Tag Archives: motivation

The Difference Encouragement Makes

Can you believe it’s been over a year since I started Zumba? I sure can’t. I didn’t think I’d ever find an exercise program I’d go back to twice, let alone keep attending for thirteen months. And yet, I have. What an odyssey to get even this far! And how much I have changed, physically and emotionally!

Before: Fearful, Uncertain, and Doubting

When I started Zumba back in June 2011, I was uncertain and afraid. I worried I’d be judged by my classmates, feared that the instructor would be a drill sergeant, and was scared that I wouldn’t be physically capable of doing any of the exercises. But most of all, I worried that this would be yet another notch on the “failed-exercise-attempt” post.

After all, all my other attempts at doing exercise over the years had failed. Back in middle school, I was too busy being victimized and bullied about my weight to really understand/do exercise; in high school, I avoided gym class like the plague for that very reason. And by college, my knees and ankles had taken so much of a beating that exercise was painful and frightening. Even after college, when I knew I needed to get fit and wanted to try, all the types I tried were lonely and boring (as I have written about before in October of last year and January of this year).

Why The Fear and Doubt Receded

But surprisingly, this attempt succeeded almost from the beginning, and has continued to succeed. Why? I believe it’s because of all the positive encouragement I received.

For one thing, my fellow Zumba class members are all cool people, most of them just like me, trying to get healthier instead of trying to show off perfected moves. I don’t feel intimidated by anyone else, and I don’t feel like they’re judging me, either. Instead, I feel that I’m in a class of my peers, peers who offer compliments to each other and support when needed.

Secondly, the instructor from whom I began taking Zumba classes truly took time to teach the moves rather than just expecting us to follow along. I never felt utterly lost the way I used to feel in other exercise classes. And the best thing? She offered positive reinforcement and urged us all to just “keep our feet moving,” not to worry about doing the moves perfectly. Instead of demanding we follow exactly as she demonstrated, she encouraged us to do only what our bodies were capable of, so that we would not hurt ourselves.

For me, a lifelong self-destructive perfectionist, that was a blessed relief to let go of that worry. She helped me see that I COULD do the exercises, and never let me discourage myself out of coming back to class. “You may not do these moves exactly the way I do,” she said once, “but if you’re moving at all, you’re going to help yourself feel better over time.” She was right.

The Result of Encouragement: Positive Change

Because of the encouragement I found in both my classmates and my instructor, I now believe in myself a lot more, and I’m beginning to have fun, too. It is possible to have fun doing full-throttle, sweat-inducing exercise–I never believed that before. Slowly, exercise has gained positive associations in my mind: where before it was always associated with shame, pain, and lack of ability, now it is associated with camaraderie, fun new challenges, and the thrill of being able to do more and more.

I think the lack of proper encouragement holds many people back from exercise these days. Either they try to do it all by themselves and end up feeling lonely and bored, or they try to exercise in a place that does not offer social encouragement and support. As I told my Zumba instructor, “I had to change mentally before any change could take place physically”–and I believe that. I had to feel that exercise was a positive experience worth having before I could convince myself to stay with it. Encouragement filled that gap for me.

Some Encouragement for You

I hope, if you’re reading this article and are trying to get in shape, that you will look up positive, encouraging people who know a lot about fitness and health to help you on your own fitness odyssey. Having people who can guide you as you try to get healthy makes such a positive difference. I didn’t think it would, until I experienced it for myself.

But I also hope, if you’re reading this article and know someone who’s trying to get in shape, that you will reach out to them and become a buddy to them, helping in any way you can. Heck, even if you see someone else at the gym who’s struggling along, I hope you’ll reach out and be kind to them. Positive encouragement from you could mean the difference between them coming back or them leaving and never returning. You never know!

Chocolate After Workouts and Other Self-Bribes

Motivating myself to work out has been a challenge every week, even though I’ve managed to stick to it for longer than I thought. (Come mid-June, I will have been doing Zumba for a year!)

But Thursday afternoons before 6:30 are still a tug-of-war in my mind–laziness and pain fighting against the twin desires to be healthier and fitter. Worries that “tonight’s the night I’m going to overdo it and really hate myself tomorrow” share brain space with “but I can’t miss tonight, I don’t want to break my two-month streak of perfect attendance!”

Luckily, I’ve found a brain trick that works to motivate me…and it has less to do with the workout than what I earn afterwards.

