The 7 Ladies Of YouTube Who Help Me Get My Life Together
This past year of my life has been an eye-opening one. I have come a long way in a short amount of time and I think it's due to the fact that I turned 25 last year. Something all of a sudden went off in my head like the flick of a switch, and I decided it was high time to get my life together from my personal relationships, to my home and wardrobe. While I have a long way to go, I can proudly say I've made a ton of changes to my everyday routine that have made my life so much better in every way. And being that I'm a girl who loves her YouTube videos, you can bet that I got a lot of great advice from some of my favorite channels from the platform. If you are looking for some inspiration and motivation to kick-start a certain facet of your life, look no further than these entrepreneurs and bloggers.
We can't get into this list without mentioning that the people who have taught me from all these different categories are my parents. I grew up in a house that ran like a well-oiled machine thanks to my parents. Our meals were always fresh, each room was clean and well-stocked, and the exact longitude and latitude of every item ever brought into the house was well-understood thanks to my mother. And my dad managed the emotional states, productivity and happiness levels of all three of us somehow in addition to running the errands, cutting the coupons and managing our finances. While I'm still not 100% sure how they maintained it all, I picked up on a lot of things I watched them do and they are definitely my #1 inspiration when it came to getting my life more in order this past year.
But since I can't call them up every single time I have a question, I find a lot of comfort and reassurance from watching different lifestyle YouTubers teach me what they've learned from their speciality of life. While I still have a long way to go (I only organize and clean a 1-bedroom apartment and I have no kids and yet it still gets overwhelming,) I can honestly say that with the knowledge my parents have given me every year of my life and the constant stream of the following YouTube channels, I'm happy with the huge improvements I've recently made.
LEARN MORE RECIPES
WITH THE DOMESTIC GEEK
During a busy work week, the toughest question to ask yourself many times is: What's for dinner? Sometimes I spend hours and hours looking for recipes with ingredients I can find at my local grocery store, easy to understand instructions and quality flavor and texture.
Which is why it's been amazing discovering one of my favorite YouTubers of all time, Sara Lynn Cauchon of The Domestic Geek. She had been the host of Canadian lifestyle shows for many years before starting her YouTube channel...and it really shows.
Her way of communicating is so positive, vibrant and journalistic. And the fact that her love for cooking comes from watching the matriarchs of her family makes the channel all the more relatable and heartfelt.
Her channel has it all from standard recipes such as lasagna and mac and cheese, to the low-down on how to make fancy cocktails or dinner for a large group, to simple kitchen do's and don'ts. For the most part, when I am in need of a recipe, I can just type in "The Domestic Geek" and the type of food I'm in the mood for, and I'll be able to find something. Plus her energy and simple instructions reassure me that I will have an easy-going and enjoyable time in the kitchen that evening. After binge watching some of her videos, I'm sure anyone can find inspiration to get creative in the kitchen and add some new skills and recipes to their repertoires.
LEARN HOW TO CLEAN
WITH CLEAN MY SPACE
Whether you like it or not, maintaining a clean home is a huge proponent of living a healthy and functional life. While you don't necessarily need your home to be spotless do get things done, it definitely never hurts to live your life in the cleanest environment possible. But being that it can be such a miserable task, it many times gets overlooked in the pursuit of more enjoyable activities.
I would know. I used to let my rooms during college get incredibly cluttered and dirty. It wasn't until I moved into my brand new apartment with Steven, that I realized how much I loved a spotless home. And of course, while our apartment came spotless, we do not have the cash for a cleaning person, making it up to us if we want things looking like they did when we first moved in.
Whenever anyone fills my head with imagery of a person cleaning, I always picture dirty old mop buckets, someone getting on their hands and knees to get something done and of course, hours and hours of scrubbing.
But once I discovered Melissa Maker, a YouTuber and the owner of a Canadian cleaning company, my perception of what it was to be someone who cleans their home regularly completely changed. Here is a successful and ambitious woman who definitely has a busy schedule, and yet she cleans her own home in addition to all her other responsibilities. How was that possible?
Through watching her videos, I've come to find that the worst part of cleaning is truly putting in all your strength to clean something that has set in deeply for a long period of time. It takes me a split second to dust an air conditioning vent that I dust weekly, but takes me a good 10 minutes to do it if I've left it to get dusty all year. It takes me moments to wash each dish in the sink if they're fresh or soaked, which I prefer than it taking me 5 minutes a dish when the food has dried on them. And I am forced to scrub the shower tiles much less frequently if I squeegee them after each shower.
These are just a few of the countless lessons I've learned from Clean My Space. Almost any question you can think of when tackling a cleaning job in your home can be found on her channel. And her spirit will definitely inspire you to keep your space sparkling once you've tackled it the first time. It's made all of my house-hold chores feel less like...well, chores.
PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH
WITH MIND OVER MUCH
If you know me personally, you already know I am not a health-nut whatsoever. I'm no gym-rat or calorie counter and my addictions to cheese, eggs and seafood make it impossible for me to ever become vegetarian or vegan.
But one day, I came across the YouTube channel Mind Over Munch, hosted by Alyssia Sheikh, and it got me thinking about what it means to be a healthy person. Alyssia has a background as a graphic designer, fitness instructor and personal trainer. Years ago, while she and her boyfriend Christian were living in New York City, they realized how expensive is was to eat out all the time and started to make their own healthy meals on a nightly basis. And thus, Mind Over Munch - a project that has combined her love of cooking, fitness and even graphic design - was born.
The channel includes healthy versions of your favorite junk foods, nutritious bento box-style lunch recipes, helpful simple workout routines and (my personal favorites) educational breakdowns about nutrition. Mind Over Munch does not discriminate against lifestyles - giving a big thumbs up to vegans, omnivores, those with paleo or ketogenic preferences and everything in between - and instead takes time to break down what different diets can entail and how we can look at nutrition from a scientific standpoint.
Through her, I've learned how to read nutritional facts, how to avoid lies on the front of packaging and how to make sensible decisions when ordering out at restaurants. Learning the science behind nutrition, as well as how food manufacturers and distributers want to market food to you has changed the way I snack, and has taught me a lot about what I find important for my health. For instance, in one video about breakfast cereals, Alyssia brings up the fact that many cereals that claim to be healthy - such as Raisin Brand Crunch - can be just as sugary as our favorite childhood cereals. And in one about restaurant menu items, she proves that a salad at a chain restaurant can have a similar calorie count to the burgers and sandwich on the next page.
The more I've thought about these concepts, the better I've been able to make the right personal decisions for myself health-wise. I've been better able to avoid ingredients and products I don't enjoy and don't make me feel good, to make healthier decisions and also - let's be honest - save my caloric splurges on foods that I actually love.
ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE
WITH ALEJANDRA COSTELLO
This is not the first time I've mentioned professional organizer Alejandra Costello and it probably won't be the last.
As someone who has been naturally messy my whole life, I can't tell you how frustrated I made myself, creating an environment where my clothes and belongings had piled onto a single chair in my bedroom because my closet was so overstuffed that I didn't know what I was looking at when I opened it. Although I was doing a much better job keeping my new apartment orderly when I moved in with Steven, I still found that I was constantly losing things and still creating a pile on the same chair I used to cover in clothing at my old place. Even after purging clothing and belongings, something felt wrong.
But then I discovered Alejandra's channel and it changed my day to day life ever since. It turned out all I needed that entire time was personalized organizational systems that I could truly maintain, so that everything in my home had a designated spot.
Alejandra uses her home as model for all of the different techniques she has come up with over the years. From luxurious Elfa installations to dollar tree hacks, her channel and home both have something for everyone who is trying to straighten up their lives.
Some people get overwhelmed or upset watching her videos thinking that she believes everyone in America should be utilizing every technique she implements in her home, but that's far from the case. Alejandra encourages you to take what you need from her videos and leave what doesn't apply to you behind. So when you watch her videos, think moreso about what creative ideas you'd like to take away from it rather than trying to compare your home to hers.
Something else you'll notice about her space is that her organization tools are as colorful as the rainbow. And while I'm not a fan of color in my home, it made me realize that you can personalize your organization to match your aesthetic, just as you can when decorating your home. Once I made it a point to make my organizational tactics an extension of myself, the task became extremely fun and I felt beyond satisfied when I was done. Now I have black, white, gray, teak and clear organizational products everywhere. Just how I like it.
If you need inspiration to tidy up your home, I'd give her videos a watch. Be careful though, because you just might end up spending your whole evening watching every single one of them.
FIND YOUR SENSE OF STYLE
WITH JENNY MUSTARD
Similar to the way that Alejandra Costello taught me how to personalize my organizational tactics, Jenny Mustard taught me how to tailor my life to have an aesthetic that just screams who I am.
Jenny Mustard is a Swedish blogger who is passionate about her vegan and minimalistic lifestyle. Jenny has been a stylish person and a minimalist her whole life. And being that she and her boyfriend David tend to move quite often, their lifestyle has made being the self-proclaimed nomads they are, much easier.
When I first saw Jenny's home and wardrobe (as well as the chill and cozy aesthetic of her channel,) I thought to myself "This girl really understands her sense of style." And after swimming through uninspired clothing at the mall and wading through brass pineapples and galvanized buckets while shopping for decor for our new apartment, I decided that it was time that I do what Jenny did and only spend my hard earned money on products that suited my sense of style, even if that meant paying more for each discovery and owning fewer belongings. Suddenly my home began to blossom with furniture, decor and home supplies that really made me feel like I was in a space tailored to me.
I am so glad that I realized how much my home and your wardrobe should feel like my sanctuary. Now I truly feel like it's easy to thrive every day in my space and in my clothing. If you are looking for some inspiration to kickstart a home or wardrobe makeover, look no further than Ms. Mustard.
