The Decluttering Post You’ve Been Waiting For…

The Decluttering Post You’ve Been Waiting For…

It’s finally up, y’all!

As many of you know, I made an intention at the beginning of the year to really deep clean my space. I’ve been living in Houston for 2.5 years now and in my studio apartment for the last year and a half. To say I’ve accumulated a lot would be an understatement. If you’re looking for ways to make big (and small) changes to your space, and mind I’ve got the list for you!

  • Take everything out of your closet. Comb through it all. Clean the space (get those dust bunnies gone)! When hanging the clothes that you’re keeping, keep in mind the item type and then group by color
  • Repeat the above but substitute closet for dresser. Bras that don’t fit? If they’re still in good shape, DONATE. If they aren’t? TOSS! No one wants your bad bras, y’all. NO ONE. Same goes for socks. That is foul.
  • Your purses. Clean them all out. Toss out those irrelevant receipts, group your hair ties together, and reassign your chapsticks to different bags. It’ll feel so good to have a fresh bag!
  • Update your phone. Just do it. Contacts (clean them out!). Apps (group them and delete unused ones).
  • The junk drawer. Again, group things together. Extra keys. Contracts and agreements (rentals, car, etc.). Stamps and tape. My drawer has never looked better!
  • Your fridge and kitchen cabinets. Throw out expired food (Seriously. What is the oldest thing in your fridge or cabinet?? I bet you’ll surprise yourself with what you find haha).
  • The coat closet. Similar to your regular closet, group your items by style and then by color (vests, jackets, coats). Because my space is so small (but with high ceilings) – I’m able to put the Christmas tree up on the shelf. Yep, I’m making it work in 600 square feet haha
  • The bathroom drawers, cabinets, and under the sink. I bought a bunch of small bins to help organize ALL THE THINGS. I grouped it by makeup, lotion/fake tan lotion, hair care, skin care, medicine/vitamins, etc. It’s already made getting ready in the morning a breeze and it’s only been two days.

Here are some of the products that have made the biggest different in my decluttering/organizing plan of 2020:

Shop: Jewelry Organizer, Round Acrylic Containers, Acrylic Makeup Container, Large Rattan Basket, Small Rattan Baskets, Small Plastic Bins, Velvet Hangers 

I hope you found this helpful!

I was able to throw away three trash bags, donate three bags, and sold a handful of stuff on Posh! It was a great way to get 2020 started on the right foot.

Cheers!

A Different Kind of Transformation

Friends. We need to continue our conversation from last night on Stories. It’s after midnight and my head is racing after my dinner chat about my relationship with food and how many of y’all said that you were in the same boat. I thought I’d dive in a little deeper here and share what’s on my heart.

So. Here we go.

I have had a TUMULTUOUS relationship with food pretty much my whole life. I am, without a doubt, the pickiest eater I know. I acted like every day was a “Treat Yo’self” kind of day. I worked at a bagel shop in high school and at a restaurant as a hostess. Although I had food readily at my fingertips, I’d also stop by Wendy’s or Sonic on my way home for my 4th meal of the day. And I’d hide the evidence from my family, finding a garbage can before going home.

Fast forward to college and it was a rollercoaster of pounds. Coming on (freshman 20 was v real for me) and coming off. The summer between junior and senior year was when I decided to get a “handle on my weight”. This entailed starting to work out, go for walks after class, and watching what I ate. Some weight came off and I thought, okay, let’s keep going. I bought a scale and started weighing myself every day. I went on medication that suppressed my appetite and restricted my calorie count. I also amped up the workouts to two hours a day and go for a walk around my college town. I got down to a size 6. Everyone was telling me how good I looked and I LOVED IT. I’ve always been confident in my own skin, but I was finally being seen (even if I was tired and anxious all the time) and I felt valued. How disheartening for me. That I put so much of my worth behind what my body looked like in the mirror.

I kept this up for almost two years and ended up not being able to sleep for days on end. This was also in part to being in grad school and the pressure I put on myself (but that’s another story for another day). My anxiety got so bad that I had to go on anti-anxiety meds, and although I looked like I was an “average” size and weight, I wasn’t nourishing my body. I was depriving it. I had developed poor eating behaviors by being so restrictive.

At this point, and many years later, the pendulum has swung far the other way. And honestly I feel damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I’ve been feeding my body junk because it was easy and convenient. I comfort myself by eating. Happy, sad, stressed. Whatever. I have to be better to me. I set an intention this year of making better decisions for my bank account and my body. Making dinner at home Monday through Thursday and it’s been going well. I’m trying some new things and it’s become pretty fun. I still love Whataburger and will probably treat myself this weekend. And you know what? That’s a-okay!

What’s the point in me sharing this? Well, here’s what I’ve learned. What we eat and how we treat ourselves cannot be an all or nothing mentality. The shame and guilt I felt at 21, when I broke my resolution to eat under 600 calories a day, was overwhelming and I am strong enough to not let myself go there again. I’m more mature now and see how there can be better decisions made to serve me more; more balance to be achieved, and more overall wellness to be had.

