Introducing Lacolombette

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Me & My Blog

I write about my Minimalist life(style) in a Tiny House on Wheels, with my 7-year-old daughter, 8 year-old Chihuahua, and a few cherished totems and possessions.

How I Discovered Minimalism

Through Courtney Cox’s Blog Be More With Less

How I Introduced Minimalism into My Life

Culling Physical Stuff: Giving Things Away, 15 Trips to Goodwill, while worthwhile and handy, I learned after all my carloads, is “creating jobs” only by hiring it’s friendly staff. It is actually a for-profit thrift shop chain. If you do decide to cull your belongings, I might suggest finding a local non-profit community center. Mailing Cherished Items to Friends and Family, Trash, Trash and More Trash, and Consignment. Culling Mental Clutter: Deleting Apps, Removing Facebook’s Newsfeed, Going (Almost) Paperless, and – most importantly and radically – making my home Wi-Fi-free. I can access my email and cyber-needs on my Smart Phone, but otherwise, as my 7-year-old puts it, “our house is in airplane mode”. Off to Redbox we go!

How Minimalism Changed My Life

 Peace of Mind, Weekend Naps, Complete House Cleaning DONE in 60 Minutes, Knowing Exactly What I Own (I could write a list!), Free Time, Financial Security, Lightness of Step.

What Friends and Family Think

Most = Admiring but think it’s not for them. Some = Respectfully keeping their mouth shut. A few = Loudly mocking me, my composting toilet, and my wardrobe of 100 items.

 Future Hopes & Plans

Finding a life partner who not only accepts me for my Minimalism and Tiny Living choices, but embraces portions as well. Raising my/our kids in nature. Having a Tiny House on Wheels next to a lake with a dock and a canoe. Having a job that lets me escape there on a regular basis, with or without my fabulous family.

Check out my Tiny House Blog at www.lacolombette.wordpress.com !

 

An Honest Post About Anxiety

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Picture from: teacuptoria (visit her site to read how she manages stress & anxiety too)

Growing up I was a quiet kid. In my early years I often suppressed my feelings and avoided any kind of confrontation no matter how small.

I mostly enjoyed my own company and I wasn’t happy sharing my feelings about most things.  I kept everything bottled up!  This of course was not healthy but at the time you do what you can to cope with what life has handed you.

It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I gained more confidence, made more friends and generally socialised much more.

But it wasn’t until this point that I was diagnosed with GAD.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder is defined as a disorder in which the sufferer feels in a constant state of high anxiety and is often referred to as chronic worrying.

Honestly I think my mind and my body finally relaxed and let go after almost 25 years and everything I’d gone through and suppressed all my life suddenly came up and out. I had no idea what was wrong with me or why I couldn’t cope with every day life.  I started experiencing daily panic attacks which were pretty scary especially as I had no idea why I was having them.  And I had no control over my thoughts and I could never quiet my mind and just relax.  It was exhausting.

But with the help from my doctor, some counselling and using online CBT training I got the anxiety under control.

So if you’ve never suffered with anxiety in your life this is what it can be like:

  1. Unable to walk into a room of people without feeling uncomfortable and worrying people are thinking horrible thoughts about you.
  2. Lying in bed at night unable to quiet your mind and having imaginary arguments with people for hours on end until you give up trying to sleep and get back up. Nothing like a 5am bed time when you have to get up for work at 6:30am.
  3. Attending meetings and leaving shaking and wanting nothing more than to be back at your desk where it’s quiet and familiar.
  4. Unable to go food shopping alone as the thought of packing all your food into bags at lightning speed whilst talking to a stranger seems like some form of torture.
  5. People constantly asking you if you’re okay because you are shaking and look kind of pale most of the time.
  6. Consistent headaches that start in your shoulders, go up your neck and spread over your entire head – tension headaches are the best.
  7. Snapping and feeling irritable with loved ones because they should know exactly how you’re feeling all the time and you can’t quite cope with deciding what to have for dinner. Why do you have to always make the big decisions in life? You’ve got enough to worry about.
  8. Unable to multi-task. Just no.
  9. Driving along in your car suspicious that every other drive is incapable of seeing you and any moment now someone is going to crash into your car.
  10. Constantly tidying and arranging things.
  11. Unable to wear anything remotely fitted or tight around your belly. For some reason it causes you to have a short fuse.
  12. Cannot cope with feeling physically uncomfortable – especially too hot.

