Keeping Intimacy Alive & Well When You Have 1,000 Kids


When it comes to intimacy, people usually jump right to sex. Obviously, intimacy has a lot to do with sex. And it can lead to that but, in my opinion, intimacy is more about being close. Liking each other and wanting to spend time with each other - that’s what intimacy means to me.

Brian and I are close, and I share that with my followers on social media. So I get asked a lot, “How do we keep intimacy and closeness alive, even when we have one thousand children?”

It’s time to stop putting intimacy on the back burner, leaving room for it to occur only after the kids are in bed. You absolutely MUST keep that fire burning ALL. DAY. LONG! You want to be excited to spend that time together once the kids are asleep.

So, let’s dive in mamas!

1. Get the overly romanticized, intimate relationship out of your head!

It is so easy to have super high expectations that the time you’re going to spend with your husband is going to be SO romantic. That your husband is going to want to open up and share all these things with you. But maybe he had a day from hell, and he may have no clue what you want.

Rather than setting yourself up for failure and probably an argument, get out of your head. Let go of your expectations and this overly romantic view of how time should be spent with your husband, and just enjoy the time you have.

2. Communicate throughout the day.

Don’t complicate it, yo!

It doesn’t have to be face to face communication. It can be texting or sharing something that’s funny, or just making the time to call during a lunch break. You want to keep that closeness, so that it feels like you are there with one another throughout the day.

Brian and I feel like we have better days when we actually take the time to connect, especially when it’s a date night. When you’ve been chatting on and off all day, you kind of feel like the pressure’s off, and you can just enjoy your time together.

3. Make time for each other.

Life. Gets. Busy. That’s why you need to make your relationship a priority. Trust me, if you get to the end of the week and haven’t done anything with each other, you’re going to feel disconnected.

Make the time to connect, to share, to talk about the day or the things that are going on. Take time to just decompress without the kids.

This can be really helpful for those who have spouses who work outside the home. You’ll both know that you get to stop working, the kids will be asleep and you’ll be able to do something together.

One of mine and Brian’s favorite things to do is sit down on the couch, after the kids are in bed and we’ve cleaned up a bit, have a snack and watch some shows on Netflix. It just feels so good to connect this way!

4. Be OK with scheduled intimacy.

It’s not unromantic or anti-spontaneous OR unhealthy to schedule in time for sex or just alone time. It’s actually really romantic because it shows that you’re prioritizing each other enough to let it hold space on the calendar.

Brian and I have date night scheduled once a week. We’re in the season of being able to leave the house and go out on date nights every single week. It hasn’t always been like that, though. There were times when I’d have to do some work after the kids were in bed, and it always felt off and weird if we didn’t spend that time together.

You need to make it work for you. If you have to take some time in the middle of the day, if that’s when the kids have their quiet time and your spouse is home, use it to veg out together and hit reset. (It’s always worth it!)

5. Be friends.

Ever since Brian and I met, we’ve been friends, and have developed into best friends. There are so many things we can do together because we like a lot of the same things. At the same time, there are times when we don’t like the same things, or don’t really care what the other person is talking about.

But how would a friend act? You need to take a step outside of the marital aspect and ask yourself, “What would a friend do?”

They might hang out together or listen to one another. You have to be respectful of each other. I think when people get married, they get way too comfortable and end up being really rude. If it were your friend and not your husband, you’d never say, “I literally don’t give two craps about what you’re talking about right now, and I want to talk about me.”

So, listen to each other, schedule time to be together, doing whatever you love to do.

Tips for Scheduling More Intimacy into Your Day-to-Day Life

1. Put your kids in their place. Your relationship with each other is the number one priority. You came together, married, started a life together, and the kids came after that. Your closeness and relationship is first! Set the kids up with an activity, and then take that time to spend together!

2. Choose a time of day that works best for both of you. Your time together doesn’t always have to be at night. When Brian worked outside the home, we’d start our day together because he didn’t need to start until noon. We’d feed the kids, get them set up with their school work, and then find a quiet spot in the house to have coffee together and talk.

3. Couch time! This is time before the kids head to bed. This ties into the first tip: putting your kids secondary to your relationship. This is comforting and healthy for the kids to see that their parents prioritize each other. After dinner, just sit on the couch together and talk while the kids play. Don’t allow them to interrupt you unless there’s an emergency or somebody’s bleeding to death or something.

4. Choose a time once a week for prolonged time together. Make it an actual purposeful date. This will look different for every couple, depending on each budget and the season of life, but just set time aside to be together.

5. Communicate that your goal is to be closer to your spouse. Don’t come at this from a combative spot by saying something like “We never do anything.” It can almost feel like you’re saying, “You suck.” Try something more like, “I want to be closer to you, really bad. How can we do that?” Then, talk about what you’d each like to do, and agree on something realistic that you can both look forward to.

Alright, friends. I hope you find this super useful! I hope it answered all of your questions and inspires you guys to open the door to an awesome February that’s going to be full of love and intimacy in marriage.

Why A Family Mission Statement Is So Important


Prefer to listen to this post? I totally get it. Just click play + I am happy to read it to you while you knock out those dishes or drive the road to preschool pickup!

A family mission statement may sound a little corny to some, but it can be paramount in creating the life you love with the people you love. A family mission statement is just that- a statement that encapsulates your priorities and goals as a household. It is a great way to lay the groundwork for what your purpose is as a family, what you stand for and what you won’t tolerate.

As a parent, things can get tricky as your kids get older. But through it all if you have something solid in place, you can go back and compare the behaviors you’re experiencing to what you’ve laid out in your mission statement.

