leather pouch that was touted as an ideal accessory for cross-country skiers who needed to hold their lunches and their ski wax. Hikers, equestrians and bicyclists could all benefit from this waist-mounted bag, which was like a backpack situated on their hips.

The “fanny pack” sold for about $10.00 in the 1950’s (roughly the equivalent of about $90.00 in today’s world). For the next several decades, it remained popular with the recreational enthusiasts who travelled by bike, on foot or across trails where their hands could be kept free and a large piece of travel luggage was unnecessary. From there, it morphed into a fashion statement and was marketed by Nike and Gucci for decorative and utilitarian purposes in the 1980’s and 1990’s, before ultimately becoming an ironic hipster joke. Even the name Fanny Pack makes me giggle. However, the concept of carrying goods conveniently on your hips was never meant to be a joking matter.

Mankind has looked to belt-mounted storage solutions for centuries. Ötzi the Iceman, a 5300 year old mummy that was found preserved in a glacier in 1991, had a leather satchel that held a sharpened piece of bone and flint-stone tools. Subsequent civilizations adopted the premise, with Victorian and Edwardian women toting chatelaine purses made of silk or velvet.

The 20th-century obsession with the fanny packs began on a ski slopes in Europe in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Skiers travelling away from the base lodge who wanted to keep certain items – food, money, a map, emergency flares and occasionally alcohol – within arms reach wore then proudly. Photographers also found them useful when hiking or travelling outdoors and climbing through obstacles, as they reduced the risk of an expensive camera or lens being dropped.

Their migration into fashion and the general public happened in the 1980’s, due to the rise of athleisure. This trend started to see apparel and accessories typically relegated to sports or exercise – think leggings, scrunchies, track suits, biker shorts – entering our day to day use. With them came the fanny pack, a useful depository for your keys, wallet, drinks and anything else. They were especially popular with tourists, who could stash their passport, camera, money and maps without the burned of carrying luggage around.

In the late 1980’s, fashion started to take notice. High-end labels like Chanel started to produce premium fanny packs, often with the more dignified name if a belt bag. Sporting a fanny pack or a belt bag was considered cool, as evidenced by their presence in pop-culture. I mean – even The Fresh Prince himself wore one! And so did the boys from New Kids on the Block. Nothing, it seemed could dissuade people from feeling pragmatic and hip by sporting an oversized pocket on their waist.

Like most trends, overexposure proved fatal. Fanny packs were everywhere, given out by marketing departments of major brands like Miller Beer and at sports arenas and stadiums. Plastered with corporate logos, they became too crassly commercial for style purposes and too pervasive. By the end of the 1990’s, wearing a fanny pack was no longer cool. It was an act that invited mockery and was considered tacky.

The pack, of course, has retained its appeal among outdoor enthusiasts, and lately has been experiencing a resurgence in style circles, with designer labels like Louis Vuitton and Valentino offering high-end pouches. Many are now being modified or worn across the torso like a bandolier, an adaptation prized by skateboarders who want something to hold their goods without hindering movement.

In 2018, fanny packs were credited with a surge in overall accessories sales, posting double-digit gains in merchandise. The fanny pack may have had its day as an accessory of mass appeal, but it’s not likely to completely disappear anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on the fanny pack comeback? Personally, I think I’ll leave it back in the 1990’s but I know a lot of you would disagree.

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.