Every year I set about selecting one word I can come back to whenever I need a little reminder of the growth I would like to see in the year that lays before me. This year the word is "embrace" and I want to share a little bit about what this means for me and my 2019 lifestyle changes.
Over the years, I have learned that your strengths can also be your weaknesses. The very attributes that make you the All-Star of what you are good at, can also hinder your growth and ability to experience life to its fullest potential. Recognizing this, I knew that as I was navigating my word selection process, I wanted to challenge myself to grow "against my strengths". Wait, what? Let me show you what I mean.
A Few of My Strengths- Organization, Planning, Creating Schedules, Routines, Introspection
These strengths are what I rely on when it comes to my business, the flow of daily routines and goals, and my ability to be reliable for those that matter most to me. However, these strengths also inhibit my ability to enjoy the messy and creative pieces of life (unless its the structured kind of creativity- ie time carved out in the studio), may cause me to overthink various situations, and leave little room for impromptu events and moments.
It is not that our strengths are negative attributes (actually quite the opposite), however, if you do not shake up your strengths from time to time you miss out on fully embracing the life you have been gifted.
So... Although I am carrying my strengths into the new year (I will still be maintaining somewhat of a daily/weekly routine, setting goals for my business, and navigating thought-provoking conversations), there are a few things I am challenging myself with for 2019. I will be sharing the detailed lifestyle changes in a later post, but here are the highlights:
Make Goals- But- Don't Create All the Solutions
Have a Schedule- But- Allow Messy to Happen
Be Business-Minded- But- Let It Build Naturally From My Lifestyle
Be Introspective- But- Shutdown the Overthinking
Choose to Grow Always- But- Allow It to be Organic
Have a Plan- But- Take Time to Hit an Unexpected Pause and/or Detour
Have a Direction- But- Pray for God to Lead
Live a Meaningful Lifestyle- But- Know Not Everything Needs to be Intentional
In a word- EMBRACE- life and the life moments that make it so special. Although I will always have a plan, a direction, and a heart and mind for growth; I need to remember to embrace the moments that are often undefined, messy, and just plain lovely to experience.
Here is to embracing the year and this life my friends!
If any of these resonate with you, and you would like to jump on board the "creating a lifestyle you love" bandwagon, send me a message, call, or simply connect with me!
(Oh, and hey, if you want my nifty little process for finding your word for the 2019 year, let me know by dropping a comment or reaching out to me on any form of social media!)
Happy New Year lovely lady!
Your Lifestyle & Design Consultant
How present are you?
Be honest. Are you able to immerse yourself in the present moment and experience the sensations, conversations, and the people around you fully?
Let's say for a minute you are able to put the phone down. You are able turn off the electronics, and commit to the event in front of you. You do your part in creating conversation starters, and you even help set the table. When the host asks you to help distribute gifts, you do that too. Oh, and you spend hours picking out the perfect dress, the perfect gifts, and the perfect wine for the occasion. This sounds pretty perfectly present doesn't it?
But if I am being honest with you, this is what I may arguably term "faking present."
Many women have certain expectations for themselves when they attend an event. They run through the experience in their minds, setup the perfect situation, environment, and conversations, and then spend the entirety of the event following through with the performance of said "perfect event". After the event, they contemplate whether or not they fulfilled the expectations of the experience.
When we do this to ourselves, we are putting limits on our ability to be fully present. Yes, it is nice to experience the moment without all of the technology, and yes the ambiance can definitely set the mood for an evening, but there is one more thing you can do to perfect the art of being present....
If you are the host- Once you have finalized all of the plans, let the rest go. Allow your guests (and yourself) to be drawn to where they want to go naturally. Let the conversation lead where it may. Let small imperfect moments be sweet gems rather than mental dramatizations to be dealt with later. See the evening as an opportunity to experience those closest to you exactly as they are.
If you are the guest- Follow any directions given in the invitation (such as Black Tie), but then after that simply show up fully yourself. It's okay if it takes you awhile to settle into the crowd and start a conversation. It is okay if you enjoy the food so much you treat yourself to an extra hor d'oeuvre. And it is okay if you spill something on that beautiful dress. If you can truly embrace these moments for what they are, they become gifts of your ability to be fully present.
As we enter into the Holiday season, it can be tempting to "plan our experiences" (as if that were possible). I encourage you to take a different approach. Have fun enjoying the process of creating an event, picking out the details, and then relax and embrace. Don't plan how you will show up....
Simply show up.
This is how you perfect the art of being present my friends.