You can ask yourself questions like, “While we really believe in this, does this align with what we believe, or where we want to go as a family? How would we like this to end up?”

This is the legacy that we want to leave behind as people and as parents.

Everyone ends up somewhere, few arrive somewhere on purpose.
— Lara Casey

Your family is going to be raised, your kids are going to grow, they’re going to become adults, and your life will continue to go by whether you do anything about it or not. So, why not choose to be intentional and purposeful? Choose to intentionally strive for where you would like to end up.

When I think of motherhood, Proverbs, 29:18, really holds a lot of weight for me:

Where there is no vision the people perish.
— Proverbs 29:18

Parenting is messy and just gets messier as the kids get older, so if you don’t know what you want to do or where you’re going, you’re going to fail.

This is also true in business, if you don’t know where you’re going and what you want, if you don’t set any goals, you’re not looking at them and striving for them. You’re probably going to fail because you don’t know where you’re going.

Mama, it’s time to sit down with your spouse and write out your family mission statement. It’s really important, and it’s a great excuse to have an amazing conversation with your spouse.

You’ll want to figure out what exactly you want to do with your family. What mark and legacy do you want to leave on the world from raising them?

It’s not little. It’s not light. It’s heavy and it matters.

This is one area that I believe is really beneficial and important to be intentional about.

I want to share something with you that I haven’t shared in any other place other than in one of my courses -  our family mission statement. It’s something that Brian and I have agreed on. It’s gone through some ebb and flow, and a couple things have changed, but it pretty much has always been the same.

He and I like it. I’m going to share it with you, just to give you an idea, because I think people are afraid to share and be vulnerable. I get it. As an influencer, you’re susceptible to people’s opinions and comments about everything you share. But, I do think that example is one of the best ways we can learn.

This isn’t about having control. It’s not about playing God. It’s about saying “I’m alive, I’m a mother, I’m a wife, I’m a human being raising other human beings, I have contributed to society by having a family, and these people are going to grow up to be adults.” They’re going to be out there interacting in society, and that’s heavy.  I don’t want to just wing it. I want to be intentional.

I want to be intentional and say exactly what we believe and where we are headed as a family.

Our family mission statement:

In our family, we love God and serve people. We are loving, gracious, respectful and accepting, never hateful. We choose kindness, joy, faith, and love. We value curiosity, imaginations that run wild, knowledge, adventure, and each other. We take responsibility for our actions. We pull our weight at home and always offer to help one another. We communicate freely, with kindness and without fear or timidity because our family is a safe space for sharing. We give to the needy, look after others, and stay humble. We have fun together, stay grateful, laugh, hug, and protect each other. We choose collaboration over competition, and cheer each other on any chance we get. Above all else, we love deeply - both within our family and out in the world, because all people are God’s people.

I think writing out a family mission statement might seem unnecessary. You may write it and forget about it. But I have not found that to be true. I don’t do anything to remind myself or our family of the mission statement.  It’s just written down, but we always remember.

We’ve had it on an index card, and on our fridge for a long time. Brian and I took the time together to write it out, and then we share it with our kids. They are really excited about it, and like it too!

Steps for Writing Your Family Mission Statement

  1. Grab a journal and jot down your priorities.

  2. Ask yourself what your core values are and what things you value as a family.

  3. Additional questions that you can ask yourself: What mark do you want to leave on the world? What do you want to raise your kids to believe and be and do and think? How do you want them to act? What do you want to impart on them?

  4. If you feel stuck, look up other examples online, copy ours exactly, whatever you want.

  5. Make sure it lines up with your goals, priorities, mission, passion, purpose and what you feel you’re here to do as a mother and with your family.

  6. Write it out and put it where you can see it, so that you’re reminded constantly of the core value of your priorities.

  7. Share it with your kids, and start holding each other accountable for being a purposeful family.

Remember, friends, where there is no vision, the people perish. Whether you have faith or not, that is really powerful - get to work creating your family mission statement.

I would love it if you create a mission statement, if you feel called, to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram. I would love to see what you and your family come up with.

Words matter. 

Know someone who could use a little encouragement? Grab a print from my shop.


You Don't Come This Far - Allie Casazza




How My Blog Got My Husband Out Of His 9 To 5


Prefer to listen to this post? I totally get it. Just click play + I am happy to read it to you while you knock out those dishes or drive the road to preschool pickup!

One of my most frequently asked questions is: How was I able to get my husband out of his 9 to 5? But answering that is very difficult for me to share. There’s just so much that goes into it.

I'm opening the door for the first time on a very vulnerable, difficult, at times embarrassing, and then exciting part of our story. I needed to get to a certain place in my life, and in my heart, before I felt ready to really open up and share. I’ve been feeling, for a few months, that I’m getting there and now it’s finally time.

I'm taking deep breaths here, guys. Here we go.

So, a little bit of a disclaimer, before I start…

I’m not going to give very specific numbers, just because this is not a business blog and it doesn’t really matter. I have friends and family who read my posts, and money changes relationships, and it can sometimes be negative. So, while I think maybe one day we’ll get there and share certain things because I do think that the specific numbers add to the power of this story, I am not going to tell you everything in that regard here in this post.

I do think that an aspect of this, and this whole story, can help somebody who wants this lifestyle and who’s maybe on the verge of making a change and pursuing their dreams.

The second disclaimer before I begin to tell my story is...

This is NOT luck.

I think when there’s any aspect of fame or a spotlight in something, people think that you got there because you’re lucky - because you were chosen. 

THIS is the life that you were chosen for. I believe that God has plans, that he has a purpose for each and every person, but I also believe that you can make choices that cause you to miss it.

