Minimalism

Simple Date Ideas

I love going on dates, but for Alec and I that meant going out to dinner, movies, or anything that required spending a little bit of money. I think we blamed it on our location because south Florida is a pricey area to reside in, however, since our big move to north Florida, I think our mindset on what a date should be was the thing that was flawed.

After dating for 4-years, there have definitely been times when the two of us weren’t able to spend money on dining or entertainment because our bills had to be paid or we were trying to save money. That’s why I’m actively trying to redefine what a date means.

Like, why don’t we make grocery shopping into a cute date? Why does it have to be something we label as a weekly/bi-weekly chore?

When I think of dates (especially that first couple of dates), I think of how spontaneous they were and if we bring a little bit of that spontaneity into our everyday routines then maybe they wouldn’t feel so routine? While grocery shopping, you could purchase a few items to create a DIY date night when you get back home or you could make a quick pit-stop for $1 ice cream at McDonald’s on your way home? Who says you have to go straight to the store and then straight home; and don’t give me the, “well, I have milk in the car that will go bad” excuse. It will not take you THAT long to make a drive-thru pit stop. They’re usually quick 😉

& hopefully, the list I created below will give yourself a chance to look at everyday, routine activities with a different point of view or creativity.

  1. Visit a Local Farmer’s Market: this has turned into our weekly grocery shopping for the two of us because we like to shop package free. However, if you shop at the normal grocery store, maybe one week pick up your fruits & veggies here instead? It’s nice to get a change of scenery, but it’s also nice to help out your local farmers.
  2. Picnic: I know this is an activity that is listed on every blog about dates for couples, but hear me out on this one! This can be the easiest, cheapest, and most flexible date on this list. Easy because all you need is your favorite foods. Cheap because you can make lunches/dinners in your kitchen and flexible because this can be done anywhere! Want to have a picnic in your backyard? Do it! Want to have a picnic at a nearby park? Do it! Want to have a picnic somewhere miles and miles away? Do it, but also make sure to pack food that would stay good after that trip 😉
  3. Go to the Beach/Lake: this a great option that in most places are free or close to it. In the past, Alec and I would make mixed drinks at home, put them in a reusable tumbler and take them to a nearby beach to get some sun. If we don’t have anything to make mixed drinks at home we would go to soak up the sun regardless.
  4. Drive to the Next Town OVer & Walk: we do this one all the time!! I love traveling, however, I can’t keep spending money for flights (as much as I may want to) which is why Alec and I will drive a couple hours in one direction and explore. You can make this as cheap or expensive as you would like based on the distance. Keep it on the cheaper side and explore the next town or two over and grab something for lunch. Or, as expensive as you’d like and make this drive into a small weekend getaway.
  5.  Play Video Games Together: My boyfriend LOVES video games (he’s playing one right now as I write this) and to put it lightly, I suck at them! The only game I like playing is Jeopardy! because you don’t have to move a character and I love anything trivia-related. Even though I suck at video games, the two of us will play a game because it’s something that Alec can teach me and he really appreciates when I try to learn something that he loves.
  6. Themed Movie Week: I know most of us are watching a movie before bed, but why not make it into a theme? I mean, themes make everything instantly more fun anyway, right?! Each week the two of you can choose which theme to base your movie picks on. Whether your theme is based on action, romantic comedies, or childhood favorites it will be fun to mix up the movies you normally watch. Or if you’re like us, it’ll be nice to switch it up from The Office for the millionth time.
  7. Wine & Beer Tasting: another thing on this list that can be as cheap or expensive as you wish. For the two of us, we usually stick to 2 kinds of cheese and 1-2 types of meats. But, of course, you could do less or more depending on your preference. We tend to do cheeseboards when we want to mix up our week and this may personally be my favorite item to mix up your work week. But your girl is a major cheeseboard lover!
  8. Dress Fancy for a Dinner at Home: To purely shake up your work week, take the time to really get ready for dinner. Take your time when getting ready as well. Take a hot shower, do your hair/makeup, and get dressed in an outfit that leaves you speechless. Do all of that to have dinner in your own home, but don’t forget to dim the lights because candlelight makes everything more romantic.
  9. Read a Book Together: this one may be challenging to do if your partner isn’t the biggest book lover. I really enjoy reading but have turned to my Audible because I no longer read a book before bed like I used to. I brought this idea up to my partner about the two of us reading the same book together and discussing those chapters, but I was more in love with the idea then he was. So, I think this one would be a great date idea if the two of you both love to read.
  10. Dance in Your Living Room: ANYONE can do this date idea! You don’t even necessarily need music for this either. I mean, what’s more romantic than dancing closely together in the living room with nothing but the energy between you two. I know, at the moment it just feels like awkward silence, but when you think back on that moment you will think it was time well spent with your loved one. But, of course, if you have music play that sucker!!
  11. Take a Bath Together: I hate taking baths, however, every now and then I like to create a bath with Epsom salt. One evening, Alec and I were having our normal pizza night when we decided to mix things by having our pizza together in our bathtub. I know this may sound unsanitary, but we didn’t really care and our bathtub was huge enough to fit the two of us and then some.
  12. Goodwill Date: Set aside a certain amount that you would like to spend. You can make it simple at $5-10 or extravagant enough with a $20-25 budget. When your budget is set, the rules are simple: simply buy clothes for your partner to wear during your dinner out. My cousin did this with her now husband early into their relationship and the photos were SO cute and dorky!! I love this idea because it helps you and your partner branch out and not care about what other people think of you and what you’re wearing! And of course, you better take photos to remember this wonderfully hilarious date night idea.
  13. Recreate your First Date: since we’re on the topic of dates, you might as well spend one night recreating your first date together. You can recreate the date however you’d like with keeping it budget-friendly by recreating it in your home or going all out and sprucing up the first date you had. No matter how you recreate your first date, it will always bring you back to the memories you originally had on that day.
  14. Dessert-Only Dinner: this can be dessert-only, appetizers-only or drinks-only! Whatever floats your boat! Go all out and have a blank-ONLY dinner!
  15. DIY Painting-with-a-Twist: I know you know what I’m talking about and instead of spending $35 for two hours of instructed painting lessons. I’ve done this twice and have personally enjoyed each visit, but why not create your own DIY painting night in the comfort of your own home? Alec and I turned Bob Ross on Netflix for background noise/inspiration and we did our best at painting something that kind of resembled art. Our best tip: the more wine you drink, the better your painting will look in the moment!

