Keeping this post short and sweet, so you can take the number one organization tip from today and reflect on it for a little bit.
First let me ask you- Is your home organized? What makes a space organized or unorganized for you? Does your definition of being organized come from trends or from your own personal ability to function well within your space?
The greatest tip for organizing your home is this...
Know what organization looks like for YOUR LIFESTYLE.
Every single one of us has a slightly different definition and purpose for our home. For some it may be a place of calm and serenity, for others it may be a space filled with laughter and hope, and still for others it may be a spot to gather and bring people together in conversation. With all of these various definitions for "home", it only makes sense that the organization within them may look a bit different as well.
Here are a few examples:
+ All dishes washed and put away vs. mixing bowls at the ready.
+ Books organized by color and size vs. by subject.
+ Collection of coffee mugs neatly organized vs. the shoe collection displayed as art.
+ Everything having a place for time and efficiency vs. a space well-lived in.
+ Weekly cleaning schedule vs. bimonthly cleaning schedule.
+ The list goes on...
The point is being organized is really important, because it allows you to cherish the moments, activities, and people that are truly meaningful to you. However, do not get stuck on the latest organizational trends, but rather ask yourself- What do you want to feel when you walk into your home? What makes a space appealing and how can you organize your items to create that look for your home? What lifestyle habits make you feel organized when it comes to your physical items? What does not matter to you when it comes to being organized? etc.
Organize your home by creating a system for your physical items that will allow you to show up for the lifestyle you want to see flourish within your space.
Bonus tip- Organization and designing a space go hand-in-hand in my book. If you are ready to define your space to match your lifestyle, you know where to find me lovely lady! (You may also find a few more posts showing up about the design/organization connection soon.)
Finally, I would love to hear what you would like to discover more about when it comes to home organization + design, so please leave me a comment below. :)
I have heard the question before- "Are you a morning person?"
I always want to answer with a resounding, "Yes, I am!"
There is something so beautifully elegant about being a person who wakes up to watch the sunrise; the kind of person who has reflected, completed half their to-do list, and had a nice chat on the phone before the rest of the world has opened their eyes. I want to be the person who gets to savor each and every morsel of the day I have been given. I want to soak up the sunrise and watch the sunset on my days. I want to be one of those "morning people." Perhaps you agree with me.
The reality is I have worked as a barista on-and-off for a good third of my life. I love the idea of being the first one at the cafe; listening to the sounds, inhaling the aroma, and savoring the first sips of that first morning cup of Joe; and connecting with the individual's who, like me, want to savor every moment of their day. Obviously, being the morning barista, I know what it means to wake up at 5 A.M. I also know what it feels like to wake up at 5 A.M. You would think it would be as I described above- beautiful, elegant, reflective...
For me, it's painfully difficult, unnatural, and sadly, not me. I have learned over the years I am a 8-9 hours of sleep per night little lady. I am also someone who likes to go to bed around 10pm-ish. Any earlier and I feel "rushed" to bed rather than "settling into" bed. This means 6-7 A.M. is my ideal time to open my eyes and begin my day. This also means I will miss most of the sunrise, and start my reflection, to-do list, and conversations along with the majority of the world.
So where does this leave me when I answer the question- "Are your a morning person?"
I now embrace my routine and the endless simple joys I am finding in my mornings. I have made a few small changes in order for my morning to feel like that of a "morning person", and I can honestly say I treat my 6:30 A.M. wake up time like that of a 5 A.M. one.
Here are a few things I am embracing in my mornings (Maybe you will enjoy some of them too.):
+ Opening the blinds before bed, so I can feel the warmth of sun on my face as it rises.
+ Having an 8oz glass of water on my nightstand to enjoy before I even get out of bed.
+ Having my coffeepot automatically set (a faux pas in the barista world), or having the espresso machine ready- making my morning cup of Joe effortless.
+ Taking the extra time to pamper my face and enjoy the simple acts of a self-care routine. (Love the scent of lemon or grapefruit first thing in the morning.)
+ Connecting with my husband while making breakfast or simply enjoying our morning cup of coffee together before we dive into work.