I said YES to this. I worked for this. I planned for it. I put in the hours, by getting up at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning so I could work on growing my business before Brian left for work. I followed God’s lead and I did the work. It was simply an issue of timing.

Our Story

Let me start by sharing a little bit about where we came from and how our life was before.

Brian and I met in junior high school, and were in the same circle of friends throughout high school and throughout our lives. We were never super close until senior year, when we started hanging out more. I started to really like him. I was attracted to his humility and his character, and he was just really sweet.

Want to hear the cheesiest story ever?

We ended up going to senior prom together, kind of a last minute thing. It was the day before the actual dance, when he asked me to go with him. Just as friends, because neither of us had dates (I’d actually just broken up with the only other person I had dated), so it was kind of a weird point for me.

Brian wasn’t supposed to go either, but at the last minute he was able to because the school band had canceled their event so that everyone could go to prom. He asked me, and I said yes!



From there, we just kind of clicked, realizing we were right in front of each other for years, started dating, and got married about two years later.

About eight months into our marriage we found out we were pregnant with Bella. Which was a surprise, because as a teen, doctors had told me that I may not be able to get pregnant, or that a pregnancy could be very difficult. We found out that was not the case, were thrilled, and just started having our family.

Old Pic of Brian and Allie.jpg

Brian landed a job doing cable and internet installation. He’d go into businesses and homes and install services like that for a very large company.

It was a very good day when he got that job!

That was September of 2009, so it was a long time ago! This job was supposed to be 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, but it definitely wasn’t. There was forced overtime, but we were grateful for it because we needed it. We couldn’t get by very well on the normal hours' pay. So he would work overtime and take other people’s shifts too.

He was working about six days a week with twelve to fourteen hour days. Every once in a while he’d get two days off, but we would always suffer for it by not having enough money to pay all of the bills.

There was a constant pressure on us to make money. Not because we wanted a ton of it, because we never had enough of it. 

We were in total agreement that we wanted me to be at home with the kids, though. Especially while we were having babies. I was content to be a stay-at-home mom - I loved it. I had a hard time with it for sure, but I did love it and knew it was where I was supposed to be. Brian always agreed, and any time I felt like I should go out and do something to contribute, he would quickly disagree and remind me how much he loved that I was at home with our kids. It was just how things were supposed to be in that season, and we could tell by the peace we both felt despite difficult circumstances. 

Our life, having our kids and living in Southern California was very difficult.

brian and allie old.jpg

There were a lot of scary nights. We had cars repossessed, and a lot of traumatic experiences because of money. We scraped by, made things work, and worked very hard together to make that happen. My part was the budgeting - making sure we didn’t spend too much.

That was our life. I'm very, very much just grazing the surface, but I wanted to give you some background so that I can get to the point. But, it was very difficult and dark.

We’d always talked about moving out of state, because California’s one of the most expensive places to live, especially Southern California. But, our whole family and all of our friends were here. We didn’t really know anyone anywhere else and didn’t really know where we’d move.

We went to Texas and looked around to try and find if that was where we were supposed to be, and it was almost comical how hard God shut that door in our faces. Like, "this is NOT where I want you!" So, we obviously didn’t move there.

During this time, when Emmett was a few months old, we really began to feel led out of California, more so than ever before. It was the kind of thing where you know God’s pulling you do to something, and you can’t get away from it. It’s that undeniable force, or tug, on your heart to do something.

We couldn’t really afford to go out and look anywhere. We'd used any excess money that we had to go to Texas.

We started talking to God, asking him to make it really obvious where he wanted us to end up. It was obvious to us that He would have to move and make it happen for us. We couldn't afford to do anything. 

We looked at North Carolina and other parts of Texas. We looked at Oregon and Colorado and places like that. Nothing felt right.

Long story short, of all the places in the country, Arkansas made its way into our lives. At first we were really resistant to moving there. My great-grandfather and my grandmother are from there, so I knew a little bit about it, and this particular area that he was from was not good.

But, then a job opened up in a town called Fayetteville. For those of you who don’t know, it’s in Northwest Arkansas, and it’s a neat little city. Very trendy and cute! It's college town, up near the Ozark Mountains, and it’s just very beautiful.

We decided we’d look into it because it kept popping up and they kept contacting us, telling us that they’d transfer Brian right away. We researched and fell in love with it online. We prayed about it for a week, and just felt like this was it.

So we said YES!

Maybe a month passed (it was a very fast process), and we were saying goodbye to our heartbroken family members.

The only reason we were able to move was because we got two thousand dollars back from our rental deposit we had put down when we moved in. Seriously, we would not have been able to go without that. We were walking by faith that God would provide what we needed right up till move-out day. And of course, He did. 

We got rid of everything and had the tiniest little trailer attached to our minivan as we road tripped across the country. We were moving for a better life.

 Right when we arrived at our condo in Arkansas after a 30+ hour road trip!

Right when we arrived at our condo in Arkansas after a 30+ hour road trip!

The job that Brian was moving for was the same job that he had in Southern California, but because of the lower cost of living, even with a little bit of a pay decrease, it worked out to be more money each month. It was also supposed to be better hours, and no mandatory overtime. Our hope was to not be stretched so thin, and we’d have Brian home more.

Our goal has always been to be together. I’ve shared a little of this in the past, but Brian and I really like each other. We have a friendship marriage, we WANT to be together. We had this really unique conviction on both of our hearts to be together and have some kind of life where we were together a lot, if not all the time, raising the kids together.

It was weird because people would tell us, “That’s just a dream, you need to let go of that. You have to work hard and you have to work away at a job to make money. You go to work and that’s it.” We understood that, and we were doing that, but for some reason we couldn’t quite shake this dream of just wanting to be together, wanting to raise our kids together, and spend the bulk of our days together at home.

