I can’t really nail down when my love for airstreams became a slight obsession, but I do know that they are amazing.
Perhaps it’s because I yearn for more simplicity in my life. Or maybe it’s a touch of feeling wanderlust. Earlier this year I took the time to set some life goals, and one of them is to travel somewhere new every year with my family.
That doesn’t mean it has to be a huge excursion, it could simply be a day trip to a beach or a park we’ve never been to.
I know they kind of have a cult following, but there’s something about an airstream that tugs on my soul.
While I must be patient to make my investment into the right one in the future (aiming for 2019/2020…but we’ll see),
Gabby’s words and tools helped me to appreciate my life and what I have, recognize that I was trying too hard to control the outcome (read more on that here), and really search deep within my soul to discover more about who I am and what I want.
Here are some of the most impactful takeaways I had while experiencing this book:
“When you begin to slow down and open up spiritually, you may come even more aware of the ways you’ve been resisting true healing. You may see how your addictive patterns have masked your feelings or how your high strung energy made you move so fast that you never slowed down long enough to feel.”*
Without love, without gratitude, without kindness and positivity we got stuck in a state of overwhelm, in a state of anger, in a state of unhappiness. Make the small changes to bring more joy into your life. Listen to your soul, follow it’s message, and trust in yourself and the Universe.
“Speak up, rise up, and show up with Grace.”*
Meditation releases the tension and weight and allows me to be filled with light.
“I witness that I’m out of alignment with my power. I choose to see peace instead of this.”*
I choose to learn through love.*
“Thank you, Universe, for helping me to see this obstacle as an opportunity for growth. I will step back and let you lead the way.”*
The perfect one to end on is the absolute most impactful statement from the book that shook me to the core: “We are resistant to being happy.”*
There’s a reason my mission is for a more peaceful home, not a perfect one.
You see, so many of us struggle to try to create a picture perfect home. Everything in it’s place, shelves always dusted, floors never messy.
But, the reality of that is exhausting.
We can try. We can try and try and try.
And when we fail to maintain this unrealistic perfection, we beat ourselves up over it. We think we are incapable. We become overwhelmed and full of anxiety.
Why do we feel that we need to hold ourselves to such a high standard?
Who set that standard anyway?
The pictures you drool over on Pinterest or Instagram or even in a magazine, yes they are a great aesthetic to aim for. Let’s stop aiming for picture perfect though, and instead aim to create your own definition of a peaceful home.
If to you a peaceful home is everything having a place and sparkling clean all of the time, and that’s within your wheelhouse, go for it.
If it’s creating a retreat for yourself, even if it’s the corner of your bedroom, the create it.
If it’s about preparing more for the week ahead and finding more time to be present with your family, do it.
I don’t know about you, but I know that I am sick of being stuck in this vicious cycle that feels as if I’m never doing enough.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotony of life, that we don’t slow down. We stop appreciating what we have because we’re too busy checking that off the to do list and focusing on what’s next.
We’re guilty of creating our own environment of stress and overwhelm.
Let’s slow down.
There’s no competition. There’s no prize to be won.
Life is just life and sometimes life can be short. We can’t control everything that happens in our lives, so why not shift our focus towards what we can control?
If you could do one thing today to make your home a more peaceful environment, what would that be?
Did ten things just run through your brain? Yeah, me too.
But what if I told you to just choose one. Choose one easy thing you can do today that will get you closer to your definition of a peaceful home. Then, wake up tomorrow and do the same thing. Don’t create a list. Just wake up, relax, and pick one and then do it. Start doing this every damn day.
Some days you may have time to choose more than one, but don’t stress yourself out trying to do too many things at once. That defeats the purpose.
Have you been trying to create a new routine? Try implementing one part of that routine a day into your existing routine.
Are you trying to finish a project? Try one task a day.
Do you feel guilty that you’re not being more present with your family? Try shutting down distractions for a half hour or an hour.
Has eating healthier been in the back of your mind for some time now? Try replacing one snack a day with a healthy option.
Life is all about balance, and so is having a peaceful home.
No, our homes are not going to feel peaceful every day. And they won’t feel peaceful at every moment of every day. But they shouldn’t feel stressful and chaotic more than they feel happy and welcoming. I mean, how unbalanced is that?
If I can leave you with one final thought today, it’s to stop aiming for a perfect home and instead aim for a peaceful home.