If you’re having any issues figuring out what to do during the work week, I hope this list of simple date ideas helps you out. Even if you read my list and thought “wow, I’ve seen all of these before and this didn’t help me at all” I hope you build upon my ideas and create your own. You don’t need to follow mine exactly.

Alec and I are always looking for ways to spruce up our weekdays. If you have a favorite date idea that you and your partner do during the week, and I didn’t list it on here, PLEASE comment it down below because we’re always thinking of budget-friendly date ideas!!

With love,

A Simple Wildflower

Decluttering My Makeup

I’m moving this weekend which means I’ve been decluttering my apartment like crazy! I don’t like clutter to begin with and I don’t want to move items across the state that I feel neutral on and/or doesn’t have a purpose. I would also like to turn this move into a huge transition continuing my journey to having a more zero waste lifestyle. 

This past weekend, I thought ‘since I don’t want to keep these items anyways and it would be wasteful to throw it all in the dumpster, why don’t I donate it to the nearest shelter or have Salvation Army pick it up from my doorstep?’

And that is what I’m going to try and start tonight. I already put a box on the kitchen counter to fill-up with plastic lunch containers, plastic kitchenware, and all my pads/tampons I will never use since buying the Diva Cup. Then I replace everything that I need, ONLY! I don’t want this to be an excuse to go overboard on my spending getting whatever I please, each item needs to be able to serve a purpose and to be completely biodegradable. I really want to try my hardest to lower my carbon footprint in all aspects of my life.

So, without further ado here is my honest review of the makeup products I am decluttering from my collection. After counting everything in my bag, I am getting rid of 20 ITEMS! How crazy is that?! One thing I immediately noticed about my decluttered stash, is that most of my items are high-end products I no longer enjoy using or has expired because I didn’t use it enough to the point it went bad.

1) Stila Stay All Day Lip Liner in Rose for $20

This was the first lip liner I purchased and I only purchased this one because it was 50% off on the Sephora website and I said to myself, why not? Honestly, I think it’s ridiculous to spend $20 on a single lip liner because I feel like you don’t get a lot of product for the price. I mean, at least a $20 lip gloss will have more product to use up.

Not only is the price for this lip liner too steep in my opinion, but it’s just not good. This lip liner was rough to apply and I had to really tug on my lips to get any color payoff; which was hardly any. Maybe it’s this shade that’s a dud? Whether it’s this shade or not I wouldn’t want you to waste $20 on a high-end lip liner when I’m sure there is a drug-store version that’s better.

