365 Grateful

Today is my birthday and for the first time in my adulthood, I am unequivocally alone and single. My relationship status on its own is not pivotal, however that combined with a transformed perception toward life, love and the future is. In the past few years I ended an increasingly tumultuous relationship, simplified my lifestyle and set goals that exceed my prior beliefs of what is possible. I see opportunity and freedom in my solitude. I am free to look inward, grow and change without compromise. Part of the simplifying process is feeling and expressing gratitude for what we already have. If we do not appreciate what is already present, it is easy to lose focus on what is ultimately important. Living simply with gratitude is key to living intently. Until we live with intention, it is easy to merely coast through life or stray from what we value.

To celebrate this birthday, I am embarking on a year long project, a daily practice of gratitude and reflection. Instagram is my favorite social media platform and I will be sharing an image each day with a note of appreciation. Some days will be deep and soulful while others may just be a pretty little or silly thing that caught my eye or made me smile. As I searched for gratitude projects online I stumbled upon 365 Grateful. Hailey Bartholomew, a filmmaker and photographer in Australia did just that in 2008 after meeting with a life coach who advised her the secret to happiness is reflection and gratitude. Self-reflection and gratitude can lead us down a positive path. On the flip side, those who do not reflect and appreciate their present are more likely to engage in poor life decisions as a result of their discontent. Hailey found the simple act of daily gratitude improved her marriage, spirituality and health.

I’ll be posting with the hashtags #mauishopgirl365 and #365Grateful. Please feel free to join me (and tag me) at any time. Your 365 can start on whatever day you wish. You can also follow my daily gratitude posting on Instagram – MauiShopGirl.

To read more about Hailey’s 365 project and film, visit 365 Grateful.

If you would like to embark on 365 days of gratitude but Instagram is not your thing, here are a few other options:

  • A gratitude journal
  • A daily tweet or facebook status update
  • A scrapbook or sketch pad
  • Chalkboard or white board on your desk or in your kitchen
  • An email to a loved one or group of friends
  • A phone app
  • Jot your daily gratitude down on a small slip of paper to fill a mason or cookie jar.
  • On origami or craft paper to be displayed

Also feel free to share what you are feeling grateful for today in the comments below.

Video via 365 Grateful on YouTube.

Why We Buy – The Lure of the Sale

It’s that time of year again! Black Friday y’all and for those of  you who have been reading MSG since the beginning, you are probably expecting my usual annual I HATE BLACK FRIDAY rant. I’ve decided to do something different this year. Over the summer I’ve been working on an outline for a post on the reasons we buy and how our buying habits have turned the US into a culture driven by consumerism and requiring excessive amounts of storage for all of our “stuff”. As my outline grew, I decided “why we buy” needed to be a series of posts and felt this week was perfect to kick off the first in the series, the lure of the sale.

Thanksgiving Weekend Shoppers

Per Shop.Org 140 million U.S. consumers plan to shop over Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend.

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Minimal Me…Transformation

As October draws to an end and November rapidly approaches, I feel a renewed sense of self. Although I always try to live each day the best I can, making little improvements here and there, I’m feeling the urge, the NEED, to do a full court press on life.

Blogging Your Way

image courtesy of the amazing Holly Becker of Blogging Your Way & decor8

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Simple Life Together

Finding a minimal or simple living podcast that I could relate to was no easy task. It’s kind of like trying to find a good man. I had to kiss a lot of frogs before my prince of podcasts came along. One of my frogs was a minimalist who provided a list of “essentials” that included the must have firearms everyone should own (you know, for self defense, think Revolution or Hunger Games, and of course, to hunt your own food). Another could not stop talking about cloth diapers. I usually love living vicariously through parents since I don’t have any cute munchkins of my own but I do confess my tolerance for diaper talk has a very short ceiling.

I was determined and pressed on  until one fine sunny day, I stumbled upon a fairly new podcast by husband and wife dynamic duo, Vanessa and Dan Hayes, aptly named Simple Life Together. Woo hoo, pop the champagne! Let’s get this simple party started!


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Minimal Me…High Heels

I have a wall of shoes, and then some. I’m not going to give you a count because it’s an embarrassing amount. I will say “Imelda” escaped my cousin’s lips recently as she stood in my walk-in. Nuff said.

I’ve always loved shoes as long as I can remember beginning in high school with these bright multi-colored canvas numbers from a Kauai surf shop (think Toms in patchwork) and my beloved Tretorns. In college I wore my leather Calvin Klein loafers until there were holes and danced the night away in my white stiletto booties with silver studs. As a brand new college graduate I sported black, blue and taupe versions of office lady Bally flats (bought at a Liberty House sample sale event with my employee discount, score!). I also  bought a few pumps that I proudly wore downtown rain or shine. As the years went on, flats in bridge and trendy lines started to get less clunky looking and more feminine. I began to stock my closet with ballet flats, strappy flat sandals and boots. As flats got cuter, heels also got higher (blame it on Sex and the City).


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