We always had this in the back of our minds, but we never thought it was really possible. But we thought this might be close. THIS was at least more time at home together, and so we pursued it even as leaving our loved ones broke our hearts. 

When we got to Arkansas, we were very quickly met with the hard reality that this was NOT what we were promised by the company. 

The pay was a good chunk of dollars less per hour than we were promised. It was basically a lie. The pay was not what they had said and the hours were different.

Our life got dramatically worse.

 Our family in California, who we missed so much.

Our family in California, who we missed so much.

Not only did it get worse, but now we were away from everybody that we knew and loved. I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me and my faith. My faith has never been shaken like it was in those first few months in the Northwest Arkansas area. It was very, very difficult. For a certain amount of time, I completely stopped talking to God.

I was so angry and hurt that He would lead us out here, away from everybody, for THIS. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand, and it was very difficult for me.

It was January and it was frigid freezing for me because, you know, I’m a So-Cal girl. I was standing outside letting the kids get some energy out because they were so cooped up from being indoors all the time. Brian called me from work and said, "I just wanted you to know I found out that in Southern California all of the offices for my company are taking away hours. People are losing their homes, they can't pay their bills, and they're losing their cars."

We were already so close to barely making ends meet, that if that had happened to us, we would have lost everything.

I realized that maybe that’s why God moved us out here. I remember praying and apologizing to the Lord. Asking him to help me be grateful for Him saving us from that,  and asking, “But is this really what you want for us? This life? We’re still barely getting by. We missed this difficult time in California, but is this really what you want for us?”

I’ll never forget where I was standing that day in the park. I can see it in my head right now. I felt Him just come over me and say, “No. There’s something coming, and I need you to not move away from me. I need you to be close to me and talk to me so that you’re open to receive it when I’m ready to reveal it to you.”

That gave me a little bit of hope!

During the move to Arkansas, I started to focus on the blog I’d had since Leland was born. Moving away from my family, I decided to really throw myself into it because I didn’t have anyone.

I started to fall deeper in love with not just blogging, but with helping other women through my story and my experiences, with minimalism and simplifying.

My audience had grown by a few hundred, it was still very small, nothing like it is now, but it felt big to me at the time and I was really starting to like what I was doing.

After that day in the park, I was sitting with Brian, and we were panicking because we were going to have to leave our condo. We couldn’t afford to stay.  We were not making our very low rent every month because of what had happened with Brian’s job.

We were just talking, but I kept bringing up how much I loved blogging, and how I wished I could turn it into a business from home.

I was raised by two very successful entrepreneurs and I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit and drive in me. I was sitting with Brian, and we decided to start looking things up. Brian ended up finding Femtrepreneur, a blog all about turning your blog into a business.

I plummeted into this season of googling and learning everything about marketing and being an online entrepreneur, creating courses and growing a very successful business from your blog. I spent all of my late night and early morning time googling and reading and researching and watching YouTube videos.

I created new Audible accounts with old email addresses so that I could get free audio books (they give you a free book credit if you sign up with a new account. I know, humbling) and learn all about marketing and running a business.

I ran straight ahead, full force. 

I had this feeling that this is what God was telling me about. THIS is what he wanted me to pursue.

This became a way to not only contribute to our family income, but also to start getting my message out louder and bigger.

I knew I wanted to grow my blog, and it had always been a frustration point of mine because I just couldn’t seem to grow beyond a few hundred people.

I knew that if I started doing these webinars that I was learning about - these online classes - and inviting people to share and tell their friends about my blog and my message, it would help me grow.

So, the one thing that was really complicated and very new at the time were webinars, online classes like this one. Femtrepreneur had a course on how to do webinars, so I borrowed five hundred dollars from my dad to buy this course. I've never asked my parents for money and it was awful, but I knew I needed saome kind of small bit of help. I knew I would make it. Failure wasn't an option. 

Once I learned how to do that, I just started. I didn’t have a microphone. I was using an old Toshiba laptop that had a fan and would make sounds to cool off and you could hear it in my recordings - it was so bad! But I had to use what we had because we couldn’t afford anything else.

Then, I started opening up and being more vulnerable, and helping other women. Slowly, my audience began to grow, and these women began to ask me for something more, something deeper, something where all the things that I was teaching them and helping them with was consolidated.

This is what would end up becoming my course, Your Uncluttered Home.

YUH promo_slide size.png

I went right to work, starting to create this thing they were asking for. I would ask them questions and get their feedback, and then began outlining this course and realizing it was going to be the thing that I’d sell on my blog.

I didn’t want to pour all this time into this thing and then launch it and have nobody buy it, so I pre-sold it. I started to do webinars and pre-sell the course at the end of the webinars to make sure that people who were saying they wanted this would actually put their money where their mouths were.

From that pre-sale launch, I made more money than Brian made per month. It wasn’t a lot, but it was a lot for us, and it was enough to get us feeling confident that this was a solid idea and really worth pursuing.

I was learning how to do everything myself, like coding and website building, because I couldn’t afford to hire anybody to do anything for me.

I was a machine!

I had this drive in me that wouldn’t die. I was setting my alarm for 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, every morning, and working for hours before Brian would leave for work. I’d work when the kids were napping, and then get them busy and work more. I'd make dinner, and work at night, stay up late and work even more. It was like I didn’t need sleep, I was on fire and was pursuing this dream.

I will NEVER forget that season of my life. It was when I became an entrepreneur!

