July 11, 2013

Confessions of a Material Girl

Confession:  I have always been a material girl.  I particularly love purses, jewelry and kitchen gadgets.  And don't even get me started on beauty products.  I had to place all my belongings in storage for a few months prior to moving into my new house, and I was shocked to find six boxes of lotions and potions when I unpacked.  For the first time, I was embarrassed by this blatant display of consumerism.  Once I was sure none of the people helping me move had noticed the boxes and reported me to the Hoarders TV show, I decided to reconsider my role as a consumer.

I do want to live a simpler life, valuing relationships and experiences over material goods.  That said, I love trying new beauty products and shopping.  I am a single girl with no husband or children to spend my hard-earned money on, so why shouldn't I spend it on myself?  Yet, how can I reconcile these conflicting outlooks?  I have planned a new blog feature called Friday Favorites, where I share some of my favorite beauty, home and food products with you, but  wonder if this goes against the spirit of Whatever is Lovelier.  Can I get excited when I find a great new nail polish at the same time I seek to live a more meaningful life?  If these little luxuries make me a happier and more confident women, isn't that worth celebrating? Maybe I can find a balance that will allow me to enjoy shopping without feeling guilty all the time.  Like all lifestyle changes, I am going to start with a few small changes.

1)  Use what I have before buying another of the same item.  I have so many wonderful and unopened body lotions that just get pushed to the back of the cabinet, and I vow to use these before I buy new ones.  Same goes for enjoying the teas I already own before buying new varieties.

2)  Buy local when I have the option, so my money supports people in my community.  I enjoy going to the farmer's market when the weather is nice, but the summer heat should not be an excuse to stop supporting local farmers.  I can shop at Sprouts, where they sell local produce.  I will also seek out independent coffee shops or boutiques more often, over their brand name counterparts.  I love Starbucks and Target as much as the next girl, but I don't always have to shop there.

3)  I will make a concerted effort to sort through my possessions, donating things I don't use to charity.  If I'm honest, I only wear about half of the clothes in my closet.  I will also go through all my kitchen gadgets.  If they are useful they can stay, if not they go.  It is time to stop holding on to things I don't need and let other people get some use out of them.

4)  I will stop indulging every shopping whim, but  I will give myself permission to enjoy a few luxuries.  For example, I will try that new lip balm I keep hearing about, but will stop buying those fancy hand soaps from a certain store in the mall.  I don't need to have every cool beauty or home product I see advertised, but I don't need to feel guilty for trying a few. 

I am going to start applying these four principals to my life, and see where I am a year from now. I hope to find myself living in a less cluttered home, eating local produce and truly enjoying the little indulgences I allow myself.  I hope I will have chosen to splurge on a bouquet of flowers to brighten up my room rather than another purse.  I also hope my Friday Favorites help me to prioritize what items I should keep on the 'OK to splurge on' list.

Do you ever struggle with consumerism?  Have you made any small changes that make a big difference?  Please share any ideas you have, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Well said! So wish I could get my life/home less cluttered. I look forward to reading any tips you may have along your journey!


    1. Thanks, Laurie. If I have any epiphanies, I will let you know!

  2. Number 1 is something I am working on too. I do the same thing with the beauty products and the teas.

    1. It's a really hard habit to break. I always want to try the latest and greatest thing out there! But I am really trying to use and, most of all, enjoy what I already have.

      Thanks for checking out the site, Mandy!!


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