Minimalist Wardrobe Tour

Minimalist Wardrobe Tour

Tour my wardrobe with me!

My current wardrobe situation reminds me of my clothes storage in college [the subject of my very first blog post!].

It seemed about time for an update, so here is a tour of my KonMari’d closet, containing all my clothes!

minimalist wardrobe tour

With extra love to:

P.S. The photo above is not my actual wardrobe [as you may have discerned, if you watched the video ;)]. It was my closet in St Louis for the Granger Leadership Academy, with all my Hogwarts Professor clothes ready to wear. I adore nesting when I’m traveling – unpacking beautifully and repacking efficiently….ahhhh

P.P.S. I’m returning to GLA in March 2018 as a sponsor and presenter! Will I see you there? [tickets are selling out!]

This tour is filed under SLYTHERIN for promoting self confidence and personal identity through unapologetic fashion expression.

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

One of the woes of being an international heroine is that my closest companions are scattered across the globe. 

Alas! Instead of bemoan the difficulties of being so cosmopolitan, I take long-distance friendships as a creative challenge. 

Especially as an introvert, favouring intimate connections in short bursts, a global girl gang is the way to go.

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

Make a friendship map.

At the back of my Passion Planner, I have a page headlined friends friends friends [inspired by Luna Lovegood’s bedroom wall]. I keep an orderly list, arranged by city and country, so that when I happen to be in town I can run down the list to get in touch. Much simpler than scrolling through my mental rolodex. 

Celebrate friendship.

Taylor Swift keeps black and white portraits of her besties in her hallway. I started a portable collection of black and white portraits in a folder on my iPod called Hallway. 

Recently I upgraded the project to a private Instagram account, posting my beloved portraits on friends’ birthdays, and when I’m thinking of them. 

I wanted a place to celebrate my friends privately, without unwanted exposure to the blogosphere. Maybe this is a Gryffindor thing. look how awesome my friends are!!!

Related: How your friends can help you based on their Hogwarts houses

Keep in touch the old fashioned way.

When Steve and I were living distantly, my favourite tradition was writing him a letter every Sunday. Communication through letters is uniquely intimate, something more deliberate than in-person conversation, and more thoughtful than email or text. 

I love writing friends letters, often on a weekend, usually on holiday, when I have time to spread out. 

I always seal the envelope with stickers or washi tape, and I usually enclose little trinkets, like a free postcard from the coffeeshop in which I scribed the note, or a torn page from a magazine. Can’t include such delights in an email!

Play a Game.

Another thing Steve and I did when we were apart was play Words with Friends. The sentiment was in the right place, but he complained that I took too long thinking of words. Sooo I’m taking suggestions for more suitable games.

Lately I’ve been enjoying Dots & Co, which is single-player, but you can see your friends’ progress and send each other free energy. Get in touch if you’re playing too!

Ping an out-of-the-blue thinking-of-you.

Sometimes it feels weird to reconnect with someone I haven’t spoken to in years without a full catch up: How are you? Where are you? What have you been up to? But such pleasantries are not always necessary, in truth. 

I often send a quick ‘thinking of you’ message when something I come across reminds me of them. On my end I know it’s delightful to receive an out-of-the-blue “I’m at MUJI. Thought of you.” 

These exchanges usually happen over Facebook Messenger (because my phone doesn’t do emojis), where I enjoy pairing each contact with the perfect colour and emoji [did you know you can do this? Tap your friend’s name at the top of your screen on mobile!], and I enjoy exchanging Stickers. All about the stickers, digital and physical.

How to Keep in Touch with Long-Distance Friends

Related: 21 Things to do on a Pomodoro Break [yes this is one of them!]

Schedule a digital Lunch Date.

I started using Calendly to schedule business appointments, but I have a separate calendar just for ‘lunch dates’ with faraway friends on Skype, whether they’re also having lunch, or an east coast breakfast. 

Even a half hour catch up is wonderful – I actually prefer it to a few hours every few months – and much more manageable and fun than going back and forth about time zones.

Visit them in person!

The great thing about having friends around the world is that I have a marvellous excuse to visit my favourite people in new places. My preferred travel activity is to collect glimpses of my friends’ daily lives around the world. 

Encourage friends to visit you as well – not just ‘come any time’, but suggest a specific itinerary and time of year.

Or, meet in the middle. Kat and I forgo birthday presents in exchange for the promise to meet up whenever Taylor Swift is on tour.

Related: How to Get the Best Travel Advice for YOU

When will I see you again?

Whether a friend lives down the street or on the other side of the planet, I like to close each gathering by gauging when we’ll next see each other. Asking the question reaffirms the intention to keep in touch, and could lead to unexpected crossings of paths!

How do you keep in touch with faraway friends?

P.S. I founded the Heroine Training traveling tea party tour to meet even more friends around the world. Put in a vote for your hometown, and receive a personal invitation when I’m nearby [when I say personal I mean personal!].

This lesson is filed under SLYTHERIN, the house where you “meet your real friends”.

Determining Today’s Focus in your Passion Planner

Determining Today's Focus in your Passion Planner

The difference between a heroine and a robot

Sometimes I get obsessed with crossing things off my to do list (in highlighter). Pausing to reflect in my Passion Planner helps me remember the big picture, of why I care about getting things done. 

One of the features that keeps me in check is the “Today’s Focus” box at the top of each day’s column. Every night before I go to bed, I make sure to identify the next day’s “Focus”.

Determining Today's Focus in your Passion Planner

I keep changing up what I use that box for, including the following:

Most Important Task

If nothing else gets done, it’s essential that this does. Choose the most time sensitive task, or the one that will make the greatest progress. Pick something from your to do list in the Top Priority category.

The First Step

The first step towards getting the day started. What’s one small task that can build momentum to tackle a second task? Go for a walk? Let in fresh air? Have a cup of tea in the morning?

Today’s Intention

Choose a word or mood to embody during the day. Calm? Inspired? Being present?

A Tarot Reading 

I used to draw a card each morning and write it in the Focus box. These days I use the top margin for this, and to note astrological happenings.

But lately, I’ve been using this one: 

I’m most looking forward to…

What’s something lovely and productive? What is intrinsically enjoyable, not just for the satisfaction of ticking it off a to do list? 

On Saturday evening I pondered over whether my task should be to cook breakfast first thing int he morning or get out of the house to get some work done. In a lightbulb moment, I decided that my Focus would be to go out for brunch. 

I’ve been shaking up my breakfast options, and have been stuck on what to eat. Going out for brunch (isn’t that what Sundays are for?) would be research, perusing from a whole menu of options that could inspire a new daily ritual. It would also, of course, get me out of the house.

I felt the heaviness of decision lifted from me. When I’m feeling overwhelmed and tired, I’m not motivated by Getting Things Done. I am motivated by feeling happier and lighter.

P.S. If you’re purchasing your own Passion Planner, use code XANDRA10 to get a 10% discount.

This lesson is filed under SLYTHERIN for anticipating tomorrow’s successes.