Authentically You: A Brief Plan

Earlier this month I revealed that my goal for 2011 is to get back to living authentically.  Now, I am the first to admit here that I am not 100% sure how to start going about this.  It's not like you can just wake up and say "Nothing but authenticity today, Jackie!" and be done with it.  It is definitely going to be a process. 


With all that being said, here are my preliminary thoughts and goals on the movement towards authenticity-keep in mind these ideas are how I feel I can get back to my true self, not necessarily how you or anyone else should go about it (stating the obvious here).

*Clear out the clutter* 

Clutter and mess really irks me.  It puts me in an immediate foul mood when I see toys strewn about every room, dirty dishes on the counter, socks on the floor, etc.  Most of the time I just want to throw it all away. I recently read an article in Sunset magazine in which a couple made the decision to live with very minimal possessions, and to reduce their impact on the environment as much as possible.  This family of four claims to only throw away about a handful of garbage a year.  A handful!  I didn't even think that was humanly possible.  I'm not thinking of going to that extreme (baby steps), but many of the woman's thoughts on possessions and how we live with too much really got me thinking.  We are pretty good of getting rid of things we don't need around here, but we still have a long way to go to before all the non-essentials are gone.

*Buy vintage/secondhand whenever possible*

I LOVE vintage.  Pretty obvious since I own a vintage home goods shop.  However, I have realized that I was limiting myself to just that niche-and mainly for re-sale.  I want to take it to the next level and try to make as many personal purchases as possible from vintage shops on etsy, thrift and antique shops, antique fairs, etc.  Not only is vintage unique and often times more well-made than what you can buy in the stores today (anyone who has walked the aisles of Toys R' Us can attest to the crap they sell for kids these days), but buying vintage is great for the environment, your budget and your creativity!

...on the flip side...
*Save up for and buy quality instead of wasting money on cheap things*
(when vintage won't do)

I am so guilty of buying something just because it is cheap.  I think we all are-some more than others.  I am an emotional shopper, so if I am bored, angry, sad, I will head down to my local Target and buy basically anything under $5.  I'm over that.  It makes no sense.  Why waste money on a bunch of little things that you really don't want or need?  Why not save all those little $5 purchases until they add up to enough money to buy something more expensive that you have wanted forever?  It will also cut down on all the useless crap around the house.

*Get back into reading*

I loved to read when I was younger.  I would literally spend the whole day in my room reading on many a weekend.  But then voila-I grew up and had kids of my own and started a blog and watched too much tv and let reading fall to the wayside.  I want to re-ignite that passion I once had for reading.  My goal is at least one book every month and a half.  Totally do-able.  My husband wanted in on the fun, so we are going to read the same books-a little husband and wife book club if you will.  We just started Outlander (his choice), and despite my initial doubts, it is turning out to be pretty good!  I'm also planning on a little book club here on the blog, so let me know if you would be interested in joining!

*Relax and try and enjoy time at home*

For someone who loves interior design, it seems odd that most of the time I am trying to find ways to get out of my house.  I know fellow stay at home moms will relate more to this because they spend the majority of their time at home like me.  If I worked and was out of the home for 40 hours a week I am sure I would relish my hours spent at home.  Since I do not, and am here practically 24/7 365 (many of those hours just being me and the kids) I can get a little stir-crazy.  Cue unnecessary emotional trip to Target!  It just seems so pointless and expensive to live like this.  When I had dreams of having kids and being a stay-at-home mom, I never pictured it would be like this.  I imaged sunshiny days filled with bubbles, coloring crayons and laughter.  Well, don't be fooled, it's definitely not like that at all, but I am going to do my best to get as close to that vision as possible!

Whew! Okay, so that was a lot of rambling on my part, and not usually something I do around here, but I thought it was a good exercise for the cause.  I'll be updating you on my progress as it happens.  I would love for you to join in and to hear your ideas.  What could you be doing more or less of to live a more authentic life?


  1. love your plan Jackie... you have great concrete ways to make simple changes. keep us posted... and you know I am down for a book club. Also, I have tried reading Outlander two times and can't get into it. Maybe I should get it from the library again!

  2. love this. and im with you..sale stuff at target gets me everytime! i come home and am like um, i didnt need that, but it was in the dollar spot so oh well.

    one thing ive done is unless it is a book i NEED and want for my library, i go to the library. it saves so much money and isnt wasteful, since I can put a book away in 2 hours.

  3. jill you must try Outlander again! The beginning is the only slow part. Reading this with a sig. other is a great idea because it is a very sexy book!!

  4. These are fantastic goals! And super similar to my own. There has to be a way to make all of this balance, right?

  5. Great post Jackie and I'm with you, definitely trying to declutter life a little- I started today but tackiling our main closet- it's a total disaster so I'm hoping a little organization in that area will make me feel a lot better. I too would love to make time for reading...I miss it so much. Thanks for inspiring me to set some goals of my own!!

  6. Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while but have never commented - I am also trying to give myself a kick up the bum this year and live with a bit more purpose and have just started a blog to kick myself off on the journey! Love the book club idea, i spent my christmas holidays reading more than I've done in years and always looking for new ideas of things to read!

  7. This is good stuff. I especially here you on the buying too many cheapy things...I need to stop that. It's no wonder that when I go through my house to de-clutter, everything is pretty much brand new. I just tired of it quickly because I never really wanted it in the first place.

    Ohh and books...I miss you books. I guess it will probably be a few years before I can get back to them.

  8. I don't comment much as the other poster above said but I wanted to say I really enjoyed this post because it really hit home with me! I am happy we are starting a new year but with the new year I always put so many new expectations on myself, like get fit, get the house together, take some classes and so on...I really like your ideas on living a bit more simply and forgoing the trips to Target... nice to know I'm not the only SAHM that does that just to get out of the house:)

  9. Ugh, I totally feel you on the vision of being a stay at home Mom and how it really is! The cheap stuff at Target will be hard, at least it would be for me. Great post girlie!

  10. Wow, I am amazed how similar our goals are. I am starting a year of buying nothing new as an attempt to reach a simpler, more wholesome life. Of course I can still buy laundry detergent and toothpaste but no new clothes, Target crap or other impulse buys.

  11. Yep yep yep - I concur on all counts. Need to stop buying stuff because "it's CHEAP!!!!", need to ENJOY my time at home with the Trips, and would like to read more, and by "read" I mean "listen to more audiobooks." I was like you as a kid - ALWAYS had my nose in a book, but I've found that since the Trips came along if I sit down to read, I am usually asleep within a few minutes, so I ALWAYS listen to an audiobook in the car. Maybe you should try that with Outlander. I'd be interested in a bloggy book club too!


  12. Love this post - I'm down with the decluttering too. I started last fall and am continuing, trying to be very present when I want to make impulse purchases asking myself "Do I really need this?" 9 times out of 10 the answer is no :o) Keep us posted on how you are doing!

  13. I love this post! And these are all things I'm trying to implement in my life as well :)

  14. oh my, I LOVE this! great word. today I made it to the recycling center for the first time, felt good. Hoping to cut back on all junk after my first initial clean out. This one can't count ;)