+ Spending a few minutes in prayer or reading scripture.
+ Choosing/or not choosing to dive into a 15-minute yoga practice. (I get to choose and I enjoy the spontaneity of the morning practice.)
My answer: Yes, I am a morning person.
I am a morning person who wakes up rested and excited for the day. I move slowly when I wake up and savor the precious moments found somewhere between sunrise and 9-5. I love my mornings for what they are, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Are you a morning person?
Walking- an everyday simple pleasure that I always look forward to. Do you?
The hubby and I love a good stroll. Whether it is in the morning before church, or at the end of a long day; we cherish the simple activity of walking, talking, and cherishing the present moment before us.
This season (spring/summer), we have decided to make it even more of a point to embrace this gift we love so much! So far we have incorporated walking into our Sunday mornings before church (green juice in hand), this past Saturday by taking a stroll through Canyon Lake Park (a personal favorite of ours), and an all day adventure visiting the local shops of downtown Rapid City (pit-stops at Vita Sana, BH Vinyl, Mary's Mountain Cookies, Karma, Antiques Mall, and Revival to name a few). It felt so good to reconnect with our downtown neighbors while soaking up a little sunshine!
Where are a few of your favorite places to walk?
And do you have a simple pleasure you would like to incorporate into your lifestyle on a regular basis? I would love to hear what it is!
Here is to celebrating life and embracing a few more simple pleasures my friends!
Last week I hosted the first official BP Spring Cleaning Lifestyle Challenge! It was an opportunity for women to come together via social media and support each other in making small lifestyle changes whether they were near or far. I absolutely LOVE that we have the ability to connect on a global level don't you?
The women who participated had so many creative swaps from artificial light vs. natural light, toxic care products vs. natural, and artificially sweetened ice cream vs. homemade cashew dessert! I was so impressed with the women who chose to show up and participate! (Hats off to you!)
Today, I want to share the three basic concepts I look at when it comes to spring cleaning my lifestyle... just in case you could use a little spring cleaning too!
1. Declutter/Detox- What is one aspect of my life I would like to declutter or detox? When I think about decluttering the lifestyle, I pinpoint what keeps me from growing. Just like environmental and food toxins dive into our cells in our physical body; toxic relationships, environments, or time commitments integrate into our lifestyles and start breaking down our potential to savor the sweet simple moments.
Here are a few areas to look at when detoxing your lifestyle:
+ Toxic Friendship/Relationship- Is someone constantly being negative, dramatic, rude, or inconsiderate? Perhaps you have a person in your life who simply doesn't contribute positively to the relationship.
+ Items that No Longer Serve a Purpose or Foster Joy- Are there items in your space simply accumulating dust, adding to your visual and mental clutter, and no longer contributing to the lifestyle you want to live?
+ Tasks and Commitments Weighing Down the Schedule- Do you have tasks on your plate that you are holding on to simply because you committed to them two years ago? What activities are you doing simply to please others at the sacrifice of your own peace of mind?
+ Environmental Chemicals and Food Toxic to Your Body- Are you putting anything in or on your body that is doing more harm than good?
+ Negative Thoughts
2. Organize/Restructure- Are there places in my lifestyle that if I simply restructure the tasks/items or organize them a bit, they will cohesively build off of each other rather than fight against one another?
Here are a few examples of organizing areas of your lifestyle:
+ Making Your One-Hour Weekly Work Meeting a Two-Hour Monthly Meeting- You will use the meeting time for efficiently if you know you are only meeting once a month versus weekly.
+ Establish Carpool For Your Kids- You share the responsibility of getting them to school with other parents which opens up a couple hours for you each day.
+ Moving Items Around In a Space- The space better serves its purpose for you.
+ Bringing Like Friends Together- You can all meet together rather than always scheduling separate commitments for each. (Of course, 1:1 dates are still lovely sometimes too.)
+ Creating a Plan For Meals- Using how busy your schedule is for the week and selecting wholesome foodie options that will help fuel your busier days.
+ Plan Complimenting Plans with Your Spouse to See Friends- You have more time together alone.