After a few months we hit a wall. I was growing, I was working my butt off, but we were seeing almost no financial benefits yet. I had already pre-sold my course to my audience and that was kind of it. I had sold to a good percentage of who was following me, and in the online business world, I'd sold way more than is "standard" in the industry. 

My focus then switched from selling my course to growing my following, reaching even more women. But to do that, I needed more time to spend on this thing. 

I remember seeing some other very popular bloggers be able to bring their husbands home from their corporate jobs, and I really wanted that. We decided that I was going to be able to bring Brian home from his job, and we were going to work together. It became really exciting!

But God very firmly and quickly let me know that making the money we needed AND THEN bringing Brian home was not going to be my story. He wanted to use our faith to tell a story and make a point to other people someday.

He made it VERY clear to both of us that he wanted us to leave the safety of Brian’s job before it made sense.

It was scary. No, it was TERRIFYING.

What we ended up doing was truly the epitome of a leap of faith. We ended up leaving. It got to the point where I was working so hard, doing everything that I could, but I simply could not do what I needed to do and put the time and effort into this to be a success. And also be at home with the kids. We couldn’t afford help, not even a cheap mommy’s helper or pre-school or anything.

It got to the point where it was either he had to quit, or I had to quit. Something had to give. I wasn’t the mom that I wanted to be. I was frustrated and yelling and being pulled in all these different ways. I needed help so that I could focus.

We prayed about it for a couple months. And we’d talk a lot during the day while Brian was at work. What would it look like? What would we do? How long would it take to get the business off the ground?

And we both felt God's pulling. We knew we needed to do something that would seem ludicrous to everyone around us. 

It came down to a question from God. Are you going to trust me or not?

I know it looked crazy and stupid to everyone around us, and I know we scared the crap out of people, but we had confirmation several times from God.

We knew it was the right move, so Brian went in to the main office one day, and quit.

And you know what they said to him? "Go home now. Forget the two weeks. You're replaceable."

Seven years of work and just like that, "bye." This cemented our desire to work for ourselves and build a company where people would love working. 

Brian came home that same morning and we have never hugged that long or that powerfully ever. It was a very sweet moment that I'll never forget. 

I love you.jpg

I began the work of actually creating the course, outlining it, and recording the lessons. I even took a trip to California with a portion of the earnings from my first month making money from the pre-sale so that I could purge some friends’ homes and talk to people who struggled with hoarding.

I spent five days basically not sleeping and going and purging homes and talking to people who needed help. I wanted to make this course the best it could be!

I had a drive to change the world and save my family.

 This was where I planned and created Your Uncluttered Home. The post-its were lesson titles so I could see it all in one place while I planned the content. I was so nervous it wouldn't be good enough for my beautiful readers!

This was where I planned and created Your Uncluttered Home. The post-its were lesson titles so I could see it all in one place while I planned the content. I was so nervous it wouldn't be good enough for my beautiful readers!

God gave me a really powerful word for my business that I still cling to, and that was “I will use you to change the world twice. Once with the message that you’re sharing for mothers, and again with the money you make sharing it.” I truly believed this message, but we faced several incredibly grueling, difficult months first as I clung to it. 

You have to understand that we had followed in faith when we made the choice to leave Brian's job. So as we went into this season of financial poverty, we felt like idiots. We still knew this was the right choice, that God called us here, but dang it was hard.

Brian can do anything, he’s amazing. And he’s very good at building furniture. So, while at home, he was building benches and chairs and things like that, and selling them on Facebook resell groups on the side. He would make a little from building somebody a custom bench, then I’d do another little pre-sale and make a couple hundred dollars, and that was okay. But we had to ask ourselves, now how can we stretch this? That's where we were at for a few months.

 Brian snapped this pic of me the day I got an email from Ariana Huffington, inviting me to contribute to The Huffington Post Parents and letting me know I was a very good writer. SUCH a good day!

Brian snapped this pic of me the day I got an email from Ariana Huffington, inviting me to contribute to The Huffington Post Parents and letting me know I was a very good writer. SUCH a good day!

I was doing everything that I could. I was writing guest posts while simultaneously working on the course. I was taking whatever I could get. I was learning about marketing and applying it to my website. I was doing webinars and falling deeper and deeper in love with this process of spreading my message, and hearing about how women's lives were being changed, and really clinging to that promise that God gave me about changing the world twice.

I really believe that our thoughts and our words shape our beliefs, and that our beliefs form our reality.

I believe that we were made in the image of God the Creator, and that He spoke the world into existence and that we can speak our reality into existence, because of the power He gave us.

I believe that prayer changes things and your words matter. 

During this time, I was working on my mindset and choosing to speak words that felt ridiculous at the time. Every morning I would get up and I would go stand outside in my driveway and say affirmations and scripture. I’d say things like, "I am extremely wealthy. I am running a successful business. Money is flowing to me. I am grateful for it, and generous with the money I receive." While I literally didn't know how we were going to eat dinner that night. I felt INSANE!                                          

This went on for a few months, Brian was supportive, he was helping me, we were working together, we were brainstorming together. How can we make this course better? How can we get this done? How can this be amazing? We had launched the course. It had done okay, but not what we wanted because our audience wasn’t big enough.

I ended up writing a guest post, "How Getting Rid of my Stuff Saved my Motherhood." I poured my heart and soul and story into that post, and did everything that I could to make it viral and change the world. I studied virality, formatted the post in a way that captured the audience while sharing the realness of my story. I learned the ins and outs of writing a captivating post and prayed like crazy over it as I submitted the final draft with butterflies in my stomach (and hardly any food). 