*If you struggle with simply showing up, I would love to hear from you! Send me a message and we can discuss our potential work together one-on-one.
Here is your Autumn Reminder for the week...
Get back to your roots.
As the weather cools, the ground becomes cold, the air dry and crisp, and the leaves fall from their hammocks. These particular not-so subtle changes remind me of departure and lack of security. They suggest everything is in a constant shift; and ebb of flow of sorts. Although this may be true, I also find myself reflecting on what is happening underneath the surface. The things we do not see.
You see, the roots of those trees; those trees with their leaves changing color and falling to the hardened and cold soil, their roots remain strong. They contain warmth and energy, growth and security for the trunk (the core) of those very trees.
What if we used Autumn as an opportunity to get back to our roots, our core, our strength and security?
Roots of Family & Friends- Think slow dinners and nights spent in with those you love and who love you unconditionally. Think deeply rooted conversation around a table, sipping wine and breaking bread. Thinking subtle touches of warmth and moments to cherish.
Roots of Culture- Think your story and those that came before you. Think community and the history of the city you live in. Think creating depth and understanding of your lineage. Think about how beautiful having this connection to culture, to history, is.
Roots of Passion & Purpose- Think spending hours doing what you love; those things that resonate with your heart. Think intentionality and purposeful work. Think YOUR WAY. Think reconnecting with like-minded individuals who just "get it" when you mention living a life of meaning and taking a leap for what matters.
Our roots are strong my friends. They are strong in a way we may not often understand, and quite possibly, do not take the time to remind ourselves of. Autumn is an opportunity to dive into our roots.
Let's create warmth, connection, and security with the "stuff that people cannot see".
Dive in and dig deep to find your roots.
I absolutely love this time of year, don't you?! I didn't always, but the older I get, the more I really look forward to the Autumn season. I suppose if we are getting technical Spring and Autumn are equally "my favorites", but who really is keeping track right?
With cooler days, nature preparing for hibernation, and people falling back into the routine of work and school; Autumn is the perfect reminder to slow down, hunker in, and soften our hearts. In the spirit of fall, I intend to build upon this post slowly, bringing you sweet morsels of Autumn reminders throughout the month. My hope is you will appreciate the intentional shorter posts versus some of the novels I tend to write in the form of blog posts.
So, today, here are just a few reminders Autumn is sharing with me today:
Embrace the Warmth- The warmth of loved ones, friends, cozy nights with blankets and warm tea, candlelit dinners, and Autumn walks all bundled up.
Embrace the Slow- The slow pace of enjoying the moment, being present, of home cooked meals, walking simply to inhale the city, and of creating intentional space for meditation and contemplation.
Embrace the Inside- The inside of self when reflecting, of home as you commune among friends and family, and of heart as you soak up the love given to you.
Embrace the Beauty- The beauty of nature, of God's love, and of grace.
What will you embrace this Autumn? Do any of these resonate with you?
Happy fall my friends!
BP Lifestyle & Design
For the sake of all that this blog post represents... I am going to try to keep this "little novel" short and sweet.
Margin of white- What is it? Do I want it? Why is this important?
Margin of White
The space in your calendar where you have scheduled flexible, undefined time. Yes, I realize this may sound contradictory, but it isn't I PROMISE! It can be a couple hours a few times a week, and entire day, or a set hour at the start/end of the day; whatever fills your cup! The point is... keep that space white... mark off the time and leave that sweet precious gem clutter-free.
I Hope You Want It
Most people roughly fall into two categories- the "planner" and the "go-with-the-flow-er". The planner schedules her days, follows them to a "T", and wakes up to do it again the next day. She is scheduled, precise, and determined. The go-with-the-flow-er lets the day carry her where it may, enjoys the journey of the day, sees how much she can fit in as it comes, and rarely commits to anything ahead of time. She is fluid, flexible, and fun. However, when balance is not found, people often cannot grow to their fullest potential. The planner may find herself controlled by her commitments, tired, and too serious. She is not able to stop and smell the roses, because then, she will surely be late. The go-with-the-flow-er may find she is at the mercy of everyone else and their needs, late for the commitments she does make because she tried to squeeze one more thing in last minute, and going somewhere in life, but with no set direction.
The Importance of the Margin of White
When you create the margin of white in your calendar, you are striking a balance with yourself. Whether you tend to be scheduled and you are opening a space for a bit of freedom, or you have no structure and you are scheduling in growth, the margin of white allows you to find balance and carve out a time for true personal growth and whatever that looks like for you. You are allowing yourself a moment to embrace whatever is going to make you feel the best, to reconnect, and dive into something meaningful knowing you have the time and the space to do so.
