5 items I appreciate

As I approach 30, I’m noticing that there are items and places that make my life easier. The past few years, our family has been focusing on making life simpler instead of accumulating ‘things’. From clothes for work to the tech we buy,  I now know that less, is indeed, more.

Below I have a list of items and places that have helped with the ‘less is more’ mentality when it comes to self-care, finances, and productivity.

1. The Happiness Advantage.

Self-care, Finances, Productivity

A book. And, no, it’s not all fairies and rainbows. If you’ve ever wondered about the science behind happiness, read this book and learn how happiness is the start, not the end result of success. This book reminds me that happiness is a choice, not a perk of completing something, and how ‘things’ (including degrees and recognition) wont fill you up.

2. Trader Joe’s.

Finances, Self-care

Now, I know that this place isn’t perfect. But we watch sodium, saturated fat, preservatives, and food dyes in our house, and TJ’s  makes it easier.  There are limited options at each store compared to a regular grocery store which prevents me from getting too distracted in the sweets aisle. Also, with their budget friendly prices, we can afford to try new things and not brake the bank.  

3. Surface RT.


Purchased on sale for $200, it was a Christmas/ Birthday gift. This was a splurge, but it has been awesome (it was on sale for Black Friday and we called a few stores the following weekend to check availability, and some of the Best Buy’s in more rural areas still had some)! Since I’m able to use Windows on this tablet, I can pull up spreadsheets and reports in meetings for reference instead of shuffling papers. It’s been a great tool for testing email templates too (part of my job as an Email Marketing Manager) since we don’t have smartphones anymore.

4. Library Card.

Finances, Self-care

When I was little, my mother took us to the library on Saturdays when she wasn’t working. We spent time reading books, checking out videos on dolphins, and reading Highlights. Over time, I have come to appreciate the library again (since I’ve been out of college for a few years). Now, I can check out an e-magazine on my Surface, books that I otherwise would have bought for professional development, and even audio books for my long(-ish) daily commute. Also, my son really enjoys going to the children’s room at the library to color and play with puzzles- win for winter!

5. Real Things.

 Self-care, Finances, Productivity

I know, this seems ridiculous. But when I was in college, I—like so many others—I consumed poorly. From ramen noodles to lots of cheap products all around. I didn’t think about what I was buying and consuming, I just knew that I could or couldn’t afford the item. Now? Well, we’re still on a tight budget, but we know that spending extra money on food or decent chemical free products is more beneficial to us in the long run. Yes, it’s more expensive, but we’re making choices with our money. 

We also learned that when we buy ‘cheaper’ items, we spend more money in the long run replacing the item. It’s true, you get what you pay for.

What about you? What do you appreciate more now that you didn’t think about before?

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