A couple weeks passed and it wasn't getting as much traction as I wanted. I had put a content upgrade in the post, which is something that you can download from the author that will help you take the next step. That content upgrade was The Minimalism Starter Kit that I had put together, and it was how to take minimalism and apply it to your life.

I had been hoping that the viral post and the content upgrade would grow my email list and maybe people would come and find my website through it and buy Your Uncluttered Home. I was frustrated because it wasn’t working.

At the end of this three or four month period (about three weeks after that blog post had been published), and we were at rock bottom.

I wondered, “Why isn't God blessing what we're doing?” We were just confused. There was one point where we had to go to a food bank, and I felt like a thief. We had a job and we left it in faith, by choice, and we still hadn't “made it.”

I felt like I had failed my family. I had applied for and got denied for a job at Target. I remember this one incredibly difficult night, Brian was angry, I was angry, we were confused and upset and scared, and we had stretched one portion of dinner for four kids. Their tummies were full but ours weren't.

I was terrified. We went to bed and I kept saying, "I'm sorry I failed our family, I'm sorry that I couldn't do what I thought I could do. I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen here." Brian repeated my apologies on his own behalf. We just kind of fell asleep scared.

When I woke up the next morning, I went to log into things and check on my work stuff. So I logged into my email service, and I noticed that they had locked me out. I had an email in my inbox saying that I was a spammer, and that they shut my account down because it looked like I was breaking spam laws.

I was already feeling depressed, and this was just the cherry on top of everything that was going on with me.

I looked into it and saw that my email list was now over 15,000 people. Overnight! And that number was literally growing by hundreds every time I hit the refresh button. UNHEARD OF. 

How could this be?

I went and logged into other things and I realized that the guest blog post I had written had gone viral. It was EVERYWHERE!

My story, my face and my family were everywhere. All over the internet, and it just kept getting spread around.

That morning I opened up our PayPal account and there was $20,000 in it.


I had never even seen that number with a dollar sign in front of it. We were freaking out!

I wish I had a video of that morning. We were jumping and screaming and dancing and sobbing. The kids were so confused!

I got in touch with my email service and said, "I'm not a spammer, but I had a post go viral, and that's why my list exploded.” They fixed my account right away!

There was an email in my inbox in the next couple days from ABC News. They wanted to do a story on me. Good Morning America followed. Then, The Jenny McCarthy Show. Fox News Network. The Today Show. Canadian radio. All of these people emailed me asking to talk to me about my story and about this message.

People were buying the course, and things started happening. My business grew! I had thousands and thousands and thousands of fans on Facebook and Instagram. It was incredible!

 This picture was taken by me just a couple days after everything happened. We'd just gone to Old Navy and bought our kids a ton of new clothes, which they needed so so badly. Such a happy time!

This picture was taken by me just a couple days after everything happened. We'd just gone to Old Navy and bought our kids a ton of new clothes, which they needed so so badly. Such a happy time!

 This was taken the day I bought my family our first new car. Our Suburban was SO old and beat up. Had no air conditioning (and we were traveling in Florida at the time!), and had tons of problems. I spent the day at the dealership feeling confident about my finances and getting asked for business advice from 60-year-old men. Another good day!

This was taken the day I bought my family our first new car. Our Suburban was SO old and beat up. Had no air conditioning (and we were traveling in Florida at the time!), and had tons of problems. I spent the day at the dealership feeling confident about my finances and getting asked for business advice from 60-year-old men. Another good day!

Most blogs grow slow and steady, but that wasn’t our path. All of the work and faith and difficulty that we had poured into trying to grow happened in one fell swoop.

And now after all of what we had done, I had the money that I needed to take and invest and grow my business. I learned all about being an entrepreneur and a CEO, and over the next 18 months I just grew so much. So many good things happened: new courses, new partnerships, new collaborations, new press and media coverage. Our business is reaching women in countries I've never even heard of. It's amazing.

18 months later, we are just about to hit the seven figure mark in our business revenue.

God is so good.

 Snapped by Brian at LAX, on our way to a work event across the country. Traveling together was something we always dreamed of. 

Snapped by Brian at LAX, on our way to a work event across the country. Traveling together was something we always dreamed of. 

I have a message for you. If you’re striving to do what we did, if you have a dream that’s crazy, that people laugh at or that feels impossible, let me just tell you, keep an open mind. Change the way that you talk and think about money. Look for opportunities and clues around you for what you’re good at, and do what you want to do.

Think about how you can make this your reality. Pray about it, put it out there and it will come to you.

If you're struggling and you don't know what you want, if you don't know what to do, if you have a dream that you want to follow and you're not sure if it's ever going to happen, my message for you is:


The world needs you. The world needs good people to get rich doing what they love - sharing their message, changing the world, and reaching people.

The internet allows us so much. The world needs people like you with good and charitable hearts who have a passion and a mission and a message that will change the world.

Allie Coffee Laugh.jpg

People who will do good things with money, because there are corrupt people out there with a lot of power and a lot of money, and us good guys need to get up there and match where they're at so that we can counteract that and do good things for the Kingdom of God and the betterment of humanity.

Finally, I know most of the people who read my blog are women or moms... no matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter if you've gone to college or not, no matter what money you're making right now, no matter how successful you are right now, or how unsuccessful you feel right now, no matter if you are living in your parents' house with 17 kids because you guys feel like failures and you haven't been able to get out of the rut, you can.

Start telling yourself a different story. Decide what you want and where you want to go.

What is your purpose? What are you here to do? Find a way to do that, and make money doing it, and build your dream life. It doesn't have to be a dream.

Now it's your turn.

Learn how to turn your blog into a business!  