2) Milk Makeup Eye Pigments in Hotel Lobby & After Party for $24

I really like these eye pigments and a little product goes a looong way!! Trust me, I’ve had these two shades for almost 3 and a half years and I’m only getting rid of them because they’re expired. If I were to repurchase these again (which I most likely won’t because I was NOWHERE near close to finishing them!) I would repurchase the shade After Party, which is a beautiful light pink color and the shade Hotel Lobby is a nice champagne color.

3) Sephora Miniature Palette in the Donut Shades Collection for $10

I REALLY like the price point of this eyeshadow palette and how travel-friendly it is; however, there is hardly any color payoff with all 5 shades. The pink and gold shades hardly show up and the browns all show up very similarly.

I kept the Sephora Miniature Palette in the Cookie Shades Collection because all the brown shadows were so different, so unique, and the best part is each shade has a great payoff! I’m keeping the Cookie palette and will let someone else love the Donut palette.

4) NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Tokyo (bubblegum pink) for $6.50

I have recently come to the conclusion that I personally dislike matte lip products and this product was no exception. Matte products dry out my lips and after 30 minutes looks awful on me! That’s why I’m getting rid of all my matte lip products; I never reach for any of them.

Even though I’m getting rid of this NYX product, I’m keeping my NYX Butter Gloss in Peaches & Cream which is a nice, cheap gloss that reminds me of the Too Faced Peaches & Cream Collection, without spending all that $$$.

5) REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask for $38

My skin gets irritated after being outside in the Florida sun and from time to time I like to use a mask to refresh my skin. I kept hearing how wonderful this product was for irritated skin and figured I would try it out myself and let me tell you, I REALLY dislike this!!

I have used 85-90% of this and I cannot bring myself to finish the rest of it, I dislike it that much. It does nothing for my skin, it doesn’t feel cooling or comforting, and it feels milky washing it off; just not my favorite and it makes me wary of other products from this brand. Does anyone personally like this brand? What should I try next to change my mind?

6) Cover FX Power Play Foundation in N20 for $44

I received the sample size in a Sephora Play box and there is nothing wrong with this foundation. I actually like the way it looks on my skin, well, except for my nose and I found N20 to be a really good shade match for my skin tone.

A few reasons I am getting rid of this foundation is I don’t want to have a huge collection of samples and I’m trying to stray away from foundations in general. This year, I would like to focus my attention on using more skincare products and keeping better care of my skin.

7) Besame Cosmetics Vanilla Powder for $22

I remember receiving this product in a subscription box and my gut is telling me it was from Ipsy, so we’ll just go with that! I realized I only used this powder whenever I was wearing foundation because I think it looks wonderful for a more glam look (because this powder has great coverage). Now that I hardly wear foundation, this has gone unused for quite some time and it’s gone bad by now.

It does have a strong vanilla scent that I didn’t mind but just a heads up.

8) Sephora #Lipstories in Oui! For $8

This is a cream lipstick that has a nice formula, I’m just not a huge fan of this shade on my lips. I hardly wear lipstick and I’m still getting used to lipsticks on myself, but I knew this shade wasn’t for me.

Nothing wrong with the formula or price just need to try out other shades.

9) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty & Feisty for $29

I like these blushes, I really do but I made it a goal of mine to only keep makeup that I REALLY love! And the reason why I decluttered my two Tarte blushes is because there are other blushes in my collection that I like more and would like to use up and hit pan on.

I really like my Benefit GALifornia Blush. This blush is a summery pink shade with gold shimmers that looks great on my skin tone and I think many others. I’m also gravitating towards cream makeup products and would like to play around more with the cream formula.

10) Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip in Fairy Floss for $6

This is one of Colourpop’s best sellers and there really is nothing wrong with this lip gloss; it’s just that there are other lip glosses in my collection I like more. I personally like Colourpop’s Ultra Glossy Lip in Bobbidi, which is apart of their Disney Designer Collection and would like to use that up.

11) BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Prosecco Pop for $38

This is the only highlighter I’ve tried out from the BECCA brand and I do like the formula of this highlighter, except I do not personally think you should rush out and spend close to $40 on it.

I received this in a Boxycharm subscription and was so excited to give it a whirl, but the warm gold tone of this highlighter does not look great on me. I think if you have tan or a deeper skin tone you would enjoy this shade because on me it looked like I had an obvious gold streak on my cheeks.