Our homes should be our warm welcoming hug, not a source of contention. Stop comparing where you’re at to where someone else is. Love your home and the people you share it with, make the small changes that you can make when you can make them, and eventually it will all fall into place.
Have you decided that it’s time to start to simplify?
In this post I shared that my husband and I are working on simplifying, taking some concepts from minimalism, and putting our own spin on them.
It’s not something that can be done in one weekend. It’s about incorporating new ideas and implementing them in ways that fit your family and lifestyle so they have longevity. Take your time, try out new things, and choose what works for you, your family, and your lifestyle.
We each have our own reasons for wanting to simplify our lives, but if you’re reading this and you feel a nudge, it may be time for you to consider it.
Here are 5 ways you can start to simplify your life (without spending a damn dime).
Break up with the idea of “perfect”.
Let’s be honest, no one’s home looks TV or Magazine perfect 100% of the time. And if they do, are they really enjoying their home or is it a museum?
Embrace your home’s imperfections, as they can be beautiful and are unique to your home.
To me, I love that my stairs are a little creaky and I love the slight cracks in the plaster walls in my dining room. It adds to the character of our home.
What elements of your home do you love, even if someone else would see it as an imperfection?
Own less and live more.
Don’t try to fill a void with more “stuff”. Think about purchases before you make them and decided if it’s a need or want. Yes, even decor items can serve a need, but know where they are going and what purpose they serve.
I’m not suggesting to sell all of your belongings or anything, just be conscience of how you are spending your time and money.
Make time to enjoy life. Life is more than just paying bills. Enjoy it.
Make space for what’s meaningful and beautiful.
It’s ok to get rid of things that aren’t your taste or style, no matter who gifted them to you. And if it’s super sentimental, can you repurpose it somehow to make it fit in?
If you purchased a beautiful piece of wall decor and haven’t hung it yet, make the time to dust it off and hang it. Have you been putting off staining a piece of furniture (guilty) or completing that accent wall? Make time to get it done.
Don’t let busy and excuses become habits, and if they already are, work on breaking them.
Are you really busy or do you just feel like you’re too busy? Take a look at how you manage your time. Don’t use the excuse, “I don’t have time to do (insert whatever it is here).” Sit down and see where you can fit it in.
Yes, in some cases, in some weeks that may be true. But if you need to start exercising on a regular basis, can you wake up 10 minutes earlier and work out for 10 minutes? Can you bring your kids with you on an evening walk?
Then go to the next tip…
Make small, simple changes.
How can you make your routine easier? Can you meal plan? Crock pot meals? Lay your clothes out a night?
Don’t get hung up on large projects. If you can’t afford it now, is there a “Phase 1” project you can do to the space that will make it more aesthetically pleasing to you in the meantime?
Move around what you already have. Try moving pictures and accent pieces into new areas of the home to freshen up the space.
Don’t overthink how you should simplify. You do not need to get rid of all of your stuff or move into a tiny home. Simplifying doesn’t have to be about drastic changes. It’s about making changes so that you can live more and enjoy life more.
When do we know it’s time to simplify our homes and lives?
I wouldn’t say our end goal is minimalism because let’s face it, that’s not who I am or who my family is. While we aren’t striving to be minimalists, my husband and I are taking some concepts and applying them to our life.
Some days the concept of a tiny home sounds appealing…
…and then I realize how much I love and need my space and respect other’s need for theirs. I love my family, but there is such thing as being too close.
While I don’t really desire to join the #tinyhomenation, my husband and I have been really drawn to reducing the amount of “stuff” that we have.
For us, we have 2 biggest offenders when it comes to clutter: clothing and toys. Him and I have both been feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep up with daily life and keeping a house.
What we realized is that we could probably reduce our clothes and toys by over half and no one would even notice. Deciding to simplify our lives is a process we are working towards and isn’t going to be something we achieve quickly. It takes time, dedication, and a little planning to start to simplify.
Today I want to share with you 5 signs that it may be time to simplify.
Your home is cluttered.
And I don’t mean that it’s not clean or that it’s disgusting. No, I mean when you’ve spent the last 2 hours cleaning your house and while it looks so much better, you still can’t see passed the clutter.
You’re buying too much “stuff”.You find yourself mindlessly spending on things you’re not even sure you need or where the hell you’re going to put them.