The girl on the left, although it may appear as such, is no more happy than the girl on the right. Both are confident, strong, and funny (if I do say so myself). How sad that this 21 year old on the left didn’t know what the 31 year on the right knows now. Your weight and the size on your dress tag DO NOT determine your health, your worth, or your happiness. I’ll say it again louder for the folks in the back…
Thanks for reading. I hope this resonated.

Hey There! Welcome to the 20’s! 2020, that is!

FRIENDS! First, hi, how are you?! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the interwebs today. Can you BELIEVE we are in a new decade, let alone a new year?! I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

I, for one, am so excited about a new decade. This last one taught me so much. It saw me through major wins like graduating from undergrad and grad school, starting what I thought was my dream job, and finding myself making a big career shift and city move at 28. It saw me through celebrating my friends as they embarked on marriages and babies and loss and grief as I said goodbye to toxic relationships. It saw me through moments of joy, moments of sadness, and so much GROWTH.

I will say I am ready for a new decade of me and at my age (31) people put so much pressure on themselves that they should be married, have kids, be homeowners. I’m not anywhere near that and this last decade really challenged me to think about what I want. I really don’t play the comparison game, but it’s hard to see so much happening for others and not think, well, what’s wrong with me that I don’t have these things?

You know what I do have though? Community. I’ve made my own little community here at That Blonde Rebel. And stability. Since starting my new career 2.5 years ago in Corporate America, I’ve been promoted twice and am proud of the work I’ve done. I do think I have worked my tail off, both at work and at the blog, and it sometimes feels like I can’t catch my breath.

On that note, I have picked my word for 2020.

F O C U S.

I want to focus this year on continuing to grow both at work and at the blog, getting back on my wellness train, and growing my finances.

I talked about this last year, but I don’t think setting resolutions is good for our psyche. There’s all this pressure we put on ourselves and the feeling of disappointment is overwhelming when we don’t accomplish or meet those resolutions. Instead, I call my goals INTENTIONS instead. These are things I want to do, I intend to do. So here they are, in no particular order:

I want to quit doubting myself.

I want to learn how to integrate work and life better.

I want to try to dance more. For fun. I MISS IT!

I want to have more dollars in the bank! My goal is to save three months worth of salary this year. Emma, from Emma’s Edition, broke it down. You add up three months of salary and divide by 12. That number equals the dollars you need to save each month to get there.

I want to start restyling my clothing items for y’all. This will also help with the above so I’m not just cycling through clothes for the sake of showing NEW NEW NEW. It’s too much. I hope y’all will appreciate how I show how something can be worn a couple times.

I want to continue to be a source of humor, clothing/color inspiration, advice giver, and friend to all of you!

I’m going to stop eating out so much. I am so guilty of stopping for fast food on the way home from work. I need to start putting easy options in my kitchen for quick dinners. Do y’all have any great recipes I should try?

I want to be more joyful and easy-going in 2020. Believe it or not, I’m a pretty structured person who needs to have all her ducks in a row. While that is great and I can’t really change my DNA, I’d like to be more in the moment.

Here’s to these intentions and my F O C U S in 2020!

I’m looking forward to all that is to come this year and in the coming decade.

Cheers!

Xx

Gratitude is the Attitude

Happy Wednesday, y’all and welcome back!

Seeing as how it’s Thanksgiving Eve, I thought I’d share some things that I’m grateful for this season:

  • My family that loves and encourages me
  • This blog and the community that supports me (i.e. YOU!)
  • My friendships that have been with me through the ups and downs
  • A growing bank account
  • The ability to travel
  • A hot bath
  • Josh Cabernet
  • The ability to make self-care a priority
  • The certainty of my next meal
  • A job that is both challenging and rewarding
  • The comfort of my bed
  • More brands opening up their clothing to inclusive sizing (I see you, Anthropologie)

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Shop: Top, Pants, Booties, Hoops

Xx

Making The Transition From Education to Corporate

I’ve gotten more questions about this than you can imagine, so instead of sharing an outfit today, I thought I’d walk y’all through how I made the transition from public education to corporate America.

I’m going to go way back for this, so bare with me here. I studied English and Education at Ole Miss, and stayed there for an additional two years for a masters degree is Counseling. I so enjoyed my time in Oxford and felt prepared to start my journey in the classroom.

I received an invite to interview at a high school in San Antonio (the city where I grew up), and although it was my first interview, I KNEW in my heart that I wanted to work for this principal. He had vision, heart, and truly put students first. I received an offer and got to work putting my classroom together, I WAS SO EXCITED!

My first year posed some challenges. My mentor teacher taught a different grade so she couldn’t help with actual lesson planning. Challenging students. I’d say pretty standard. Well, I won those kids over. I was connecting with them and getting them to care about my class. I won new teacher of the school. Then I won new teacher of the school district. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. It felt so incredible to be recognized for the hard work I put in.