Maybe this would be a nice body shimmer? That could be an idea, give this highlighter a new purpose?

12) MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering

This product seems to be no longer available and maybe that’s for a reason? I’m just not a huge fan of coloring my eyebrows and personally, I like my Glossier Boy Brow A LOT more because it grooms my eyebrows and keeps them groomed throughout the day.

13) Caudalie Grape Water for $10 or $18

I REALLY wanted to love this because of the price; it’s sooo cheap AND at Sephora! The only issue with this product is I don’t enjoy using it. I use this as a face spray to refresh my ‘naked’ face or as a setting spray for makeup and I don’t like using it because of the scent.

I was probably doomed from the beginning because I tried the Beauty Elixir twice (from the same brand) and fell in LOVE with the scent and I enjoyed it every single time I used it. I haven’t repurchased the Beauty Elixir because the mini size runs out quickly (I also am a crazy person and drench it on) and the full size is a whopping $50. I might bite the bullet though because I REALLY enjoy using the Beauty Elixir as a face spray.

I think since the Grape Water is unscented the water inside ended up smelling like the aluminum can. I hated smelling that and I’d rather have the eucalyptus smell from the Beauty Elixir. I love the price of the Grape Water, but I also want to enjoy the products I buy.

14) Dream St. Pressed Powder Shadow Palette by Kathleen Light for $16

I love my girl Kathleen Lights, she is my ride or die YouTuber! I freaking love her but I just wasn’t reaching for this palette and decluttered it for that reason alone. There is nothing wrong with the formula and all the shades were easy to use, I was just using my Tarte Foil Finger Paints Shadow Palette – Rainforest of the Sea Collection a lot more.

If I need to wear eyeshadow, my Tarte palette is the ONLY one I’ve been using because I love that you can put one shade on and it’s a perfect look! It’s another cream product I’m obsessed with and it’s a lazy girls dream palette!!

15) Kat Von D Eau De Parfum in Saint

I am decluttering this perfume for one reason: ZERO STAYING POWER! I could probably bathe in this perfume and the fragrance still wouldn’t stick to my skin’s chemistry. I stopped reaching for this perfume because I like to smell the perfume on my skin.

I feel bad for decluttering this because Alec bought it for me after I talked about it for months and I used it for a little bit then stopped. Since I never use it, I’m hoping someone else will love it, and who knows, maybe it will work better with their skin’s chemistry?

16) NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in KISS for $24

Same story: intense matte is not my cup of tea. I don’t think it looks good on me and this shade is deeper than I’m used to on my lips. I didn’t’ try it as a blush and may give this product a second chance because I did say I wanted to try out more cream blushes.

17) Sephora Gel Gloss Ultra Brilliant Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude & 17 Pin-up Pink for $7

These were just okay lip glosses and it is the same story: I have other lip glosses I like better and want to reach for.

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Because I made it a goal to keep items that I truly love a lot of the items on this list are great products, they just weren’t ones I was reaching for. I would like to look at my makeup collection and not feel overwhelmed by how much I’ve accumulated throughout the months/years. I want to remember what I have in my collection and use it whenever I think about it. I think owning less makeup is going to give me the freedom to play around more with my looks because I actually know what I have and what I want to use.

Sincerely,

A Simple Wildflower

 

Top 4 Ways I Consume Less Waste

If you clicked on this blog posting, then you’re probably like me, just an average person who wants to consume less waste. My desire to consume less waste didn’t come about overnight; it was after reading a few articles that really made my heart sink.

I’m sure most of you have seen the video of the sea turtle with a plastic straw up his/her nose. As the big animal lover that I am, this video killed me. I can’t even imagine the type of pain this turtle was feeling because I’ve never had a plastic straw up my nose blocking my breathing, that is something we have caused onto others. This video was a big reason why I stopped using plastic straws and bought my own reusable ones.

The next video made my blood boil (and it should make everyone else’s as well because this is our only planet). The video I’m talking about is the one where you see a plastic bag floating along the deepest trench in our ocean: the Mariana Trench. The Mariana Trench is 36,070 feet (10,994 meters) below sea level and there’s seriously a plastic bag floating around because of US. There is no one to blame except humans and our obsession with waste consumption.

I want to be clear, I am not a person who can fit their entire years’ worth of trash inside a mason jar, however, I am someone making small steps every day to make sure I consume less waste. Throughout this whole process, I learned that the best way to lessen your waste consumption is through practice, patience, and putting in a little bit more effort than usual. There is always an alternative if you think about it for a few seconds; even a quick google search will help you find better alternatives.

