Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


Living with Less- Clothes

I haven't quite adopted the label "minimalist" quite yet though I definitely lean towards it. We live in a small house by choice and we live with all the items we own, no storage units filled with stuff we aren't using. We purge our house quite frequently and when we buy something we are intentional about where it will go in our house.

But my clothes closet was a whole different matter. In our shared closet I was taking up most of the space. I started reading about the Project 333 and immediately fell in love with the concept. I did as instructed and dumped all my clothes on my bed and went through the pile one by one, trying everything on. As I worked through the clothes I created piles on the floor:
  • Keep / Fits great / I love this item
  • Maybe / Has sentimental value
  • Donate / Doesn't Fit   
After I did the initial round of closet clearing it still looked like my closet was spilling out, in no way did it look like a minimalist closet. That's when I realized that I needed to adjust the concept for my life. I am a yoga instructor and am teaching several yoga classes a day, I literally live in leggings. I have my work uniform of yoga pants and yoga studio logo t-shirts that I wear every day. But then I have the "other" clothes. Clothes I wear occasionally out to dinner or a movie, clothes meant to be lived in like the rest of the world does. And then I have the special occasion clothes; the wedding or fancy dinner or funeral.  

What I learned through the process is that I wanted to really hone in on my personal style. I wanted to create a "look" that I felt comfortable and confident wearing regardless of whether it was a "thin" week or a "that time of the month week". I have spent most of the year thinking about it and creating Pinterest boards and noticing fashion in a different way than I have ever before. I've found pieces that can go from teaching a yoga class to a lunch date. I found the perfect black dress that can be worn several times on various outings whether dressed up for fancy dinner or dressed down by adding a jean jacket. I've decided on a gray-black basic color scheme with pops of color in the accessories. It's still a work in progress but I feel better about how it is evolving.    

My wife introduced me to the concept of buying quality items versus quantity. When we met I was a thrift store seeker, yard sale shopper, coupon cutter, frugal gal to my core. I was raised that way and it has continued into my adult life. I have always been a saver of money but I have issues with shelling out a lot of money for clothes and shoes. And then my wife pointed out to me that my way of sale shopping actually made me spend more money, took more time and if we get down to it was worse for the environment. For example, I was purchasing yoga pants on sale for around $15-$25 at various stores that would last me about a year before they became see-thru or fell apart in the washing machine. But the leggings that I purchased from a higher quality store that would make any frugal gal gasp, $90 on a pair of leggings?!?! They actually lasted 5 years and were still in great shape during the closet purge that I donated them.

Thanks to my wonderful wife I've now adopted her quality over quantity philosophy, though I still have to remind myself of that when I hold my breath while pushing the checkout buttons to purchase shoes that cost over $100. But with quality items in my closet that will last me a long time and in line with Project 333 I am creating a minimalist fashion closet that works for me. Keep checking back for updates! 
Have you tried Project 333? Ever thought of adopting a minimalist wardrobe or capsule wardrobe, as they are often referred to as? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear what your "uniform" looks like.  


Makeover your Bathroom Tile Without Breaking the Bank!

I have tried everything to clean this floor. We inherited the look of this tile when we bought the house, the tile is original to the house actually. I have purchased so many products that claim they will renew grout back to its original glory and they have all failed miserably. I have even been on my hands and knees with a toothbrush and straight bleach trying to clean this floor. Nothing worked.

It left us thinking that we needed to redo the bathroom and had contractors out to give us a price estimate on flooring, tile in the tub area, light fixtures and all the other little things that you need but don't think of costing money like installing a towel bar. Both contractors put us in the 5-7 thousand dollar range to do everything! On a yoga teacher's salary, that is not in the budget!

So I spent several hours watching youtube videos and reading up on how to regrout your floor. And determined that it was too messy and involved purchasing tools I didn't already own which resulted in a bigger expense. Then thanks to the Pinterest-algorithm Gods this product, Grout Renew, came up in my feed. I was immediately interested, painting grout? I can totally do that! I read several other blog reviews that showed amazing before and after pictures and I was willing to give it a go.