My Workout Self-Bribe: Spa Night + CHOCOLATE 😀

For every Thursday night that I attend Zumba, I reward myself with a “spa night” afterwards–a long, relaxing shower to unwind my muscles and pamper myself. Deep hair conditioning, exfoliating and moisturizing mini-facial…anything and everything I can do to make myself feel pretty and relaxed, I do for myself after my workout. And after I get out of the shower? One piece of chocolate of my choosing. (Most recently, my choice has been Dove’s peanut butter + chocolate combination…epic NOM NOM NOM)

The most important part of this motivation? If I don’t go to Zumba, I don’t get any of the rewards–no long soothing shower, no pampering, no relaxing water massage, and no chocolate. (And I’ve been surprisingly good about not sneaking a piece or two out of the bag after unsuccessful Thursdays or any other day of the week–it’s strictly for rewarding myself after a good workout.) The luxury does not have to be included; if I don’t Zumba, I get a fairly utilitarian shower on Friday morning instead of a Thursday evening pampering session.

Why Does This Work?

Because nothing in this plan involves negativity and punishment. I’m not punishing myself for not going to Zumba–it’s just that if I go, I do something extra-special for myself. I don’t starve myself on Fridays if I choose to spend Thursday night in bed resting my ankle, nor do I force myself to go to another workout later in the week that I won’t enjoy as much. It’s just positive reinforcement…and it has worked for me, as overly simple as it seems. Now I look forward to the workout not only because of the rewards afterwards, but because the moves are becoming easier and I’m seeing real changes in my body.

Trying The Self-Bribe Trick for Yourself

If you’re trying to stay motivated to do something, whether it’s working out, learning a new skill, eating right, etc., you can try this “self-bribe” positive reinforcement for yourself. All it takes is these 3 simple steps:

  1. Pick something that you would normally have to do in order to complete your chosen activity.
    • For me, that was showering after my workout, ’cause it’s kinda necessary.
    • If you’re trying to eat healthy, it might be cooking more meals at home.
    • If you’re trying to learn a new skill, it might be spending more time on instructional websites.
  2. For that necessary activity, add a touch of luxury to it as a reward.
    • Do like I did and turn the post-workout shower into a pampering spa experience, for instance.
    • If you’re cooking healthy, learn how to make a favorite dessert or treat, and make it once a week for every week you manage to eat healthy.
    • For every hour you spend learning a new skill, reward yourself with a 15-minute visit to favorite websites.
  3. If you don’t end up doing the thing you’re trying to stay motivated on, simply don’t include the luxury. You’d be surprised how well this works. 😛

Scheduling Your Creative Time

Are you currently stalled out when it comes to your creativity? If so, I have been there, and this article is for you.

I’ve written in some of my Saturday articles before about having trouble writing my novel, and the troubles have continued even up until a week or two ago. It literally felt like it had come to an immovable standstill; some days I would just open the file that contained it, read over the last few pages of my writing, and just close the file again, not sure what to add or where to go from where I stopped. I felt paralyzed.

That is, I felt paralyzed until I began to put my novel on my to-do list.

Can You Really “Schedule” Creativity?

Well, no, you can’t plan when you’ll have inspiration. But you can carve out part of your busy day to allow yourself to BE creative. When you allow yourself time to be creative, you open the door for inspiration.

Not realizing this was my biggest mistake: I hadn’t scheduled myself any time to be creative. Without a definitive, set time for “noveling,” I was depending on “feeling like” writing, and I didn’t “feel like” writing because I didn’t see that I had time or energy to do it. The underlying problem was stress over ill-managed time.

Overcoming the Time/Motivation Problem

The last straw came when it had been about a month since I had last written in my novel. I knew that because I looked at the “Last Modified” date, and it read January 17th, 2012.

I was astonished at the date. How could it have been that long? How could I have stopped writing for that long? What was wrong with me?

And, just as quickly as I realized it, I got mad at myself. “If I’m intending to be a great novelist, I first have to get off my butt and WRITE the aforementioned novel,” I grumbled to myself.

Using the Sticky Notes desktop gadget, I finally wrote in a definitive goal for the next day: “Write 1,000 words.” That’s all I had to do–write a thousand words. Didn’t matter how far it took me in the story or anything. Just 1,000 more words: progress. 1,000 words is what I’d been doing every day before I had inexplicably dropped the ball; I wanted to hit the ground running.

