My Simplified Life

New year, new you? Was one of your New Years goals/resolutions to be more organized, tidy and to destress your life? If so, you need to read “Simplified Life” by Emily Ley. Even from the first chapter alone, I can guaranty that she has helped simplify my life.

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I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I already tend to be a pretty organized and tidy person. However, I’m always trying to find new ways to help life stay organized and make everyday life less chaotic. This book made me realize I still have many things that add to the stressful nature of my day to day.

I love her explanation on why she has a simplified life:

I don’t organize or structure life just because it’s my job or because I want things to look good from the outside. I do these things because I want a life that is rich, seen, and uncomplicated. I don’t want to be weighed down by day-to-day responsibilities. I want to be able to enjoy Saturdays, making memories with my family instead of folding mountains of laundry. I want dinner to be a calm time to reconnect and enjoy good food with the people I love, not a rushed, chaotic evening ritual I’m just hoping to survive. I want to be able to sit with my kids or with a friends and wholeheartedly listen, not spend my days with stresses running through my head. I want to be able to enjoy this beautiful life, not be constantly overwhelmed by it.
-Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

Then she starts with the first task; simplifying your space. For the most part I’ve always thought my space was pretty simplified. I don’t have lots of clutter, it makes me anxious, I don’t keep a lot of things unless they are being used or will be used regularly in the next few months. And I’m not someone who has lots of sentimental objects. I love pictures and creating memories, I just don’t tend to keep everything that has to do with that memory or experience. This is not the same for everyone and, believe it or not, people give me a really hard time about this; but it helps me feel comfortable in my home and relaxation after a long day.
My husband actually said something to me the other day that probably meant more to me then he even knew. I was processing with him about if it’s a struggle for him that I don’t tend to keep things or that I’m not saving everything Titus ever did. That sweet husband of mine looked at me and said I would rather have a clean, organized house for the rest of our lives than spend 2 minutes reminiscing on something from our past or present.
↑ so thankful for this man, he so gets me!

So the first space I started was my kitchen, since I figured I would tackle the downstairs first. I went through and thought, “Do we use this?” And “does this help make my life easier or harder?” I realized that I had 30 glasses, 16 mugs, and duplicates of many kitchen gadgets in my cabinets and drawers. Then I asked myself at what point am I going to use all of these cups? Lets be serious, if I’m having that many people at my house, we are using plastic cups so I don’t have to do as many dishes at the end of the day. There are 3 people living in this house and 1 of those people is only 19 months old and will not be using glasses anytime soon. So I kept 10 glasses and my specialized mugs and one of each gadget. The rest I either sold or donated. Then I moved to the dining room and living room and went through my craft cabinet and Titus’ toys. Believe it or not, I do feel more relaxed in my house and it seems like I’m not spending as much time during the day cleaning up, doing dishes or thinking of ways to keep it more organized. It just naturally became that way without so much stuff.

Simplifying your space means giving your home potential to inspire and soothe.

-Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

 I’m loving this journey so far! My downstairs has been simplified and I can feel the difference. I am in the process of doing our bedroom and Titus’ room and it has been a relaxing process. I can’t wait to see what the next chapters hold for our simplified life.

If you want to start your simplified life you should check out Emily Ley’s book, Simplified Life.

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Hello 2018

How do you feel about new years resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you find yourself just a few months into it and you didn’t stick to anything?

That’s me! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve said “New year, new me!”, “I’m going to start working out and keep it up”, or “I’m going to eat better this year.” I can honestly say that I have never made a new years resolution that has stuck throughout the entire year. I read an article that said 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution. That should tell you something about resolutions. So this year I decided to set realistic goals for the year and write them down. But then I decided to take the rest, what would normally be considered a new years resolution and take it month by month.

For example, instead of saying in January I’m going to have me time, I sit down at the beginning of the month to decide what I want for my me time to look like, and schedule it right then or mark it in the calendar to happen. Another thing I want to do is slowly continue to do little updates on our house. So for the month of January I wrote down 1 thing that I want to do in the house that month. Small or big, but only 1 thing. Then I thought about where Nathan and I dream to be financially, So I have it set on a monthly plan; how much we want to put into savings in the month of January.

I want this to be a great, healthy and successful year for me individually and for my family. So I want to be realistic in setting these plans and goals for myself. I want to not only make big plans for the first of the year but things that will stick for the entire year.

Something that has been helpful with this is my 2018 planner. At the beginning of every month there is a spot for your monthly mission board. IMG_0917

It includes: 

  • Me time
  • Be Social
  • Home
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Dream Big
  • Blank: God Time
  • Blank: Volunteering

So at the beginning of every month I am filling in those spots with my monthly goals. I have chosen to use my blank spaces for God time and Volunteering. This mission board is really going to help me think through what I want to do each month, to be more intentional and hopefully help me grow every year. Not a goal planned out for the entire year that I more than likely wont stick to. If you feel like a monthly mission board would also be helpful for you, I’ve created a print out that you can print, fill out and look at every month. There is power in writing it down and looking at it every day!