That’s some of the things anxiety causes for me but I’m sure it’s different for everyone. I honestly could write 100 more…

I still suffer with it now and lately it’s been a bit more consistent so I’m back to intentionally tackling it on the daily. I thought it would help others if I shared how I cope with anxiety and the resources I find to help.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – This helps you to develop good coping skills and overcome difficult emotions. It’s also free and you can do it privately in your own home. (moodgym)
  • This website – anxietyuk.org. There is a free help line if you just need to talk to someone about it.
  • Guided meditation – Type ‘free guided meditation’ into google and you’ll find a plethora of online downloads you can use. I have found these particularly helpful when I can’t relax enough to fall to sleep at night.
  • AVOID CAFFEINE
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Stretching – especially your tummy, hips, back and shoulders
  • Take regular breaks at work and avoid checking emails too often.
  • If you can’t quiet your mind at night and it’s affecting your sleep get up and write down everything you’re thinking about – get it out of your head.
  • Tell family/friends/your partner. Sometimes anxiety can come across as odd behaviour to others if they don’t know you are suffering with it. To avoid miscommunications or hurt feelings trust that your loved ones will understand and support you through a difficult time.
  • And of course – speak to your doctor. Anxiety is so common these days and there is a lot of help out there now. My doctors have been wonderful and I couldn’t have coped without them.

I hope the points above are helpful to you if you have been suffering with any form of anxiety. And I also hope it helps others understand how difficult every day life is for loved ones suffering with it. We can come across unreasonable and scatty but know that anxiety sufferer’s are fighting a constant battle inside of ourselves that people just can’t see.

Coffee Morning Catch Up #2

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Good morning! Its Friday again so there is lots to be happy about. Plus we get to put our clocks forward on Sunday in the UK so bring on the longer days and brighter mornings.

Life

I’m starting to feel like I really need a holiday. Christmas break feels like such a long long time ago and I suppose now that we are heading into the last week of March it was. I’m really looking forward to the long 4 day Easter weekend in mid-April as I don’t have much holiday days left to take at work. BUT tonight I am hoping to finally book our flights to New York…yes you read that right! We are off to the big NY hopefully in June to visit one of my best friends for a little city break. We’re planning on a Friday to Tuesday excursion so we get to spend the weekend with her and a few days on our own too. I’ll definitely take my camera and I’m sure she’ll show us all the best bits of the city whilst we are there!

Work has been super busy with lots of changes happening and I admit I have been finding it hard. My anxiety is through the roof right now and it’s becoming a daily occurrence again. Do any of you suffer with it? I should be able to handle some of the work pressure I’m experiencing but anxiety makes everything seem worse than it actually is. I’ve been trying to take regular breaks, do breathing exercises when I can and only check emails at set times throughout the day. I’m going to be writing a blog post about anxiety and my experiences with it shortly so if you suffer with it too maybe we can help each other out?

I’ve also changed my working hours to 8am-4pm. So my slow mornings are now quite a bit shorter but I’m really liking the change. Its nice to get in early and leave early, I’m definately more productive AM time at work. And of course its nice to get home by 4:15pm! 

On the positive side of things I’m still really enjoying my photography classes on Monday evenings and I feel like I’m getting the hang of Photoshop finally! April is shaping up nicely with a few celebrations, dinners with family and the upcoming Easter break at work. Roll on the 4th month of the year!

Blogging

I feel like I’m finally finding my feet with blogging. I get to a point where I run out of things I want to write and talk about and then wake up one day and have a list of idea’s I want to cover. I’m getting into the swing of regular themed posts too:

  • Mondays – Bits & Pieces. This is just a weekly post of photos from my phone. They are pretty random and usually from the weekend.
  • Wednesdays – Wonderful Wednesday. A weekly celebration of all the lovely things in life. There is a whole group of us (started by the lovely sallytangle) so search the #wonderfulwednesday on Twitter for more of the same.
  • Fridays – Coffee Morning Catch Up. Sometimes it’s nice to have no real structure to what you are writing and just letting the words flow. I love reading posts like these on other blogs and I really enjoy writing them too.
  • Instagram Roundups – These are pretty sporadic but I do enjoy being able to write a little more about the random photo’s I take on the regular!