When I told people I was doing this they gave me a look that clearly said they thought I had completely lost my mind. For $14, I was willing to try it. I set up my Ipad and would watch/listen to a show while on my hands and knees perched on a pillow with my little paintbrush painting the grout around each square and rectangle. I took my time, I didn't consistently do it for hours on end. I'd do about 45 minutes and then be done for the day. I wouldn't get to it every day but several times a week I'd be perched on my pillow in a meditative state painting the floor. It was rather quite pleasant. 

Our floor was in really bad shape and it took two coats to cover the aging dark grout. It was faster the second time around as I had gained confidence in painting. After the painting was done I cleaned the floor and then put an additional sealant on top. All of the products I purchased at Home Depot because that is what is closest to my house. In the midst of painting the floor, I decided to paint the whole bathroom which really brightened up the room. I am loving how it turned out. And the entire project cost a little less than $100!   


Honoring Your Time, Living with Intention


I am choosing to live my life with Intention on a daily basis, as I mentioned before in a previous post my word for 2018 is Intention.
It's not easy, I'll be honest.
It would be a lot easier to get back into the habits that felt comfortable but weren't serving my purpose or goals. Similiar to when you create a new goal of being healthier, with food and exercise. It's hard to create that new habit but it's only the creating of the habit that is hard. Once the habit of meal prepping and carving out time in your schedule to exercise is a part of your routine, it no longer feels hard.

What does living with intention look like on a weekly basis? I am taking weekly inventory of how we are spending our time and making room in our busy schedules to spend time with the people we love and care about but have lost sight of because they aren't immediately in front of us. Like a lot of people we get swept up into the daily living; work, kids' activities, dog walks etc. If we don't pencil in the time to see these people that we love and care about but don't happen to be one of the faces we run into as we go about our lives, we hardly see them.

Maybe you feel the same way, you are raising kids and absorbed in practices and games and your time is spent with the other parents you sit next to on the bleachers. Or maybe you feel absorbed in your career and all of your time is spent at work and then getting drinks with other staff members afterward to shrug off the day and decompress. This is life, this is being in that comfortable place of habits. But the question I propose to you is- Is this serving your purpose? If you were a company would your intention of how you spend your time be in line with your mission statement? It wasn't for me and that's why I am making this change in my life.

We are making the time to see those faces that we lost sight of and care about, even if that means driving to a halfway point to have a meal together for a few hours. Twice we have done exactly that this month. For my mother-in-law's birthday, we drove halfway to meet her for lunch and yes, it would have been ideal to spend a weekend together but with the boys' schedules right now of classes and musical rehearsals, it's just not possible. That lunch with her felt really special. I felt present and happy to be with her and my wife on a Wednesday afternoon, breaking up our normal weekly routine. We also met up with my cousins who live outside of Philadelphia, we met halfway in a little sleepy boat town for lunch. We laughed and ate and talked truth. I don't think I've laughed that much in a long time. It was so good for our souls to connect with like-minded people and share our stories.

Intention lives in the choosing, being mindful of where our energies are going. Who and what are occupying the time slots on our calendars. Choosing how you spend your time and with whom is possible for all of us. We deserve to make living with intention a priority in our lives. How will you do it?


My word for the year- Intention

Every year I choose a word to meditate on and explore both emotionally and spiritually. This year my word is; Intention.
Here are links to previous years words: BE, Awakening, Embrace

The definition of intention:
-Meaning or significance: The intention of his words was clear.
-An act of determining mentally upon some action or result.
-The end or object intended; purpose.

I want to live 2018 with intention rather than just being swept up in the daily to-dos and losing sight of the things that really matter to me.
That is how I will measure the value of my life this year. Did I live with purpose? Did I spend time with people that I made room for in my schedule? Did I create room to explore and experience life? At the end of each month, I no longer want to mutter to myself “Oh my God! Where did the month go?”, like I did on several occasions in 2017.

My family is joining me on this journey as well. At the end of each month, we are writing down three highlights from the month in a journal. Each person writes their own highlights, in their own words captured in their handwriting. I imagine that at the end of 2018 it’s going to be such a gem to look back on these memories and life experiences that we created by living our lives with purpose. What word will you choose for 2018? How do you want to live your life and measure your year?


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