WITH DO IT ON A DIME
I will be the first to admit that I am the most impatient and stressed out person you can possibly come by. From the moment I wake up to the moment my head hits the pillow at night, I am completely active to the point where I collapse into my bed at night. I have a full time job, a ton of hobbies, I cook and clean and organize my house regularly and I love to explore the city with my boyfriend. And all the while, I am getting stressed out by slow walkers on the sidewalk or in the train station, I am tapping my toes while making obligatory phone calls and I am sweating when Steven doesn't keep up with my over the top regimes.
And while it sounds like I do a lot, I always have to remind myself "Wow I don't even have children yet." The thought of adding children onto my already 24-hour booked lifestyle, combined with my complete lack of patience, sounds like a nightmare that I dread thinking about. How do mothers do it? How did my parents maintain full-time jobs, balance checkbooks, keep a clean home with good food on the table and also manage every single aspect of the first 18 years of my life? While I do want kids in the distant future, I sometimes feel like I'm never going to be ready for them or like I'm just not built to handle them. It's not like I can scale back on having a job, cooking or restocking my home for them.
Then one day while watching YouTube, I came across a blogger named Kathryn who is a mother of two and a teacher. She runs a channel called Do It On A Dime, where she shows people how to make cleaning, decorating and cooking among many other aspects of life, easier on your wallet. Being that I am childless and live smack dab in downtown San Francisco where ground beef can be $10 a pound, it didn't always make sense to others as to why her channel appealed to me. But it was a much deeper reason than seeing her money-saving tactics. For me it was watching how patient she is with others and how kind she is to herself.
Being impatient, I can really push the buttons of people around me, not to mention make myself feel bad for not getting every task done every single day. The perfectionist in me comes out at times and she can be cruel. But Kathryn's patience with her children and admission that her home is not always perfect (and that that's ok) is comforting to me. She has even handled the recent loss of her brother with a lot of grace, which has been extremely impressive to me as well. And all these traits are well defined in this particular video about how to create a morning routine that sets you up for success. While you'll never see me working out before my workday begins, there's a lot I can take from this video as well as her channel, attitude-wise.
WITH GENTLE WHISPERING
For a couple of years now, I have used ASMR, particularly the videos of Maria from Gentle Whispering ASMR to put myself to sleep every night. When I wind down for bed, using headphones, I listen to videos of her whispering kind words and making relaxing sounds. ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is the euphoric sensation one gets in the form of tingles when hearing soothing voices or sounds that bring them into a deep sense of relaxation. While many think this phenomenon is creepy or sexual, nothing could be further from the truth.
I always found Maria to be the most positive, gentle and genuine of the ASMRtists I've seen, and part of that comes from her background. Maria immigrated to America from Russia many years ago all by herself. Since then she has endured struggles that many immigrants and women can relate to. And ever since I heard her life story and how she's become the successful woman she is today, I have an unshakable respect for her as an individual.
She has dedicated her life not just to the phenomenon of ASMR, but also the spreading of peace, love and spirituality in an unpretentious way. The way she speaks from the heart is unlike anything I've ever seen on YouTube. Whether she is speaking objectively about spiritual concepts on her ASMR channel or talking about her experiences on her vlog channel, I can't get enough of her sweet nature. And it inspires me to improve the way I look at life.
To give an example of her impact on me, she has a video I love about self-care. For so long, I felt that self-care was a vain or irresponsible way of making yourself feel better. As a woman, I am constantly bombarded with the advice that I should buy a $400 purse or take a long bubble bath or drink myself into a coma in order to "take care" of myself. And I never felt I could relate to that way of thinking. But when Maria broke down a new way of looking at self-care, it made me realize that none of the everyday accomplishments I get through truly matter if I'm not able to appreciate myself.
I can't say that I'm fully actualized when it comes to self-love and self-care, but watching Maria's videos at night take me closer always to a relaxed state. Watching ASMR feels like I'm giving myself permission to indulge in relaxation after a day of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. And as the years go by and I mature further, I will get closer to a state where I am always giving myself self-love and self-care (without that meaning that I have to be overly indulgent or selfish, of course.)
Watching Maria is my little gift to myself at the end of the night that I deserve to feel a relaxed state and that I should stop and reflect on what I have to be grateful for. And this effect is what makes her not only a great ASMRtist, but a great individual.
I can't say how grateful I am that YouTube and blogging exists as a platform. It has really made me feel like I can at any time of the day, connect with someone who has similar priorities to me and can really teach me something that a formal education can't always provide.
It's been a joy to look into what these women have learned through their experiences, and gain that knowledge as well. No matter how similar or different their lives have been to mine on the surface level, it's made me realize how many day-to-day struggles we all share regardless of our circumstance. I am so glad these online communities exist and hope that through my blog, people find that they too can take away something of importance to them from my experiences and thoughts.