Author: Alexandra Pettaway

Project 333

Have you ever noticed how you tend to wear the same handful of things despite owning an entire closet full of clothes? It feels like you don’t have a lot of options, even if you actually do. I tend to gravitate towards my “favorite” clothes, and wear only a select few items consistently from week to week. That’s why I decided to try out Courtney Carver’s minimalist fashion experiment, Project 333. If you’re unfamiliar with Project 333, I give a brief rundown about the project in my most recent post about Getting Started with Minimalism. Project 333 is, essentially, a fashion “experiment” (as a scientist, I use the word “experiment” loosely). Well… it’s more of a fashion challenge. The challenge is to have only 33 articles of clothing in your wardrobe over the course of 3 months. Sounds challenging, right? It means that you have to get creative with the clothing in your selected wardrobe. I’m always up for an interesting challenge, so I’m going to give this one a try. This challenge is interesting …

Getting Started with Minimalism

So, you’re interested in starting minimalism. That’s fantastic! But what’s the best way to get started implementing minimalism into your life? It certainly seems like a daunting task, and can be difficult to pinpoint the right place to start out. Luckily, there are many challenges and methods, developed by professionals who practice minimalism, that are designed to help you get started. Here I’ll share some of the strategies that fellow minimalists have found to be the most helpful. Are you new to minimalism? I recommend you start here. Then, read on to discover three of the most popular minimalism challenges today, and my honest opinion for each. 1. The KonMari Method The KonMari Method was developed by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up. She also stars in the Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The KonMari Method is designed to help you declutter, simplify and reorganize your home by eliminating the things that do not spark joy. The KonMari Method is effective because it urges you to tidy by category, …

Welcome to Everything Alexandra

Welcome to Everything Alexandra: a space dedicated to talking about all things wellness.  My name is Alexandra – but I go by Allie. If I had to come up with a few words to describe myself, I’d say that I’m… A Student A Scientist An Athlete A Blogger An Extroverted Introvert A Minimalist …and much, much more – but there’s a good start. Everything Alexandra is my platform for writing about many of the things that I find valuable and meaningful. I wanted to create an environment where I could talk about the topics that I’m passionate about.  This website is my way to engage with a community who shares the same values as me: health, fitness, wellness, and above all, balance. Learn More About Me Explore Food Fitness Beauty Simple Fun

Minimalism

It’s no secret that we live in a consumer-driven world. It’s increasingly difficult to go about everyday life without encountering some form of advertisement. Whether it’s a logo, a commercial, or a brand promotion on Instagram, everywhere you go, someone is trying to sell you something. There’s nothing inherently wrong with advertisements, but more often than not, we buy things that we don’t need, because we’re led to believe that we need them. Have you ever been guilty of buying something under the false notion that it will, for one reason or another, augment some aspect of your life? Odds are, you have. Don’t feel bad about it! It’s so easy to get caught in the figurative consumerism trap, because society tells us that in order to be successful, we need the big house and fancy car and everything else that goes along with achieving the “American Dream”. But here’s the thing. The true meaning of the American Dream, the ideal in which any American citizen can have equal opportunity to find success and achieve …

Letting Go of Insecurities

This is going to be a little different from my “usual” posts. I feel obligated to speak about this topic because I see it far too often, in myself and in the other people around me. For my entire life, I’ve been caught up in what others think of me. I constantly subjected myself to self-scrutiny, and not in a good way. I wanted to be liked. I became a perfectionist because I was afraid of what people might think or say about me if I failed. And that fear of failure prevented me from taking risks, in all aspects of life. The problem in today’s world is it’s way too easy to feel some sort of artificial validation by the amount of likes, friends and followers you have. And for someone who wants to be “liked”, it’s dangerously easy to get caught up in social media. We use social media as our “highlight reel”, plucking the best, most glamorous, share-worthy moments of our life and putting them on display. It’s easy to create a …