Links Worth Clicking

http://myslumberingheart.com/2017/03/interiors-kitchen-tour/ – Kitchen envy via My Slumbering Heart

https://jessicaconstable.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/the-happiness-project-by-gretchen-rubin/ – A great recommendation from Jessica over on Jess’s Joys.

http://www.biancabass.com/essays/why-your-quarter-life-crisis-is-a-great-thing/ – Great words from Bianca Bass.

http://www.un-fancy.com/capsule-wardrobe-101/closet-tour/ – Closet tour over on Unfancy. Swoon!

http://www.workworkwork.co/2017/02/16/lets-talk-about-money-money/ – Talking money and Instagram over on WWW.

 

Finding Balance

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If you are anything like me (always trying to achieve something even if it’s just the washing up) you may struggle to find balance in your life. I find it hard to spend my time relaxing if I know there is something that needs doing or working on. Add to the mix anxiety and you’ve got an over-worked scatty person on your hands.

I know how important rest is and I know how important balance should be in your life. I have many priorities and they all deserve my time so lately I’ve been working on how to fit everything in and enjoy a well-balanced life.

First things first – set your priorities

What do you want to spend the most time on? What are your top priorities? My list looks like this right now:

  1. Communicate and spend regular time with family and friends including the hubby
  2. Practise my photography skills and do the set homework in good time
  3. Write blog posts about life and things that interest me and schedule these in for the week ahead
  4. Stay organised and on top of things at work
  5. Schedule rest days/evenings

All five of these are important to me and they all take up varying amounts of time. I try to ensure that by the end of a week that I have given them all the time that they deserve by planning my weeks out and blocking out time for them. Bullet journals, diaries and spreadsheets are your friends!

Allocate your time

On my list my job is down at number 4 but it definitely takes up most of my time. But I don’t need to allocate time to this as I have to turn up at 9am and leave at 5pm. I do, however, need to be mindful to allocate time for my other priorities. Right now I make sure a week does not pass that I don’t contact family or friends and I schedule in time for photography & blogging work at weekends and a couple of evenings a week.

Evaluate your decisions

Once you are into your flow take some time to evaluate the decisions you’ve been making. Objective analysis helps you to ensure that what you are prioritising in your life serves you. Do your priorities make you feel energised and feel a sense of achievement? Are they helping you grow as a person? Make sure you are not making something that makes you feel unhappy a top priority in your life.

The small things

Enjoy life’s little pleasures, like good food, good company and rest days. Spend some quiet time alone, in nature when you can and connect with yourself. How do you want to spend your time? What brings you happiness?

Wonderful Wednesday #5

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Hey everyone! Can’t quite believe I’m onto Wonderful Wednesday number 5 already. I really look forward to writing these so much. It wouldn’t be the same on a different day of the week…They come at just the right time…hump day!

So onto the good stuff.

Getting on top of things at work

I had the most productive day at work last Friday. It’s been week’s since I’ve felt on top of my work so I left Friday feeling rather accomplished. I ticked off all of those niggling tasks on my to-do list and got all of my reports done in good time. It’s been so busy recently that I’ve felt like I’ve been treading water so Friday was very much needed. It was lovely coming in Monday morning ready to get on with the week ahead with a fresh slate. I got in early, made a coffee and wrote my to-do list at my desk for the week ahead before anyone else got in.

A house warming

On Saturday we celebrated with friends in their new home. I really love house warmings! It had a St Patrick’s day theme and lots of our mutual friends attended. It was great to catch up with everyone in a relaxed environment and of course lots of silly dancing ensued into the early hours. We also face timed my friend in New York!

A Lazy Sunday

Ahhh Sundays. I gave myself a break this weekend by literally doing nothing all day Sunday. We slept in, ate comforting food and had a movie marathon. I put all the fairy lights on and lit a scented candle and we cozied up under a big blanket. We changed the bed sheets before bed time and I got into some fresh PJ’s which finished the lazy day off in the best way possible! Best nights sleep ever!

1st Day of Spring

I was hoping for some sunshine on the first day of spring but instead we had grey skies and rain BUT it was still the official first day of a new season and that’s always a good thing in my book. I’m really looking forward to the clocks going forward on Sunday and some longer days ahead.

Lillie’s

Sometimes the hubby still surprises me and it’s normally in the form of a big bunch of flowers. I came home to a huge vase filled with lilies’ last week and they are brightening up our dining room. I love the smell of these flowers and they manage to scent the whole of the downstairs of our house.