3. Flourish/Nurture- What areas of my lifestyle do I truly enjoy and how can I continue to grow/highlight these areas? Which aspects of my life make me feel whole, make my heart flutter, and cultivate joy?
Here are a few examples of nurturing areas of your lifestyle:
+ Faith- Do you place your foundation on faith in God? Do you show up to meet with Him daily? How can you make Him more of a priority in your life? How can you cultivate a deeper relationship with Him?
+ A Person- Is there someone who truly and unconditionally loves you? Do they help your grow in a positive direction? How can you spend more time with them? How can you show them you appreciate them and how they make you feel?
+ A Hobby- Is there something you enjoy doing so much you lose track of time when you do it? Perhaps make time in your schedule to do this activity daily.
+ Traditions- Are there certain traditions that foster the woman you aspire to be? Perhaps it is getting a fresh bouquet of flowers for your space, shopping the local farmer's market, or cooking a family recipe.
+ Quiet Reflection or Creativity- Do you find clarity when you take time to reflect, read scripture, or pray? How can you create more time and space for such things?
+ Whatever fosters faith and feminine lightness... focus on and cultivate such things.
Spring is the perfect time to embrace a little detoxing, organizing, and flourishing. Just as a space loves to be spruced up, a lifestyle does too. How will you spring clean your lifestyle this season? I would love to hear your plans! Please comment below or send me a message!
Happy spring cleaning my friends!
You wake up, scurry around the house to get the kids ready, make yourself presentable for the day, and shove random food into bags for everyone’s lunches. You kiss the hubby goodbye, rush out the door with the kids in tow, drop off, and head into work. You work, and work, and work long into the night and make it home just in time to tuck the kids into bed, and snuggle under the covers to rest a few hours before doing it all again. Your stomach is about to eat itself from starvation, your body is aching because you have not had time in weeks to make it to your workout class, and your friends think you fell off the face of the earth.
In the back of your mind, you know what is important to you, and your friends and family know too… Don’t they? You just have a lot on your plate at work lately, well okay, for the last two years. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but everyone understands it is just the way the world of work is.
Cue harsh reality.
Yes, sometimes certain situations are unavoidable. We have to embrace them, commit, and power through; but these should be the exception to the rule lovely lady, not the norm.
However you choose to spend your time and whatever you fill your schedule with also becomes the characters in your life story and what you want people to see as your narrative. What if I were to tell you the story of “Romeo and Juliet” was actually about Juliet’s desire to run a seamstress company? You would laugh right? Why did the playwrights not include that in the story if that is really what it is about?
The same goes for your life narrative. Whatever you allow to consume your time is EXACTLY what your life is filled with. You are making those things more important than others. What story are you communicating?
If you feel like you are sharing a narrative that does not match who you are in Christ and what is truly important, here are a few ways to get started in changing the story:
Physically Write Down What is Important
Pick your top three things that are absolutely, without a doubt, most important to you. Remember you cannot give 100% of your energy to 100% of the people 100% of the time. By selecting your top three things, you are able to physically see what should be taking up most of your time.
Declutter the Schedule
Print off a blank weekly schedule, and write in how you want to show up for your top three things. For example, if family is something you consider to be important, put them in your schedule as you would like to show up for them. This might include carving out time for breakfast, being home for dinner, or creating family time during the weekends. Write out how you want to show up.
Continue this process with all of the pieces of your life that are truly important, and then look at how your current narrative lines up with the schedule you created. What needs to give? What are some active steps you can take to remove the other “fluff” from your schedule? Be honest and intentional when decluttering.
Commit to Your Narrative
Once you have a schedule that is more in line with who you are and what is important to you, resist the urge to take on that extra project at work, schedule in too many extracurricular activities, or being the “yes girl” that EVERYONE can count on.
Whenever you choose to adjust your schedule, remember that when you commit to something, you are saying “no” to something else. What do you want to communicate to the world? What is important? And is what is most important truly being reflected in your life?
If you would like to change the narrative you are communicating with your schedule and want guidance along the way, I would love to help you navigate the process of adjusting your schedule. Simply contact me to get started!