My charge to you this week....
Carve out your margin of white, and then let me know what you did with it! Happy Monday lovely lady!
Wake up groggy, stare at the countless texts, emails, and comments I "have" to respond to... but don't... get ready for my job that begins at 6am in less than 30 minutes, hustle out the door only to show up to a workplace which is unprepared for the day ahead, think about all of the unanswered forms of communication and the projects that pull at my mind while working, get bombarded by "small talk" texts from people I just connected with in person, respond to all the people I can over a 30-minute lunch break that is usually interrupted, leave work, dive into my purpose-driven work with an immense amount of brain fog and mental exhaustion, hubby and I make dinner (may be the first time we are eating), contemplate the invites to events that I don't have time for, stress about the time crunch in the day ahead, say "no" to all of the important relationships with friends, go to bed still thinking, and begin again...
Does this sound familiar? Can you relate? When, and if, you find yourself in this position, it is time to make a dramatic shift in your schedule, prioritize your time, and make room for the things that really, really matter to that sweet heart of yours!
Here are 3 things to consider when shifting your schedule:
Meaningful Work- What is it that makes your heart sing and fills you with a sense of purpose? Whatever it is, your days should be filled with it. Remove the clutter so you can begin actually using your talents and give to the world the special gift you have to offer it!
My Life- I left my part-time job in order to open up a full week's schedule for my purpose-driven work as a lifestyle consultant, content writer, and home decor creator. It was scary, but so necessary!
Meaningful Relationships- Reality. You can only have a handful of really solid relationships. When looking at your relationships, consider who you can trust, who brings you joy, who understands you completely, and who truly fosters your growth. Think of your spouse, family, and dearest friends. Also think about people you would like to form stronger relationships with. Then, (and get ready for the harsh reality), say "no" to the individuals who don't have the best intentions or do not align with what is important to you in your relationships.
My life- I only say "yes' to those relationships that really allow me to be me, those people who love me unconditionally, and foster my growth as a person. I carve out pockets of time for those relationships, as well as relationships I want to foster. It may seem harsh, but the older we get, the more important those valuable relationships, and carving out the time for them, becomes.
Meaningful Experience- Look at how you spend your time in the morning, evenings, and weekends. Fill those moments with a balance of routine and spontaneity, but only do the activities that fuel your soul and restore you.
My life- I now start my mornings slowly and end my days the same. These are times where there are no electronics, I spend quality time with my husband, and the "work-brain" is turned off. As an introvert, this is sooo important, because I need this time in order to show up fully for the day.
Once you know what you find to be meaningful, shift your schedule so these things are at the forefront of your life. Not-so-fun-stuff will come up, but always consider whether you actually have to react and take on that "stuff" or not... usually we just think we have to.
Shifting your schedule isn't always easy, but it is truly necessary! (Seriously, it is.) If you need a shift in your schedule, but need a little more guidance and direction to do so, you know where to find me lovely lady!
Here is to creating a life that truly reflects YOU!
Life. Is. Messy.
You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. And because it is so messy, we often create for ourselves nice little tidy boxes in order to help define who we are, what we do, and how we interact with the community we live in. We desperately seek to shove "good stuff" into all the crevices and remove all of the negative, the undefined, and the uncomfortable. We want to be able to package ourselves up and deliver what we offer this big ol' world of ours without any muss, and certainly, without any fuss.
But what may we be depriving ourselves of in this process?
What would it look like for you to live for a moment in time in an undefined mental and physical space? Put more specifically, what would it mean to you to make a bold decision because you KNOW it is better for your deeper sense of self and how you choose to live, without having a SPECIFIC plan in mind for your future?
Would it make you uncomfortable? Do you get itchy just thinking about it? If this is too scary, think about this- what would it mean to you to spend an entire day with NO PLANS, NO SELFIES, NO POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?! How would you possibly define yourself to the world without documenting who you are as a hiker, a foodie, a human being?.... It is in moments like this that you are choosing to live "Undefined". Your titles, your social media, your career, your family and friends are not there to determine if your package (YOU) is "defined" enough, and instead you are living defined by your internal sense of self and the importance you give to the moment. Do you get where I am going with this?