…And It Worked

The next day, I looked at my to-do list for that day…and suddenly, 1,000 words in my story didn’t seem so unconquerable, especially when compared with the other stuff I had to do (write 2 blog posts, finish writing my Sunday school lesson for the week). Suddenly, I found myself thinking, “Hey, I can write a few hundred words in my novel when I get tired of writing my blog posts or reviewing the lesson.”

And that’s exactly what happened. That day, I finally started writing again, editing and adding new bits in the story in between crafting my blog posts and reviewing/writing my Sunday school lesson. Like a key had been turned in my brain, the creative “engine” had turned over and started up again, all because my novel had been given a place in my writing life again.

So, How Do You Restart Your Creative Engine?

These are the tricks that worked for me. Try them and see how they work for you and your form of creativity, whatever it may be:

  • Make “creative time” part of your to-do list. Making it a priority is the first step. If you never allow time for it, it won’t happen.
  • Write reminders for “creative time” somewhere prominent. For me, that meant putting it on the computer desktop; for you, that might mean writing it on a whiteboard in your office, or leaving a note on your coffeepot. Anywhere where you will see it consistently and be reminded to do it, especially if you’re absent-minded and living in the future like me, will help you.
  • Remind yourself of what you were attempting to do when you last left off. I’ve taken to writing “When last I left my brave hero, [X], [Y], and [Z] happened/was going on” in my to-do list so that it makes me laugh and remember what I was writing about. That way I don’t have to “catch up” on my own book if it takes a week or two before I get back on the horse. (That’s saved me a LOT of time!)

Summary

It may make writing (or any other creativity) a little less glamorous if you “schedule” time to do it, but believe me, trying to force yourself to find time (when you already feel like your day is packed full) is only going to make you feel more stressed and more down on yourself. Making sure you give yourself even 15 or 20 minutes to be creative can jump-start that long-dead project or that abandoned flight of fancy. And believe me, it works and is worth it. 🙂

Don’t Let Others Smush Your Spark

When you’re doing creative work, no matter if you’ve been doing it for 20 years or 20 minutes, sometimes others’ judgments intrude upon your mindset. “What would Mom say about what I’m writing?” “What would my boyfriend think of this painting? Would he think it’s good enough?” “I wonder if this dance routine is really good enough to show my dance teacher.” Those vague fears become reality when we show our hard work to someone else, and see that twist of the mouth or narrowing of the eyes that indicates they don’t quite “get” what we’ve done.

This is ultimately one of the most dangerous threats to your creativity–the judgments of other people. As creators of any type, we tend to be more vulnerable to criticism, especially in our early years, and we fear rejection of our works because our works stem from us. Someone else pooh-poohing our creations is like them pooh-poohing US, all we are, all we ever will be.

I suffer this same fear, in just about every creative aspect of my life. Somewhere in the back of my mind is a hypodermic needle full of paralyzing comments I’ve heard about my work, and every time I start to worry, it stabs my brain cells and pumps them full of uncertainty, leaving me unable to work. Why bother working, when no one but me is ever going to like it?

A Personal Example of Others’ Judgments Snuffing Creativity

During Christmas of 2010, I wrote a song about the day after Christmas. I was trying to talk about the “back-to-business” mindset of December 26th–after the emotional warmth of the holidays, December 26th always feels like a day of cold shoulders, of people shrugging their shoulders and breaking the magic spell of family togetherness with an attitude of “Oh well, Christmas is over, I don’t have to be nice to people anymore till next year.”

I wrote the song and brought the lyrics up to show my parents (always my first audience for anything). But instead of smiles and praise, I got befuddled looks, especially from Mom. Mom couldn’t understand why I hated December 26th so much–to her, it had always been a restful day, a day of relaxing after the rush-rush of the holiday season. She kept saying she “couldn’t relate” to why I hated taking down the decorations and throwing away gift wrap (some of the symbolism in my song, depicting how the warmth and love of the holiday season is “taken down and thrown away” after Christmas).

No matter how much I tried to explain it to her, that it wasn’t about the decorations or the gift wrap but about the sudden lack of caring for other human beings that I mourned, I couldn’t get through to her. Finally, I went away, completely dejected; she hadn’t understood me. Had I lost my gift for writing songs? She always used to enjoy what I did, but this felt like a total rejection of everything I’d been working on.