One important lesson I learned from my experience trying to consume less waste is to always start small. Start with a few small steps and perfect those before you try and completely change your lifestyle overnight; too many changes at once will always end poorly. That’s why the list I created below is only a few bullet points, so I don’t overwhelm you. I want this list to provide you simple steps to incorporate into your everyday lives.

Canvas Bags

Let’s start with one of my most common ways of reducing waste and one of the easiest to get started on being eco-conscious or waste-free. They’re easy to find, I purchased mine at a local grocery store where they sell reusable canvas bags at the check-out lanes. I think I have 6 canvas bags I like to keep in my car at any given moment. In the beginning, I kept forgetting them in the car when I went grocery shopping, I have the WORSE memory and was tired of realizing I forgot them while entering the store, going back out to get them, and coming back inside to finish my shopping. To fix my memory issues, I now keep my canvas bags in the passenger seat of my car. Now, when I park, I see them sitting next to me and grab them right then and there.

Reusable Water Bottle

Another easy purchase to start consuming less. You can seriously go anywhere to buy a reusable water bottle (preferably a glass bottle, because glass is easily recyclable). I bought a reusable glass water bottle from Target for $14.99. The water bottle I purchased is from the brand Ello, it has an easy pop-open lid, is BPA-free, AND its dishwasher safe! I keep this bottle in my car and never forget it for work.

Bring Silverware to Work

I hate using plasticware and I hate the fact that it’s a single-use item. I know people who will keep their plasticware, so they can wash them in the dishwasher so they can reuse them later. While this is not a bad idea, I have a co-worker who used to do this for a while until one plastic spoon fell out and almost started a fire in her dishwasher. Thankfully, she was home when this incident happened, but I can only imagine the damages if she wasn’t home. Not only is purchasing single-use plasticware wasteful on the environment it’s also wasteful for your wallet. Buy silverware and bring them to work. Once I’m done eating my meal, I will wash it in the sink then put it in my purse to take home.

Pack your lunch the night before and put a fork or spoon in your purse or lunchbox so you won’t forget.

Reusable Straws

This one is easy to buy, however, this one has been trickier to use constantly and for a few reasons. The main reason why reusable straws are a hard transition is that Alec and I kept accidentally throwing them away in the beginning. We were so used to throwing away the whole cup, straw included, that when we were using our reusable straw, we forgot about it when throwing it out. We started off with 8 reusable straws and now we are down to 3. Now we are more conscious of our actions and make sure to take the straw out before throwing it out, but still, the damages are done and we lost 5 brave straw souls to our carelessness.

Another reason why it was a harder transition to use reusable straws than I had originally thought is if they weren’t right in front of me, I would still end up using a plastic straw. This was an easy fix, however, because I now keep 2 straws in my car so whenever I get a drink in the drive-thru I don’t need to ask for a straw because I have one in my glove department. I also keep one at work because I like to get Dunkin Donuts coffee every now and then. So, when I want my coffee fix, I can rest assure that I have a reusable straw in my desk. Or somewhere because they’re scattered around like Easter eggs now.

That’s it! Those are the 4 small steps I took to lessen my waste consumption and while I may not be a complete expert now, I am proud of all the conscious steps I’m making to use less waste. Sometimes it feels like it’s almost impossible to not consume any type of waste because my biggest issue has been packaging.

The perfect example is, when I purchased my reusable straws from Amazon, they arrived at my apartment wrapped in plastic packaging. I purchased reusable straws to create less waste, yet it came packaged in something that needs to be thrown out anyway, and it was made from plastic!!

I also really like tea and after all this time searching for a brand that sells loose tea leaves without being individually wrapped, I have FINALLY found one! It’s sad to me, that it took me years to find a tea brand that sells loose tea leaves without packaging. I wish there were stores in south Florida that sold tea but unfortunately, there aren’t.

And don’t even get me started on cereal, it comes in cardboard packaging, however, the cereal is always kept in plastic. I personally believe it would be extremely difficult for someone to go 100% waste-free because of the way companies package their products. I’m not sure how people can fit their whole years’ worth of trash into a mason jar but I’m sure they had to completely change their lifestyle to manage that. While that is their journey to using less waste, this is my journey and though it’s not perfect at least I’m trying. Even if I do forget my canvas bags sometimes.

Sincerely,

A Simple Wildflower