You are using retail therapy to fill a void that you aren’t even really sure you have or not. But, we all know that the retail therapy is a temporary high and once you come down from that, you’re right back where you started.
I know it’s hard, but put down that marked down item and walk away. Really think long and hard about if you really need it.
You are struggling to keep up.
You find yourself constantly feeling overwhelmed in your own home and fighting with your ever growing to do lists. It seems like every time you implement a system, it fails.
Full disclosure: this is where we are at. Life is overwhelming and busy AF. Some weekends, other than sleeping, I’m lucky if I spend more than 2 hours in my own home.
I constantly feel like trying to keep up on one aspect of my life makes me fall behind on another.
If you can’t even sit on the couch and relax with your family, it may be time for a change.
You’ve hit your personal breaking point.
Your anxiety is through the roof and you find yourself crying on the bathroom floor.
Maybe you’re starting to think the concept of a tiny home is a great idea for your family. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place.
But, if you’re starting to think that maybe, just maybe, you can cram your family of 4 into less than 400 sq ft, and that sounds like fun, it may be time to reassess where you’re at. (Unless, of course, a tiny home has been your life long dream.)
If you’re thinking it may be time to simplify, just start. Identify the areas that stress you out the most and tackle those fist. Remember, slow progress is still progress. Even if you can only commit 5-10 minutes a day, do it! You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
Thinking about a new project with your SO? Um, Idk about all of that.
It’s not always easy combining two styles into one space–or even if you both have the same style, agreeing on the best solution. Trust me, you’re not alone. I see it every day with couples.
You have the SO who “doesn’t want to be involved” but you feel badly making decisions without them, or even worse they say that and then hate every decision you’ve made resulting in starting the entire process over again.
You have the SO who says, “whatever you want will be fine.” Or the SO who ignores what you want and only wants it their way.
And then there’s the SO who wants to be involved but together you cannot make a decision to save your lives.
There is no reason for divorce or murder people! It may not be easy every step of the way, and you will definitely disagree. But, I can assure you that you will get through this project together. I promise.
Here are 5 tips to keep the peace with your SO during a project.
Put your ego aside and really open your ears to listen to their point of view. Remember that the space belongs to both of you and even if they squash your idea, it’s their house too.
I know this is especially hard when you’re really attached to an idea or and item. Take a step back and reevaluate.
If it’s something you would put on your top 10 must haves, maybe try to create a visual for your SO so they can see what you’re seeing. And if you realize that if you came back in a few days and couldn’t do it or buy it anymore and you’re not heartbroken, then it’s not that important. Let it go.
Speak up if you hate something, but be respectful when doing so. You both have to live there and neither one of you should feel anything other than pride when showing off your home. Respect each other’s opinion and styles.
Think before you speak up and do not attack their ideas. Remember that eventually you will want them to listen to you and your ideas. Show them the respect you want.
Find a common ground. When my husband and I were choosing a bathroom paint, neither one of us would budge to the other’s side. We had to start from scratch and start looking at a color family that we both could live with.
If you have two completely different styles, search for items that compliment both or have a nod to the other’s style. Combining styles isn’t always easy, but it can definitely be done.
Limit or eliminate bringing family and friends into the decision making process. Unless you live for a competition, this could get ugly. Try to only ask for opinions if you both are ok with it and try to ONLY ask those who either share your style or understand it.
Remember that they don’t have to live there and the final decision should be left up to you two. Also, just because your mom, brother, sister, uncle, best friend, or whomever did it, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you and your home.
Keep it fun! These decisions are then the end-all-be-all. Don’t make it so serious that it’s no longer fun to deck out your home together.
Are your organizational skills in need of some TLC?
Getting home from work you kick off your shoes and hang up your coat. Instantly you feel overwhelmed instead of relaxed.
If you were to describe your house right now in 2 words the would be: cluttered and disorganized.
Toy status: Everywhere.
Laundry status: Piles.
Mental status: Breakdown.
Going into the new year you had big goals and you have a list to prove it…you just have to find it first. You felt so accomplished once you wrote it all down. Now it’s the end of July and your house looks marginally better than it did after Christmas.
Raise your hand if this is your current state…come on don’t be shy. I won’t tell anyone because I’m right there with you.
You dream of a more organized home because hell, wouldn’t that be a peaceful way to come home?