We spend so, so, so much of our time making sure our lives are defined so that we may be understood by the outside world, but in doing so, we neglect taking the time to filter through WHO WE ARE in the UNDEFINED. In order to live fully in ourselves, we must know who we are in all of the space that is messy and undefined. We must seek to understand our values and our priorities with 100% clarity, so we can get comfortable in the undefined, because that is when we KNOW with certainty that we are truly ourselves regardless of situation and of circumstance.
This week, try not to define, try not to wrap yourself and your life up in a nice little package tied with a bow, and try not to get too definitive in every aspect of your life. Instead, embrace the undefined, hone in on what truly matters, and share yourself just as you are and who you have the potential to grow into.
The undefined may be your space for growth.
Let's talk meal prep ladies! It is often something viewed as mundane, time consuming, and same-old-same-old, but meal prepping can actually be something to look forward to every week! The best part is it can be as time consuming as you make it depending on how much you enjoy to cook and how many other tasks you have on your weekly calendar.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Pick a Theme- The first thing to consider when sitting down to plan your meals for the week is a theme. There are two ways you can do this. The first way is to select one or two food items you would like your meals to center around. (ex. Sweet Potatoes or Broccoli) The other option is to pick a cultural theme. (ex. Mexican, Italian, etc.)
By selecting a theme you are creating a foundation for brainstorming. You have a direction and an immediate rough-draft of a grocery list.
Look at Your Week- The next subject to consider is what your week looks like. Is it crazy-hectic busy or do you have a little more flexible time to spend in the kitchen? Do you have nights that are busier than others? What are the other members in your household committed to?
Take some time to layout your week and think about how much time you will REALLY have to be in the kitchen.
Designate when you will actually meal prep. And this is key... YOU CAN MEAL PREP MORE THAN ONCE IN A WEEK!! Yep. If you have a couple small bubbles of time or just a really big one, you can choose to meal prep once, twice, or even three times!
The important part of the puzzle is to recognize what your schedule allows for.
Get Creative (Or don't)- Now the fun part...at least for me! Discovering the meals you want to cook for the week! Remember to keep your schedule in mind. If you have a busy week, keep it simple. Even if it is meal prepping, the last thing you want to do is spend hours on food when you don't have the time. Plan accordingly. You can write down some of your go-to recipes, or use platforms such a Pinterest to get inspired, or do some of each!
Bonus- You have already selected your theme so you can simply type in "Sweet potato" or "Italian recipes" and get a slew of ideas! Also, be sure to create breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack lists when selecting your recipes. Meal prepping isn't just for dinner chicka!
Once you have selected the meals you wish to make, lay them out in your schedule in a way that makes sense. Easier options on busy days, more complex recipes when you have more time. (Doing this will come in handy for later.) Also use this time to make a grocery list of the items you will need. You may notice that all of your recipes have similar ingredients because you picked a theme at the beginning! Neat eh?
Make Friends with Your Kitchen- Once the groceries are purchased, it is time to actually prepare your goods! Using your meal prep times, begin to think about the meals you have laid out during the week and how much of each ingredient you should prep.
Let's use dried black beans as an example:
If I am using black beans in three of my meals during the week, I will soak that amount in a mason jar filled with water for at least six hours (if not overnight). I will then cook all of them over the stove, and portion them out into how many meals worth I am needing them for. Once I need them for a meal, I will remove the amount I need, heat and season accordingly and viola! It's that simple! The key is to take the time out of your busy day to consider what foods you want to fuel your body with!
Meal prepping can be broken down even more, but this is a great summary to get you started! However, if you would like to learn more about how to save time and still cook meals you love, SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter where you can be kept in the loop about upcoming workshops, groups, and materials to embrace the Foodie in you! You can also set up a consultation to work one-on-one with me!
The past week, the hubby and I flew down to Las Vegas for a billiards tournament (needless to say Tanner did swimmingly).During this trip, something kept showing up for me on a daily basis; something I already knew, but had forgotten about. I LOVE BIG CITIES! Does this get you thinking, "Then why do you live in such a small town?". It should. Let's talk about showing up for yourself regardless of where you may be or what you may be doing.
A few things to consider before you take on the task of showing up for yourself are- who are you (what makes you YOU), what are your priorities (what is important to you), and what do you do with the leftovers?
WHO ARE YOU?