I haven’t shown her or Dad another song since, and for a long while I went without writing a song at all, convinced that I had “lost my touch.” It made me sick to even look at the keyboard anymore.

Why My Reaction Was Wrong

Though my reaction was natural (at least for me), it was the wrong way to look at it. Yes, Mom usually likes my songs and understands them. But the law of probability says that at least a few times, even our parents won’t understand what we’re saying/doing/thinking. Instead of letting one negative critique bog me down for what ended up being over a year, I should have continued to work on my songs.

For instance, I could have reworked the song to make it more understandable (even though I thought it was already perfectly understandable and didn’t want to make its sentiment too painfully obvious). I also could have set the song aside as a failed project and come back to it when I was less emotionally invested in it or upset by it. What I should not have done, in any case, was to let one perceived “failure” eat me and my creativity whole.

How I Can React to Criticism Better

The following realizations helped me finally pull out of my self-hatred spiral and emotional creativity block:

  • Others’ judgment is others’, and not my own. Mom, and everyone else in the world, is allowed the right not to like or understand my works, and that doesn’t make them any less if I still find value in them. I still have a need to create and a need to express, regardless of what someone else says about it, and if it helps me, it’s done its primary job.
  • I have to know that what I’m creating is the best I can do, right now. If I’m not putting whole heart and whole soul into it, and I’m not making the best effort, then I need to either get my head in the game or leave the project alone. And if I’ve made my best effort and someone else still doesn’t like it, that shouldn’t be my problem to solve.
  • If I don’t leave myself room for improvement, I’ll always be hamstrung when it comes to creative works. If I keep feeling like everything I do has to be absolutely perfect and fully formed like Athena springing from Zeus’ brow, then I’ll feel too daunted to do anything.
  • I can’t allow others to discourage me from continuing my work, either directly or indirectly. Others who criticize and offer no constructive help are, as I’ve found out, generally a wee bit jealous. Others who don’t understand the work or make no attempt to understand before walking away from it literally cannot be a focus of worry (otherwise I’ll drive myself nuts).

It’s Not About Others’ Judgment, but About the Work Itself

If you’re a creator and often get daunted or discouraged by others’ comments or opinions, much like me, then I hope you take away from this article the knowledge that your work IS good enough if you find value in it. If you find awesomeness in your work, and it helps you emotionally and mentally to create it, then it’s helping someone, and it’s worthwhile to someone, even if only one person ever sees it or values it. Creative works are not just for other people, but for the self…perhaps even especially the self.

The Creativity Leak: Fatigue

My novel, unfortunately, has come to a standstill, and not because I’m out of ideas. It’s because of a slow leak in my brain called fatigue.

Well, Isn’t “Fatigue” Just Being Tired?

Not necessarily. I used to think fatigue just meant I wasn’t sleeping well enough, but I have come to understand how wrong that viewpoint is.

Fatigue doesn’t just make you sleepy. In fact, it can make you the opposite of sleepy–you can end up so tired you can’t sleep, so used to the flow of adrenalin keeping you going that your body can’t relax enough to sleep.

Fatigue also takes away your energy to think and do things. You feel about 50% alive at all times, as if the other 50% of you is still in bed, and your thought processes are noticeably slower and less fleshed-out. There’s tons of stuff you want to do, tons of stuff you need to do…but even just thinking about it all makes you more tired.

This is what I’ve been suffering for the last few weeks, and my overall creativity has really taken a hit. Aside from time spent at the keyboard, I haven’t done much creative work except these Saturday blog posts (which, admittedly, have been much harder to come up with because of fatigue). And it’s not for lack of wanting to create–I just end up feeling too tired to deal with it.

This kind of tiredness, as I’ve found, leads to frustrated creative desire…and can leave you feeling painfully unfulfilled in your creative life.

Getting Rid of Fatigue So You Can Be Your Creative Self Again

This is as much for me as it is for y’all–I need this advice, too!

First, don’t fight fatigue with forced energy.. Pushing on through and trying to force creativity will only render an inferior product. You’ll be unhappy with what you’ve done, and you won’t want to try again for fear of the same terrible results. (See: my failed attempts at writing a “really good” song, leading to the fear that I’d “lost my gift.”)

Second, uncover the cause of your fatigue. It could be a chemical imbalance, a minor illness that just won’t go away, a vitamin deficiency, job stress, or even just a simple lack of GOOD sleep. Explore all these causes, and truly listen to your body.