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The lovely Sally is the one who got me thinking about the warm and fuzzies over on Sally Tangle. There’s even more lovely folks who join in on the happiness and mid week merriment so be sure to pop over to them for more of the good stuff –  Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri’s, Mimmi’s, Martina’s , Peta’s , AND Emma‘s #wonderfulwednesday posts. Don’t forget to check out the #wonderfulwednesday on Twitter too, the WW family is growing all the time!

 

Intentional Goal Tracking

If like me you’ve set yourself goals for the year it’s important to keep track of them and how they are progressing. Otherwise you’re just writing a wish list and not much is going to happen.

If you have big goals for this year you may want to break them down into more manageable tasks otherwise you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. If you want to make positive changes in your life it’s important to be intentional with your time.

I love writing goals in a notebook but find I also need to have them on a spreadsheet so I can move them round or edit them. I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that my yearly goals can change slightly as time progresses and quite often I add new ones too!

I like to keep track of my progress on my spreadsheets and summarise what I’ve done that week to work towards them. Some people use a bullet journal or just a notebook to do this so do whatever works best for you.

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Unless you spend the time identifying and analysing what you are doing with your time you will not make the progress you intended to at the start of the year. Keeping track of your days and weeks is a great way to hold yourself accountable and identify whether you need to put more effort into a particular goal. If you are serious about wanting to make some changes it’s important you keep track of what you are or are not doing tom achieve them.

Some things you can keep track of:

If you’re into fitness/health

  • Number of steps you’ve taken in a day
  • Number of workouts in a week
  • Type of workouts in a week
  • What you ate each day
  • Number of pieces of fruit/veggies you ate each day
  • Amount of water you consumed in a day
  • How many hours a night you are sleeping

If you’re trying to be better with money

  • Compare what you budgeted for the week with what you actually spent
  • Identify how much closer you are to a savings goal and what you need to do to get there
  • Analyse your spending by category and see where you can cut back on
  • How much you’re spending on food out of the house; at work or socialising
  • Add up all your debt and track how much of your wages you’re using to pay this off on a monthly basis
  • Track all those purchases you didn’t make and how much money its saved you

These are just some examples of what you can track if you’ve set yourself some goals this year. If you have any goals you need help with comment below and I can add some ideas for you.

I also like to list my goals in a summary and write notes every week on how I think I did with them. No one else sees’s this so I am kind of talking to myself BUT I find it really helpful as it focuses my mind on the details.  Here is the summary page of mine if you are interested:

GOALS OVERVIEW 2017

How are you getting on with your 2017 goals? Do you use spreadsheets to keep track of your progress or are you a notebook and pen kinda person?

Bits & Pieces #4


This is Ruby 💕 The softest fluffiest little kitty.  Now the weather is warming up she’s starting to shed a little fur so she’s getting a regular brush and loving it.


Favourite room in our house aka the dressing room.  This dresser was made by hand by my great grandad. It was my nans, then my mums and now its mine. My in-laws refurbished it with gentle care for me and did a fantastic job.


Bathtime essentials. Thoroughly enjoying my regular Saturday afternoon baths and pamper sessions.

Introducing The Minimal Burgwahsee

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How did you discover Minimalism?

I watched a documentary on Minimalism on Netflix. I’m sure I’m far from the only one to be inspired by it, it’s fantastic!

How have you introduced Minimalism into your life?

I have de-cluttered my house and began following other blogs for inspiration on how to live a more intentional life. A life with less, but only less of the good stuff.

How has it changed your life for the better?

So many different ways! I’m more fiscally responsible. I don’t fill my life up with things that don’t matter, but with people and activities that do. I am more sceptical of mass market items and question their real intention.

What do your close friends and family think of your lifestyle? Are they supportive, perplexed or inspired by the changes you’ve made? Do they even know about it?

I’ve tried to explain it to them, but I don’t think I’m doing a very good job. Most of my family and friends think that I mean that I’m doing “spring cleaning”, but don’t understand that this is a lifestyle for me. My mom bought me these ridiculous Valentine’s pants, with hearts on them, and I tried to tell her I don’t need or want them, but it’s hard to express that in a nice way haha. Any tips?!

What are your hopes for the future and how do you plan to progress the lifestyle? Or are you happy just as you are right now?

I always try to stay happy and satisfied with how I’m currently living. And, I can honestly say that minimalism has helped me do that, and hone in on what creates happiness in my life. There’s always room for improvement though! And I do plan on progressing in the lifestyle as I can, and with purpose.