5 Beauty Products I No Longer Buy

If you are an urban dwelling student or young professional like me, odds are we suffer from the same consequences: things are generally more expensive, and space for things is limited. Or maybe you don’t live in the city, but you’re finding that you spend way too much time (or money) on the process of getting ready in the morning. I’ve found that I could seriously limit the amount of beauty products in my home to make my mornings easier. The less I buy, the more money and free space I have. I found that beauty products was one of the easiest categories to minimize because I could easily pinpoint what I actually use and need each day. I’ve been able to save lots of money by replacing some of my products with multi-functional or reusable items. As you read through this, start to consider the similar changes that you can make, too. Look at the products that you use on a daily basis (or more importantly, the products you don’t use). Look at their ingredients. Are …

5 Key Steps to Form Healthy Habits

Why is it so difficult for us all to stick to a new habit? Every year, millions of Americans create a New Year’s Resolution, and these resolutions are discarded in a matter of weeks or months. It’s easy for many of us to start a diet or a fitness program, but what is keeping us from forming these healthy habits long-term? Is it a lack of motivation, forgetfulness, or that it’s “just too hard”? The answer may lie within the Trans-Theoretical Model, a tool that can be used to assess one’s “readiness” to start a new healthy behavior. The Trans-Theoretical Model, or TTM for short, is a cyclic model with 5 stages. Here, I will outline each stage of the TTM, as well as some tips to continue moving forward in pursuit of your health goals. STEP 1 – Pre-Contemplation Pre-Contemplation is the beginning stage of the Trans-Theoretical Model. If you are in the pre-contemplation stage, it means that you have no desire to change your behavior in the immediate future. A person in this …

Maintaining Balance in Your Life

Welcome to the NEW AND IMPROVED web page for Everything Alexandra! It has been FOREVER since I’ve published a post on my blog, and I’ve been itching to create and share some new content. Since I’ve returned to Boston for school, I’ve been juggling my full-time education studying Chemical Engineering, work, and extracurriculars. Unfortunately, the Everything Alexandra blog has taken a backseat as I’ve focused most of my energy on my classes, and my priorities have felt soooo out of balance. After I created the new Instagram page for Everything Alexandra, I noticed that the majority of my posts were about vegan food. Although I think that food and nutrition are a super important part of wellness, there is so much more that goes along with wellness, including mental health, that go unspoken about. Wellness is so much more than just nutrition and exercise (although I do believe that these are still super important), and it’s easy to get so caught up in the “physical” aspects of health that we forget to take care of ourselves on the inside. I …

The Amazing Green Smoothie

A common misconception about green smoothies is that they have to taste awful in order to be healthy. Well that’s just flat out wrong! Though I do agree that some green juices and smoothies have a much more bitter taste (thank you kale and arugula), this smoothie is the perfect transition. I recommend using baby spinach as your choice of greens, especially if you aren’t used to the taste of kale. Plus, I personally think spinach blends better (AND looks prettier). This Amazing Green Smoothie is pleasantly sweet, thanks to the natural sugars found in banana, pineapple, and mango. These fruits also give it a slightly tropical flavor (which makes it the perfect breakfast in the summertime). For this smoothie, you will need: 2 cups of baby spinach 1 frozen banana, cut into slices 1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup mango (fresh or frozen) 1-2 cups almond milk (NOTE – more milk will be needed if using all frozen fruit, otherwise the smoothie will be too thick) Now, it does matter what order you add your …

Why We Should Stop Worrying About Weight

“The only way to solve the weight problem is to stop making weight a problem—to stop judging ourselves and others by our size. Weight is not an effective measure of attractiveness, moral character, or health. The real enemy is weight stigma, for it is the stigmatization and fear of fat that causes the damage and deflects attention from true threats to our health and well-being.” – Linda Bacon, Health at Every Size I remember the first time I weighed myself on my Wii Fit balance board. I was 11 years old, and I weighed 92 pounds. That was a healthy weight, according to the video game, because I had a BMI (Body Mass Index) that fell within the “normal” range. I didn’t really care much about this new information, because, well, I was a kid. I wasn’t supposed to care about my weight. It had been a few months since I had last played the game, so when I turned it on, I received a message telling me I was due to weigh myself again. So I, now at 12 years old, stepped …