Our family had an absolutely wonderful time this past Mother's Day Weekend! Every year, my mom heads to the local greenhouses, spends hours strolling through the luscious green aisles, and hand-selects her floral arrangements for her flower baskets and beds for the summer. This year was a real treat, because my father, hubby, and I had the pleasure of going with her. It was absolutely wonderful!
We decided to make our plans for Saturday and the day actually turned out to be a bit brisk, but truly, this only made the experience more enjoyable. It felt so good to leisurely wind through the green plants and vibrant hues of the flowers; the warmth of the humidity trapped inside the canopies welcoming us into the next greenhouse we entered.
For the ladies living in the Black Hills' area- We visited Gage's Gardens and Beck's Nursery in Spearfish, SD. We also love Jolly Lane Greenhouse and Nachtigall's Greenhouse- both located in Rapid City, SD.
We spent hours looking at all of the different options and combinations of plants, and finally found the few we loved. Even our hubbies enjoyed the experience- A big THANK YOU to them for wheeling around the wagon with our selections inside!
Mom found her pairings for summer planting, and Tanner and I learned a lot about a few plants safe for our little kitty, Dill. (If you need a detailed and reliable list of toxic/non-toxic plants for cats, checkout out the ASPCA website.) It was a fabulous adventure for this plant lady!
What made the day, of course, was the time taken to cherish a mom, my mom, who brought me onto this Earth and has shown me nothing but love and care every single day. Although, I truly do believe, every day is a mother's day, don't you agree?
Floral Tips for Summer: I will be sharing a few of my mom's tips on how to make the perfect summer floral arrangement in an upcoming newsletter, so be sure to subscribe if you have not already!
Happy every-day-is-a-mother's-day wonderful ladies!
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 or simply being content. 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 be content.
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 completely accepts and 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? How can you create more time and space for such things?
+ Whatever fosters 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!
Your Lifestyle Consultant
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.
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 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.
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!
Celebrate + Savor Life
All of the fun little details, tips, and inspiration of a lifestyle design journey!