The biggest thing for you to sort out is WHO YOU ARE. Take some time, put pen to paper, and define what makes you so uniquely you. For me this may look something like- I am a Christian woman who prides herself on being the best wife I can be, who values family and close friendships, and embraces deep conversations around a delicious meal. My description may also include the fact that I do love big cities for the culture and the ease of public transportation, I am a creative at my core, and I need "me" time to restore because I am, my friends, a complete introvert. I am a foodie, a mover and shaker (literally, I am obsessed with movement), a writer, and I can be a bit heady. Alas, the list goes on. The important piece here is you take the time to define and "know thyself." Got it?
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
It's ok lovely lady, life happens, and somewhere down the line you may have forgotten what is most important to you. Next on your to-do list is to write down your priorities. What are the BIG things that matter to your soul? If this is too difficult for you to sort out right now, that's o.k. This task can be BIG and SCARY if you have not focused on what matters most to YOU in awhile. If you need help, let's connect! (I mean it, I am here to help you sort through the muck!)
But if you clearly know what is most important, write them out, number them, and pick your top four-ish. These priorities are what should define your life, where you put your energy, and what consumes most of your time. They are what allow you to be YOU most easily. My life example- My faith is my top priority! Thus, everything I do should be a direct reflection of my belief system and guide how I live. When I get off track, I know, because it is like a gut punch to my soul (literally). When you know your priorities, you know when your life matches up to them, I promise.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS?
The leftovers are the items in your life that you choose based on your priorities, but they do not necessarily match perfectly with who you are or what you enjoy. Once you have established your priorities, hopefully you have begun the process of aligning your life with them. They are too precious to be neglected girly. They are your priorities after all. (Again if you need help with sorting through the crap, I'm your girl.)
Once you are done with creating a life that is self- and priority- centric, there will be bits and pieces that match your priorities, but require you bring yourself into them. What does this mean?
Let's go back to where we started. One of my priorities is family- I embrace the moments gathered around a family dinner, creating subtle memories of running errands and going for evening walks, and seeking advice from those who saw me grow up. Family and my closest friends are important to me, and they are important to Tanner. The fact that family is a priority for the both of us impacted our decision to stay in the Black Hills rather than move to a larger city that would have made it easier for us to embrace what we love so much about city life.
The beauty is, my friends, that it is easy to bring everything you love and everything that makes you, you, into the aspects of your life that you have chosen to create.
Knowing Rapid City is my home, I actively seek out creative opportunities. I walk to and from sessions, the grocery store, and events whenever possible. I create moments of "good eats" and dinner parties, and I never forget that I can do A LOT in creating a "big city life" in this place I call home. It is simply a matter of perspective and knowing I can make active choices in my life.
So there you have it! Phew! A bit lengthy, but I truly don't know how to do it any other way! No matter where you are today, lovely lady, you can CHOOSE to SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF. It is simply a matter of knowing who you are, what your priorities are, and bringing yourself into the leftovers!
What are you waiting for? Go SHOW UP!
The Art & Wine Festival is becoming quite the family tradition and we couldn't be more excited to be sharing it with you again this year! The festival itself is the perfect blend of two of my favorite things- art and wine, so right out of the gate it is a win-win in my book!
A few months prior to the event, my mom, my hubby, and myself begin to play with the spatial setup and the "feeling" of the display. (Yes, I said "feeling", it's a design psychology thing.) ;) Once we have laid out the foundational work, my dad helps out A LOT with the construction process of any display structures we may need. It truly is a family affair, and one of the reasons I love this event so much!
The feeling I get when I see everything come together on the morning of the event is one of my favorite parts of the day! To see my minimalist jewelry pieces sprinkled among my mom's fine jewelry, and then to experience my hubby's abstract paintings within the BP Home Decor Collection... this is the beauty of working with your family... the feeling of togetherness; we created this collective body of work! And the experience only continues to build, because in addition to the beauty of the morning getting everything displayed, the festival is also time for us to spend a day with one another displaying the pieces we have worked on over the past few months. The time with my family preparing our work for the festival is PRICELESS
What can you expect from the BP Home Decor Collection-
For this festival, I really focused on embracing Spring and all of its beauty, so there will be several macrame plant hangers both in wall hangings and in suspended options. I also created a couple abstract-realism paintings with a blue-green and grayscale color palette that embodies the clarity and freshness of the season (Not to mention these are my favorite colors). You will also see a small line of other home decor pieces such as pillows, coasters, weavings, etc. that add minimalist beauty to your space.
**Bonus** I will also be taking custom orders at the event, so if you have been wanting a piece created just for you, come see me!
I hope you will join us and swing by our space this Saturday! It truly is a day I so much look forward to sharing with my family and friends. Thank you for supporting my family and our creative hearts!