Your Own Monthly Mission Board or if you want to pick up your own monthly planner you get can it here.

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What’s in my kitchen?

How many times have you gone to the grocery story with what you want to cook on your mind but you can’t remember what you have at home? Or pinned a ton of new fun recipes and head straight to the store and end up buying duplicates of spices, seasonings and broths? Me! I have!

I love to plan our my menu a week a head of time but I can’t tell you how many times I just write down everything that I need buy for every recipe and realize that I spent a ton of money on things that I already have. So recently I’ve been trying to find a way to keep that organized. I made a “master list” of the basics that you need in your kitchen for any meal. And on that list it has a number of how many I have, when I use one up or it’s getting low I make a mark on my list and check it every time I go to the grocery store. It has saved me from having 3 shakers of garlic powder in one cabinet, it’s saved money since I’m not just buying it just in case, and it’s saved time because now I have a little list of what I have in my kitchen.

So I’ve made my master list available to you. Now you may need things on your master list that I don’t have on mine and with this file you are able to change it and make it custom to you. I have one list printed out and hung in my cabinet and one also saved on my phone so that I can constantly update it.

What’s in my kitchen

↑ This is just a sample PDF of what the list looks like

What’s In my Kitchen (Make your own)

↑ This is an Excel Worksheet that you can save to your computer or your phone.   You can edit the supply list or how many items that you have at anytime.

I hope that you are able to enjoy and benefit from this list as much as we have.

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Organization in the midst of a toddler

There were days when I found myself cleaning up my living room for the tenth time, wondering how in the world it could get so messy again so quickly. I like to have a very clean and organized house and when Titus got a little bit older, that was tested. With the amount of toys, gadgets, swings and everything else you use for a baby, I felt like my house had been taken over. I didn’t like the feeling that may space didn’t look like an “adult” space anymore. So I’ve slowly tried to find new ways to help keep things organized and still feel like I’m in an adults living room.

I don’t know about you but my child has an over abundance of toys and I don’t like to have them all downstairs where we usually spend our time playing, so every morning I bring one of his “big” toys down. It could be his big learning block, his trains, or his soccer goal, but only one a day. I feel like this helps with the mess and also makes it so that he enjoys those toys more. I found that when I had everything out he would get tired of them quickly.

Then I got this really cute bench from target that I’ve converted to a toy box. It goes with my furniture and you would never know that it is filled with books, puzzles, and toys. I also put 2 Storage Bins from Target in the bench and fill those up with toys. At this point in his life, 18 months, I can still somewhat manage what gets taken out of the toy box (I know this will change once he gets older and I’ll have to find new ways to stay organized.) I also only take out 1 storage bin and a few books out at a time. The toys in the one bin and his one big toy usually keep him pretty occupied.

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We’ve also already started the practice that before we get new things out, we clean up what we were already playing with. Thankfully I think some of my cleanliness has already rubbed off on Titus because he LOVES to put his books away every night and knows that things belong in certain spots.

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These are some of the things that have really helped all of us stay organized, so that I’m not spending countless hours cleaning up toys. It has made clean up so much easier and ensures that once I put Titus to bed I can actually relax.

I hope this helps you with some ideas to keep things organized with kiddos running around! Below are the links for the Bench and Cubes.

Target Storage Bench

Target Storage Bin

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Its been a while..

So its been almost 6 months since I wrote last. Life continues to change, time flies by and life gets busier. I don’t know how that is possible. But life is good. Our sweet boy is almost 11 months old, he loves to clap, gives kisses and has the biggest personality. He is happy 95% of the time, laughs at us but finds his cousins hilarious and sleeps like a champ. This mama feels like she sleeps more now that she has a kid than before… I know, I know thats something I should keep quiet about! He isn’t crawling yet, but he is a big boy. He is a whooping 25 lbs! Yes, I typed that correctly. My 10 month old is 25 lbs! I get the best arm workout of my life on a daily basis. He just recently started doing planks, lots of moms tell me crawling is just around the corner.

My husband is working a ton so that we can have the life that he has always imagined for all of us. There are days that he works from 8am-8pm and Titus and I get brief hugs and kisses. But we are willing to do this so that he can pursue his dreams while he also makes it possible for me to stay home. You should check out his website. He is incredibly talented and makes some pretty epic arrangements. www.beyondtheguitar.com

And I spend my days taking care of our boy, taking care of Nathan and taking care of the house. Whoever said stay at home moms have it easy has obviously never been a stay at home mom. But I love it and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love that everyday I get to wake up with Titus, watch him grow and don’t miss a thing. I also love that I can to be at home keeping our lives and house together while my husband pursues his dreams.

So thats a little update on us. I promise no more 6 months breaks from writing. A lot has been happening and I have a lot to tell you. So stay posted!

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