Mockup_Ep._006 (1).png

Download Allie's Blog To Business Resource Guide and start right now.


One way our corporation is changing the world with our revenue is by partnering with International Sanctuary. They help women who have just been freed from sex trafficking get housing and jobs. They're AMAZING!

Please know that every time you support my family by purchasing one of my courses or digital products, 10% goes to them. You're helping yourself rock motherhood, and helping another girl find hope at the same time. 

Women helping women - that's what our corporation is all about. 

I Don't Have A Capsule Wardrobe, And Here's Why


Prefer to listen to this post? I totally get it. Just click play + I am happy to read it to you while you knock out those dishes or drive the road to preschool pickup!

I get asked about capsule wardrobes A LOT.

People watch my Instagram Stories or see photos of me on the blog and say things like, "I see you wearing lots of different things. It seems like you have a lot of clothes. How do you deal with that?" So, I just wanted to address it directly.

First off, in case you don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is, it’s basically the idea of having thirty pieces of clothing (or less) - kind of having this neutral wardrobe that’s easily mix and matchable. Basically, it goes hand in hand with minimalism.

There are SO many different ways to do a capsule wardrobe. Some people have ten pieces of clothing or less, but thirty or less is about where most people fall. You basically want to keep your wardrobe really minimal.

The idea is that having less clothing options frees up your time in the morning and helps you make decisions about what to wear. It’s a simplification thing. I definitely agree with it and totally get it. And, I know having less clothing will make the decision-making process easier.

So, then, maybe you’re wondering… Why don’t I have a capsule wardrobe?

I love clothes!

I am a person who loves getting dressed!

Having a larger wardrobe allows me to be creative, and being creative in this way adds to my joy. For me, this is part of an abundant life, and brings more joy to my daily life.

It makes me sad that no one dresses up for things anymore. When Brian and I go out for date night, someone almost always says, “Wow, you dress really nice.” It’s not that we go black tie or anything, we just dress well.

I’ll put on earrings, a cute top, trouser jeans and maybe some heels. I spend time doing my hair and makeup, and Brian will dress nicely, too. We love dressing nice for each other - it’s just how we are. I absolutely LOVE dressing up! 

If we go to events, or even church on Sundays, we’re always the only ones that are kind of dressed up. I was just raised that when you go to church, you’re going into the House of God and you should dress nice. It’s not a legalistic or religious practice, I just really like it. Plus, it makes me feel good!

You could totally dress nice with a capsule wardrobe, but that isn't my point. 

I love putting an outfit together, it’s my favorite part of getting dressed. I feel beautiful and put together when I take the time to really choose my clothes.

I mean, I’m a mom of four and I work at home… Sweatpants and t-shirts are pretty much my daily thing.

It might seem funny to you, especially if you’re not a person who cares about this kind of thing, but it’s a joy for me. A small, simple joy!

My transition began a few months ago. I was not really into what was in my wardrobe.

I felt that since I teach other moms about how to be minimal, I needed to have a minimalist wardrobe. I was also in a season of really needing to simplify every area of my life. I just needed everything to be as simplistic as possible because I had a lot going on and didn’t really care as much about getting dressed.

At the time, it kind of worked for me, but I quickly found myself slipping into this place of not feeling happy - of not being excited to get dressed in the morning. And, not to sound overly dramatic, but I kind of felt a little depressed whenever it came time to get dressed. 

I was feeling unhappy and worn down, and anytime someone would ask about my clothes, I’d just give this automated answer like, “Yeah, here’s about how many pieces of clothing I have. Here’s how many jeans I tend to keep,” etc. It was definitely minimalistic, and it was great for the simplistic part of things, but it wasn’t making me happy AT ALL.

But, then, I had this lightbulb moment where I realized, you know what? I really MISS being creative in this way. I don’t dress really loud or crazy, my style is actually very simplistic, so you’d think a capsule wardrobe would work for me, but I just love having options (and I also really love shopping with my little girl and during my alone time. another simple joy for me!). For me, it’s worth the extra time that my wardrobe takes from me because it’s a joy of mine.

I decided to forget it. I’m not gonna go through the motions and live this legalistic approach to minimalism (which is something I teach against anyway), and I’m just gonna do what I want to do.

I chose to let myself be FREE in this area of my life, and went shopping!

Now, when I see something that is beautiful and I really love, I just get it and don’t worry about how many pieces of clothing I already have.

So, yeah, now I have a fairly large wardrobe. It isn’t massive, but it definitely doesn’t fit into the definition of a capsule wardrobe, and I am SO happy.

I literally run up to my closet and look in it, trying to decide what I am gonna wear most days. Or, if we’re going to have a photoshoot for the podcast or blog, I have fun putting together the outfits I’m going to wear.

I love clothes and I love having things that make me feel amazing. That make me feel beautiful, make me feel thinner and lighter and allow me to dress for my shape in a way that makes me feel better and more confident.

Truthfully, I think if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I could easily do something in terms of helping other women feel un-frumpy and getting dressed in a way that flatters their shape. I love that kind of stuff!

I think that the key message here is that minimalism doesn’t have anything to do with following rules that don’t make you happy.

It’s not about suppressing yourself and just deciding that since you’re a mom, you have to be a super minimalist because it will save you time.

Don’t make it legalistic. If you love to cook and bake, and decide to suppress yourself by not buying the kitchen appliances you need for cooking and baking, you’re following minimalism just for the rules. If that is what it’s about for you, you're gonna run out of steam very quickly, and you're gonna find yourself really unhappy.