But I will let you in on the secret to organizational success.
And yes, there is one.
You can write list after list, pin post after post, and ask anyone and everyone for their best tips but if that’s as far as it goes, you will never get out of this rut.
Here’s the secret: YOU.
YOU have to create a system that works for YOU and YOUR family. (See what I did there?)
Sourcing ideas from other people is great and you don’t have to implement exactly what they did (unless it’s perfect for you). Take the tips and tricks that work for your family and your home and apply those. But make sure that YOU DO THEM.
I rounded up 5 blog posts that have some great ideas and systems for your organizational success.
If you tell me you don’t have paper clutter, I’m going to call you a liar. And if you prove it, I’m going to hate you a little then be completely envious. These are 7 invaluable tips on taming the paper overload (and I’ll be using some of these myself).
The pictures that go along with these tips are probably some of my favorite. The reasoning? Because they aren’t highly styled photos that give you a false sense of what her house looks like. These pictures are great quality and give you a realistic goal of what your house could look like.
Arming you with a 12 month planner and free printables that you can start any time of the year with an optional facebook group for extra support and tips, this post will help you break the cycle of pinning ideas and leaving them there to die. She also ends this post with a few tips to get you motivated.
This post has an absolutely essential detailed list of areas to clean and declutter in your house with a few spots that you don’t typically think about. She even talks about your wallet, purse & diaper bag! There’s a free check list to print off (no email address required) to help you check off as you complete.
This post from Faithfully Beautiful features one of the coolest products. I’ve seen these in the store before but now seeing how they work, they’re on my must have list! She also gives you some great tips on cleaning and organizing in this post, like downsizing your dish rack to help shift your mindset to doing the dishes sooner, rather than later.
Don’t lie, you’re just like the rest us who have fallen in love with Joanna and Chip Gaines.
We all love our JoJo and Chip and cuddling up on Tuesday nights to watch the newest episode of Fixer Upper. Lately I’ve been hearing the same frustration from a lot of people: “But Joanna Gaines makes it look so easy.” And yes, she certainly does.
Before you get too stressed and give up thinking you can’t do it, check out my video above where I dive into detail on 5 aspects of her Fixer Upper design method.
Before you feel too deflated about your own design skills, consider this:
1. She’s designing for someone else and the homeowners aren’t making all of the decisions.
2. She doesn’t do it alone. Who wouldn’t want Chip and Clint on their team?
3. Joanna Gaines has a distinct style (farmhouse, anyone?) that she generally sticks to, but she isn’t afraid to veer away from it for client’s who have a different design style.
4. She has experience. She has done this for years and worked with all different clients in all different types of settings.
5. She has a design process that she uses on all of her projects.
HGTV has a great way of highlighting the fun parts of the process and skirting over the sticky situations. Hey, they have to make great TV and I don’t blame them.
Have you ever completed a project and thought, “I’ll never do that again”?
Were you only focusing on what went wrong instead of the positive sides of the project?
Trust me, if you think hard, there were definitely some positives.
I know that it’s hard to focus on the positives when you are in the thick of your project, especially if it’s not going as planned. So, I have a little something for you!
I have come up with 3 tips on how to make that middle part of the project, when you’re desperately trying to get from point A to Z, a little more enjoyable.
3 Tips on How to Enjoy the Renovation Process
Have a plan and prepare.
First off, let me get this off of my chest. Please don’t assume that your local store is going to have exactly what you’re looking for in stock. I’m not saying that they won’t, but don’t assume.A lot of products need to be ordered. Some things can take a week while others can take up to 4 weeks. Allow yourself time so you’re not sitting there with a gutted bathroom and no vanity. Or forced to settle on something you don’t like after investing your hard earned money.
Now, if your pipe bursts, you obviously cannot plan for that. (Unless you can see the future, in which we need to talk.) In that case, you will have to move fast unless you have another bathroom you can use in the meantime.
But when you know it’s coming and you’ve been pinning ideas like a crazy woman, take time to window shop. Do the back end work. Ask your contractor questions. Go to your local stores and see what you like and don’t like. Ask about lead times.
2. Expect the hiccups. Before you get too carried away here, put the anxiety meds away.
Plan for the potential for something to go wrong. I’m not saying to go into this project with a negative view, what I am saying though is to expect the unexpected.