The struggle is definitely really ladies. I know, because I have seen it creep into the conversations I have with my closest friends, clients, and even in the whispers of a coffee shop. As women, we are finding it difficult to communicate. We discuss the annoyance of one word answers, receiving the silent treatment of friends, or even the heated disagreements shared between significant others. What’s the deal? Why is the art of conversation so difficult when it could be such a gift?
Think of it this way, if we could learn to communicate more effectively with one another, we would have the gift of understanding (not necessarily agreeing), of listening and our words being received, and a place to move forward from. Add to this the nuances of learning new ideas, exchanging experiences, and being fully immersed in a single moment of conversation; and it makes me wonder why some find themselves trudging through the process of conversation as if they were marching into war. What gives?
The realization of this struggle among women made me think about my own conversations. What makes me drawn to a conversation, what makes the communication shared between my husband and I successful, and what do I appreciate about the people who communicate well? What is this art of conversation and how do we embrace it?
Then it occurred to me-
My husband and I communicate about communicating; this is what makes our conversation feel more like an art and less like pulling teeth. Let me explain.
Black-and-White Conversationalist (The Concise)
My husband is a black-and-white kind of guy. He likes to give an answer clear and concisely in order to provide a solution, voice an opinion, and give direction. Not a bad quality to have as the man of the household. If your husband possesses this quality, respect that he wants to be clear and concise, not fuzzy, with his answer. We could use more of the “let your yes be your yes, and your no be your no” mentality today.
Colorful Conversationalist (The Expansive)
I, on the other hand, love a deep conversation. I like the color in a conversation that threads in between the black and the white. I want to know the “why’s”, share all the stories of the day, and explore an experience fully through words. Just like the black-and-white conversationalist has their strengths, the colorful has perks as well.
However, when you get a concise and an expansive type together, the conversation may lead to frustration if you do not recognize the value in each.
Communicate about Communicating
My husband and I have found the trick to communicating well with one another is the simple idea of understanding why we communicate and the value it holds for each of us. If I mention a thought I was mulling over throughout the day, Tanner might respond with an “I can see that,” or a “Yes, I agree,” or even a simple “Let’s do that”. If I was expecting an exploratory conversation- you know, those ones where you share a glass of wine, enjoy a few appetizers, and watch the sunset on the patio kind of conversation- his short answer responses may be a bit frustrating at first. However, being the expansive communicator, it is my job to speak up. When I want a deeper conversation, all I have to communicate is “I want to create a conversation. I want to explore this idea with you.” This lets my husband know I appreciate his response, but also gives him the signal that I simply want to explore it further FOR FUN.
I want to embrace a passion of mine- the art of conversation- with him, just as I might want to visit a museum, take a walk, or watch him play billiards. The conversation, for me, is the activity.
My husband knows this about me; I enjoy a good conversation, but he would not know this if I did not communicate it. If you find yourself talking with someone who has a different conversation style than you, simply talk about that simple fact, and what it would mean to you to have the type of conversation you would like to have. Often, it is about acknowledging the value you place on conversation for you to have a truly beneficial and positive experience with communication.
This is just one situation in the world of communication. Whenever you bring two different conversation types together, how the conversation takes shape will be unique to the people entering into it. The takeaway is whether you need more or less from a conversation, communicate it; and be willing to listen to what makes a conversation meaningful for the person on the other end. With respect, compromise, and appreciating the value of the art of conversation for everyone involved; you will be well on your way to embracing the conversation well.
Enjoy the art of conversation lovely lady. It can truly be a beautiful experience.
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- They are our unique set of God-given talents), 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, 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!
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.
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. You are allowing yourself a moment to embrace, 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 God-given 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 artist. 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 Christian faith. Think of your spouse, family, and dearest friends. Also think about people you would like to form stronger relationships with. These should be the people you seek to fill your cup. Then, be wise about the rest. Do not be afraid to say "no" to plans.
My life- I give dedicated time and energy to the people who love me unconditionally, and foster my growth as a woman of faith. I carve out pockets of time for those relationships, as well as relationships I want to foster.
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 is 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 what is important and allows your God-given talents to shine!