You can find Kathryn’s blog here: minimalburg

For The Love Of Writing

 

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One of the main reasons I began this blog is that I truly love writing and I missed it.  Although that’s entirely down to me and what I have made a priority in my life.  I have started and deleted many blogs over the years – largely due being very self-conscious and worrying someone I know would read it (completely over this now!) and also because the words just wouldn’t come on a regular basis the older I got.

I spent most of my childhood in my bedroom writing stories and English was by far my favourite subject to learn at school. I loved nothing more than filling up notebooks with homework assignments and reading the latest study text out loud during class. I even loved filling in my homework diary. I was a cool kid after all… I was quite vocal about wanting to be a writer when I grew up but a family member laughed their head off when I said it once and the idea was completely crushed from that point onwards. I’m sure they didn’t mean for it to upset me so much and didn’t realise at the time how it completely changed the course of my life.

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As responsibilities grew and I began my career in accountancy I wrote less and less. I do feel that I’ve lost the ability to write in a good way – see I can’t quite articulate what I’m trying to say. But I’m determined to get better at writing again and to do that I just need to write more and read more books.

For the love of writing

At work I spend most of my days using spreadsheets and only writing reports about the figures. I barely have any paperwork as we’re trying to be a paperless office. I delight in still writing my to-do list old school style in a notebook!

As much as I love blogging and writing posts you can’t quite beat putting pen to paper especially when you find the perfect pen and notebook to use. I do not take care anywhere near as much with anything as I do filling in that very first page of a new notebook.

I have two styles of handwriting. One extremely neat and well-rounded and the other is rather italic – all light and slanted with very curly y’s and tall l’s. I use whatever style suits my mood at the time. Anyone else have different styles of handwriting they use on a regular basis?

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Short Stories

I finish the first level of my photography course at the start of July and the next level doesn’t begin until September so I’ll have about 2 months for another project. I think I’m going to take this time to write some short stories. I was thinking of starting a novel of some kind but actually it’s probably better to dabble in something before making that sort of commitment.

As you can probably tell I rarely give myself much of a break. I just don’t want to waste any more time sitting doing nothing thinking about what I could be doing. I set the goal this year to be more intentional with my time and that’s what I’m doing.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings. I hope you are having a lovely Saturday x

Coffee Morning Catch Up #1

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I wanted to start a new style of post that was a little less structured and a little more chatty. Yes I’m being chatty to my keyboard and computer screen but I hope you join in and get commenting below! I was inspired by the blog tartanbrunette to set it out like this so head on over to her blog for more of the same!

So grab a coffee, sit back and let me tell you about life lately…

Life

I felt quite overwhelmed by all of your responses about the conundrum I’ve found myself in when it comes to my future career. Although the post and my responses to your comments sound like I’ve made my mind up I still feel a little lost on the matter. I’ve started to not look forward to coming into work and worrying about what the new week will hold for me and wishing it was a year or two down the line. It’s never good to wish your life away. I’m 90% sure I’m going to go for it. I need to sit down, weigh up my options and quite rightly put a plan in place for the eventuality of a possible career change in the future. Thank you to all of you who took the time to read the post, comment, offer advice and most importantly shared their own experience and inspired me!

On another note I’m finding this sunnier warmer weather is doing wonders for my mood and I’m going to make it a priority to get outside more during the day and at weekends. Who doesn’t love the onset of spring!? It seems the blogging world is chockfull of celebrations for the arrival of the next season!

Blogging

I’m now two and a half months into regular blogging and I’m enjoying it so much. Sometimes there are days where I have writers block or I struggle to come up with something I want to write about but so far I think I’ve only missed a couple of days.

I began this blog to share my journey into minimalism but like most new blogs it is slowly developing into other areas of my life too. I love joining in with #wonderfulwednesday and I’m enjoying getting more personal on here and connecting with such lovely people. The social side of blogging just isn’t celebrated enough in my opinion! I don’t quite understand why some bloggers have their comments section switched on but never reply to anyone’s comments but each to their own I suppose. For me personally reading and replying to comments is one of my favourite parts of blogging 🙂

I’m planning on doing more posts on money/spending habits, minimalism and taking and uploading more photos. I’m more than open to requests if there is anything you’d like me to blog about or share more of. Just comment your request below.

Links worth clicking

the things that ive stopped worrying about – Fromroses

15 ways to save money on groceries – Great tips from DeviseCreateConcoct

anti haul spring trends – Tartanbrunette

top 10 natural beauty products – Miel-cafe

the helpful guide to living an intentional life – Becomingminimalist