In my case, I’ve had a cold and sore-throat bug that has been ongoing for several weeks, and the resulting fatigue left me nearly unable to write anything creative. How I’ve been able to come up with blog posts consistently is beyond me–I guess it is a labor of love. LOL

(I also must warn you to get checked out by the doctor if at-home treatments like vitamin capsules and meditation do not work for you. Fatigue can be a symptom of something worse going on. 🙁 )

Third, allow your energy to come back slowly. Don’t expect to feel absolutely AMAZING the day after you’ve figured out what’s wrong and started treating it. It will take a few days for your body to get back on the energy train, and possibly even longer for your brain to get back its precious creative juices.

Right now, for instance, I’m using these creative Saturday posts to get back my own creative juices. I know the ideas for my novel are up there, but I can’t pressure them to come out–it’s like pressuring a souffle to cook. If you rush it, it deflates. So I have to be okay with what I can do now, and look forward to getting back on the ball.

Fourth and finally, celebrate your efforts, however small they might look. Right now, I’d be glad if I could write 50 words in my novel; that’s how bad my fatigue has been. If I can muster the mental energy to do it, I will be as happy as if I’d written 5,000.

Similarly, you can’t be upset with yourself if you don’t snap back to epic creativity right away. Be glad for the little, itty-bitty victories. If you let yourself celebrate those, you’ll have a more positive frame of mind and thus set yourself up for bigger and bigger victories.

With this good advice in mind (I’m like Alice in Wonderland, I guess–“I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it”, lol), I hope I’ll be back to writing my novel very, very soon. I hope, if you’re feeling a little tired and out of creative energy, that this helps you get back in your game, too. 🙂

Battle of the Beauty Purge, Completed

Last week I wrote about my massive beauty-product purge, ranging from shampoos and conditioners to lipstick and fragrance and everything in between.

This week, I will show you the fruits of that (very very hard) labor, in the form of a much nicer bathroom. Not just showing makeup products, but ALL of the products I reduced and condensed, and the total effect that had on my bathroom.

What Remained After the Purge

Makeup

About four years ago, I quit wearing full-face makeup all the time. Not coincidentally, I started dating my awesome boyfriend of win around that time–as we got to know each other, I found myself not feeling the need to wear much makeup around him, because he was always so positive about my appearance. When we purged the bathroom, I realized I didn’t need all the random makeup I was hoarding; either it was out-of-date, the wrong colors, or it just wasn’t necessary anymore. Thus, my collection was edited waaaaay down, into what you see below.


Clockwise from top left: New York Color Color Wheel Mosaic Powders in Translucent Highlighter Glow (top left) and Pink Cheek Glow (top right); E.L.F. Bronzer in Sun Kissed; Clinique Superpowder Double Face Makeup in Matte Ivory

True story–these four products are all that I use for face makeup these days. (Concealer has either never worked right or I never learned how to apply it without it looking blotchy and fake, so I don’t bother buying it anymore. And I find that the Superpowder does a fair job of covering most flaws anyway. ^_^) The bronzer, blush, and translucent powder over top gives me a naturally-finished look without taking too long.


From left: Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Precious Metals; New York Color Metro Quarter Eye Shadow in South Street Seaport; CoverGirl Eye Enhancers in Drama Eyes #222 (left) and Tropical Fusion* #205 (right). Eye pencil (between the eye palettes) is New York Color Kohl Brow/Eyeliner Pencil in Jet Black.
*unsure of exact product name

Just these four eye palettes make it possible to mix nearly any color I want without having to buy every single shade. I can make a dark green, for instance, by taking the teal shade and adding a little black and a little brown; I can make a light purple by mixing the dark burgundy, the dark blue, and a little white. And, of course, they are all lovely shades to wear on their own. (The cream shadows, at far left, are great highlighters or bases, depending on what I need–they show up darker in this picture than they really are.)


From left: CoverGirl Wetslicks in Shimmershell; L.A. Colors Glossy Lips in Jammin’ Jelly; Neutrogena MoistureShine glosses in Healthy Blush (left) and Berry (right); New York Color lipstick in Ruby #305; Beauty Innovations lip palette, unknown name.

I reduced my lip makeup collection SEVERELY. These are all the lipsticks I own now, and they, like the eye products, can be mixed together to get the precise shade I’m after. I prefer glossier/smoother textures, and so most of my collection focuses around that.