The next few years went well. I got in the groove of teaching 11th grade, continued to have great students. Students hoped to have me. That was a great feeling. I also became the level leader and got to pilot a google Chromebook program. I took my classroom digital and it was AWESOME! At the same time, there was an administration change and one of my students committed suicide. Getting through the rest of the semester was tough, not only for me, but for my students coping with the loss of their friend.

Then my last year in the classroom happened. By this time, I was the department coordinator. I was managing 25 other English teachers and teaching six classes (three of which were inclusion classes so I had a couple co-teachers). I should also mention that I was the youngest person in the district to be the department coordinator. I was so looking forward to a great year, but holy cow, I was not in any way, shape, or form prepared for the hell that was to come. Fights in the classroom, student threats, disrespect, other teachers struggling, a lack of support, state testing, a student prank (I don’t even know if I can call it that) that went so so south, and parents that set out to destroy me. My personal safety became a concern. I didn’t even know if I would make it the year.

Meanwhile, outside of the classroom wasn’t any better. My mom and I found her best friend passed away (I’ve briefly discussed this in a previous post). I was experiencing PTSD from losing/finding our beloved Swell and all the chaos in the classroom.

My parents sat me down, with a bottle of wine, and told me that enough was enough. I was killing myself for a job that was putting me dead last. I had thought about moving out of San Antonio and now it seemed like it was time. I was motivated to make a new start start for myself and needed a change of scenery. But man, did I feel guilt. Guilt for leaving my students, who I absolutely loved, guilt for leaving the other teachers, guilt for leaving a profession that I was so passionate about.

I moved to Houston in July of 2017 and started my job search. I thought long and hard about where I could make an impact. I knew I wanted to work with people and not sit behind a desk all day. I landed at a consulting firm in their talent development division, focusing on training and curriculum. Honestly, it was a great transition and I’ve grown with the firm so much since I started almost 2.5 years ago. My experience and skills gained in the classroom did prepare me for this. I could do something else and do it well.

If you’re looking to transition into a different industry/career path, DO NOT sell yourself short. Your experience IS experience. Classroom management = working with a diverse cross function of roles.

I still keep up with a lot of my students, who are starting to graduate from college, and it does my heart good to see them growing into productive young adults with bright futures. And to think I had a hand in their development is such a rewarding feeling and I don’t regret a single moment spent in the classroom, investing in them.

If you ever want to talk about changing careers or needing any advice, feel free to reach out anytime!

Xx

Create Your Own Sunshine

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Shop: Top – ON SALE, Earrings, Jeans, Shoes

Sometimes we get down, am I right? Could be a bad day at work, could be a fight with your best friend, could just be waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Sharing y’all’s tips from Stories a few weeks back for when you’re having a bad day:

  • Make a list of things you did well
  • Do something kind for someone else (acts of service – put kindness out into the universe)
  • Enjoy a glass of wine and get to bed early
  • Treat yourself – from a chocolate shake, to a massage, to a new pair of earrings, treat yourself to something that will put a smile on your face!
  • Call your mom (or best friend) – there’s nobody that knows you better and sometimes just talking out what’s bothering you with someone who has your absolute best interest at heart is calming
  • Get outside and get your blood pumping. Go for a walk, a run, a cycling class. Release those endorphins, girl!
  • Take a hot bath
  • Pray
  • Write a journal entry of all the things you’re grateful for
  • Turn on your favorite song and D-A-N-C-E

I hope this list helps you if you’re feeling down or need a pick-me-up.

Create your own sunshine, friends!

Xx

Wedding Recap: San Antonio Edition

Hi Friends!

Last weekend I was in my 13th wedding. Yes, you read that correctly. Lucky number 13!

I grew up with the bride, Judith, in San Antonio and this weekend was an affair to remember! Sharing all the iPhone pics, deets on what I wore, and where I was!

Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner was at La Fonda on Main, a perfect venue for a summer soiree!

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Judes, the gorgeous gal (and bride) in white!

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My gal pal (and new mom), Cecily!

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And my other best girl, Megan!

Shop: Dress, Strapless Bra, Bangles, Earrings

Getting Ready

My mom and Megan’s mom hosted our getting ready party on Saturday at the Cellars at the Pearl. It was enough space for all of us to nurse our margarita headaches with some breakfast tacos and chick fil a, while the makeup and hair peeps helped us put our best faces forward

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How stunning does that bride look?! Like a real-life Barbie!

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Shop our pretty robes here!

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All glammed up and everywhere to go!

Shop our dresses: left, middle, right

Ceremony and Reception

The ceremony was an evening event at the San Fernando Cathedral (which is absolutely stunning) and the reception was at the Southwest School of Art! If you want to catch more of the day and reception, check out my Stories on Instagram, saved under the “events” and “friends and fam” highlights!

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Is this pink not the prettiest color? It’s called “petal pink” and you can shop it here

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Made it to the church! Judith’s sister, Mary, and I were the maids of honor and helped our girl with any final touches!

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Post-ceremony! Ready to boogie, but managed to squeeze in a couple more photos

I hope you enjoyed this wedding recap! So happy to be a part of this couple’s big day!

Xx