Have a back up plan in case the project gets bumped out a week. Even if you’ve done everything you can do, what would you do if your contractor fell and got hurt and was out of work for a week? Or what if you didn’t order enough tile? Even an extra week into your timeline will give you some peace of mind.
It’s completely normal for hiccups in a renovation. Hell, it’s completely normal for hiccups in a new home build. It is bound to happen, even if it’s small.
Accept it, come up with a Plan B, and keep moving forward.
3. Don’t allow the renovation to be your only focus.
It is so easy to make the renovation the main focus of your life when it’s going on. I mean, how can you not? Your house is in disarray until it’s done. You are, in fact, living in the renovation.
If the renovation is consuming your thoughts 24/7, there is no way you’re going to enjoy anything else while it’s going on.
You are probably thinking, but it’s only consuming my life for a short while.
To that I say, do you really want to be a miserable stressed out anxiety ridden person even for a little while? Who would want to be around you? Are you even going to want to be around yourself?
Yes, there will be days you need to focus solely on the renovation. But allow yourself time to take a break from the project. Schedule a day out of the house, away from the project, and relax. Have a date night. Get drinks with your friends.
The important thing is to create a rule in which you do not talk about the project.
If you’re asked about the project, give yourself a few minutes and share the positives. Show pictures, talk about what you’re excited for. Then move on.
Remember that this renovation is a blip in your whole life. It is not forever. It will end. I promise! And in the end, you will love it.
Just make sure that you are finding some delight in the process.
Leave a comment below on how you’ve found delight in the process.
…and not just because it’s my husband who’s right, but because I loathe being, well, not right.
My husband figured out the most brilliant way to get rid of toys and now I’m sharing his great success with you.
My son, as I’m sure most kids do, has a lot of toys. And with the addition of our daughter, it certainly hasn’t helped. If you’re thinking “You haven’t seen anything”, trust me, it’s insane. Spoiled only touches the tip of the iceberg.
While I didn’t always welcome the influx of toys with open arms, I learned that as long as he’s not acting spoiled or entitled, then it wasn’t hurting anyone. (Well, unless I stepped on a Disney car…but that’s a whole different issue.)
I’m feeling honest today, so I’ll also admit to you that I’m stubborn. (And I most certainly did not inherit that from my father….or his sarcasm.) My husband, being the patient man that he is, consistently tried to show me the big picture. His stance was always “as long as he’s happy, who cares?” And of course, our children’s happiness is and has always been my first priority.
I realized while I looked at these toys as too much, my son looked at them as memories. For him they were a special car he’d been eyeballing or a trip to the playground to find an unexpected submarine in the sand or a day at the beach.
And yes, some of them were junk toys that he loved for that day and misplaced to never look for again. (You know like the McDonalds happy meal toys or the arcade prizes.)
Even though there were memories attached to some of these toys, that didn’t mean we had to keep them forever.
Toys get outgrown, whether from age or interest. Constantly adding to the toys and never taking from them is where you start to get into trouble.
Our reality, back when my husband first had this idea, was that we were buying a house and had another baby on the way.
What the hell were we going to do? Isn’t this going to get worse?!
My husband came up with a solution and it worked.
We burnt down our house.
Here’s what we really did to get rid of the toys that were no longer of interest, with no tears from our son:
Black contractor bag + kid not home + putting said bag out of sight/donating instantly = success.
You may be wondering, why black contractor bags?
They are big enough to hold all different sizes and shapes of toys AND you can’t see through them. So even if the bag was left in sight, as long as it was closed, there would be no way he’d know what was in there.
I mean, what kid is going to open up a closed garbage bag just to explore? Well, our son wouldn’t anyway.
The first time we did this, we didn’t give the toys away immediately. They actually moved with us. And do you know how often our son asked for any of the toys in the bags? Not once.
That’s right. He never asked one time where any of those toys went. Amazing. These toys that were so precious to him one moment, completely gone from any thought once they were out of his sight.
Literally months passed and he only ever asked for one toy, which after searching everywhere, even in the bags (when he wasn’t home), we deemed lost forever.
Black contractor bag + kid not home + putting said bag out of sight/donating instantly = success.
And there you have it my friend. The best solution to getting rid of toys EVER.
What methods have you tried and have either been a success or failure at getting rid of toys? Let me know in the comments below!