The Glossy Lips gloss (second from left) is not really that dark, by the way–see it in the light, below:

Bath Products


From nearly a tubful of bottles, we shrunk my impressive shampoo collection down to this small drawer; we got rid of at least 150 shampoo bottles to condense it down to what I really use and like. I’ve got four basic formulas I like: light conditioning, heavy conditioning, super-cleansing, and volumizing. Thus, each of the bottles in this drawer does one of the four functions.


Since I hate having the “extra step” of conditioning in the shower every day, I have considerably fewer conditioners. Most of these conditioners match a super-cleansing or light conditioning shampoo.


I kid you not, we got rid of over 50 different shower gel bottles, and now I have room to spare in this little drawer. I generally like clearer, less-creamy shower gels with light fragrances, so that’s largely what my small collection is about. (I’m also in the process of phasing out shower gels in favor of scented bar soaps, which last longer and are cheaper.)

Fragrances


Okay, okay, I admit it, I like body sprays and scented stuff. And maaaaaybe I could stand to reduce this just a touch more. But considering that we hauled out 2 big black trash bags full of nothing but old perfume bottles… 🙂


I had been storing my sprays and lotions alongside my shower gels in that little drawer. But the drawer was way too small to hold all that awesome in it, and I was always forgetting to use the sprays because they were hidden away. Thus, I got this white-painted metal spice rack from Walmart for about 10 bucks, to create a “fragrance display” in my bathroom.


See? Looks a lot better than them just sitting out on the counter in a big conglomerate mess. (Oh, and the sprig of blue flowers beside them is there just ’cause it’s pretty. ^o^)

Hair Notions and Jewelry

I usually have longer hair most of the time, so I have tons of scrunchies, clips, and smooth bands to craft it into “cool hair,” as my boyfriend describes it. But in order to get my collection into a more manageable size, I had to edit and toss a bunch of stuff.


This is my much-reduced selection of bigger hair notions–I used to have about 3,000 of those big hair clips back in the day. LOL…


…but I still have a ton of little hair notions in the form of tiny clips and bands. What can I say, it’s a work in progress!


And these are all the smaller scrunchies that wouldn’t fit on my big ole scrunchie rack.

“Scrunchie rack?” you say. “What’s a scrunchie rack?”

THIS:


It was a hand-towel rack. I saw the unique, flattened “S” shape of the rack, below…


…and I thought, “Hey, I think I could thread my scrunchies onto that.” So I repurposed it…


…like so. It might look like a confusion of fabric (and it kinda is), but there’s organization there. Now I can see all the scrunchies at once and pick one off fairly easily.

Speaking of racks, here’s the slightly-Asian-inspired jewelry rack I picked up on clearance from Walmart:


Where once my jewelry was in scattered bags all over the house, now it has a permanent (and pretty) home in the bathroom, safely away from hungry sink drains. Awwwh yeah.

Other Items

When I said my boyfriend and I cleaned the bathroom, we cleaned out EVERYTHING and made space for EVERYTHING that was left. Like my soap/razors/hair products drawer:


Uh, yeah, this is slightly still a work in progress. But at least I always know where the soap is now, instead of having to dig through 4 cabinets and 2 drawers!


That’s right, I dedicated a whole bathroom drawer to brushes. And yes, I do use every single one of them, depending on styling needs. No more knocking stuff off the cabinet tops to find that one stinkin’ brush that’s hiding from me!


And because I had no set place for my toothbrushes, cough drops, bandages, etc, I dedicated the drawer on the other side of the sink to hold such supplies. It’s the unofficial “medicine cabinet.” (And yes, I regularly need that many Band-Aids. I am one of the clumsiest, most accident-prone people ever. The first-aid companies <3 me.)

The Proudest Achievement: Organization in the Bathroom

First off, this thing rocks my socks.

It only stands about a foot or so tall, but held within it is all my makeup (top two drawers) and most of my hair notions (bottom three drawers).


Face stuff (plus a few beauty tools)…


…and everything else makeup-y. See? It all fits!

Combine that with the awesomeness of the racks holding my jewelry, fragrances, and scrunchies, and you get this:

…I’m finally bathroom-proud. It may not be the best-looking, it may still be in progress, but I’m using the space a lot better than I ever did before.

And LOOK! I can see the color of the countertops!! That, in itself, is a massive achievement. 😀 😀 😀