If you don’t get what the heck I’m even talking about, I hope this message still gets across to you. This is something I deeply care about. The point of all of this, for me, is joy. Living a life and having a home that makes me feel excited to be home, to get dressed, and excited to be with my kids. It helps me to feel focused on the things that matter to me, and my wardrobe is something that matters!

The whole idea behind my course, Your Uncluttered Home, is that minimalism is not about legalism.

It’s not about following these rules or living a certain way and practicing minimalism just for the sake of being a minimalist.

It’s about clearing the clutter in your home and in your life and your heart and asking, what is taking away from what really matters to me?

If something brings joy to your life, like my wardrobe brings to mine, it is not taking away time from what matters, and it isn’t something you should suppress.

I want this to be a message of freedom for you. Here's your permission to make minimalism work for you and make it something that brings you joy.

Let this be your permission to have what brings you incredible joy. And to have what makes you love your life more.

YUH 2.5.png

Are you ready to clear the clutter and focus on the areas of your life that bring you joy?

Your Uncluttered Home is literally everything you need to become a minimalist mama who's able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

The Power of Words and Your Kids


Prefer to listen to this post? I totally get it. Just click play + I am happy to read it to you while you knock out those dishes or drive the road to preschool pickup!


I’ve always had a love for words.

I can remember as a child almost having a relationship with words.

I was drawn to them, and I loved making up stories, or even rewriting some of the classic fairy tales. They’ve always been a powerful passion of mine.

But, on the flip side, I’m a blunt, passionate person, and whatever emotion I feel, I feel it 100%.

I’m 100% angry, 100% happy, 100% bitter, whatever it is, it’s typically a very strong emotion. And, as I mentioned, words are usually something that I’m good at, but when I am 100% angry, my words can be incredibly cutting. I have this knack for knowing just what to say, that will slice right through. This has been one of the biggest struggles with friendships and motherhood, but especially with my marriage, because those of us who have been married or are married know that whatever your flaws are in marriage, those are magnified by like 1,000%.

As words have been one of my biggest gifts, they’ve also been one of my biggest struggles.

Today I really want to focus on the positive ways I’ve been able to use my words. For instance, being able to know just what to say, I rarely have a clue what it came from. And, most importantly I’ve been able to help change my children’s behavior simply by speaking positive words and scriptures over them.

You might know I’m a Christian, I believe that we were made by God in his image, that he spoke the Universe into existence. I believe that WE have power in our words, and that God gave us this power and control.

Now, after giving you that background, do with it what you will. Feel free to stop reading, but I want you to understand how much I believe in the power of words. I’ve seen words change the way my kids act. They’ve helped me overcome difficulties, and they’ve had a massive part in transforming my marriage.

Science shows us that words are powerful.

The words that you say to people have a deep effect on them, and the words you say about other people have a profound effect on how you feel about them

If you’re constantly complaining about your husband and how lazy he is, you’re just solidifying those feelings in yourself. And, if you say those things to him, you’re just solidifying that in him. I’ve really found this beautiful magic, if you have a problem with something or someone and instead of always saying the negative, start giving attention to the opposite. Then, start watching the positive bloom and actually begin to exist.

Giving you that background, I really want to share how this applies to our kids and give you a small example from my life, and how I’ve seen this transform my children, specifically one child.

My son, Leland, has always been incredibly defiant. He was the child that had me locking myself in the bathroom, sitting down and just sobbing on a regular basis. I was completely lost on how I was going to raise him.

I was really struggling. I started saying things to other people and because of my blunt sense of humor I’d always tend to give really extreme examples of things, because it’s just my personality.

It was a really difficult time. I was exhausted because I was sleep deprived from having had another baby. I also experienced a miscarriage, and no matter what else was going on, I couldn’t catch a break with this kid.

Then, I don’t even remember what happened because my life was just a freaking blur, but I remember having a realization….

What if I stopped solidifying his behavior with my negative words, and instead started speaking positive things over him?

I started Googling, doing some research and found this idea of speaking blessings over your children, so I started doing it for all of them.

It was really awkward at first. Leland was probably 3 or 4, and he’d just look at me like, “What the heck, mom? What are you even doing?” But, I just started to say things over him.

If I was doing the dishes I would say things like, “Leland, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Leland you have a big purpose. Leland, I boldly claim that you have a hunger for God and the things of God.” Things like that.

In the beginning, I was always scrambling for what to say. It always felt really forced and weird, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t even really believe these things. He was 3, he didn’t really have a relationship with God, and he’s also still freaking the heck out.

As I practiced it more, I found that doing it while we were driving made it the easiest. I’d repeat things like, “You are called to great things. You are a strong leader,” etc. I was doing this over all of my kids but again, focusing on Leland because he’s the main point. I saw changes in all of my children, but with Leland, he became a different child. I kid you not, over the course of a few months, he became a different person.

The tantrums and freak-outs started to slow and eventually stopped almost completely (because he’s still human). He’s still a normal kid but it worked. My words changed him. My story to him and about him changed everything.

When I changed the words that I spoke over him, even when he wasn’t there, I changed myself too. I’d spend time praying out loud and always worked to stay positive, positive, positive. If I’d have a negative thought, I would take it captive and throw it away. I’d tell myself we weren’t going there, and that I was chosen out of every other mother in the entirety of the world to be this boy’s mother. It isn’t my job to let negative thoughts come in.

I chose to speak life.

I chose light, hope, joy and purpose with intentionality for this child, and it changed him.

We have the power as mothers to intentionally use our words to make a difference for better or for worse. The choice is ours.

We’re all in this together and it’s hard. It’s a habit we’ve got to grow and cultivate and be reminded of again and again. Let this message seep in whether or not you have a difficult child.

The words you say about, into and over your children matter. Why wouldn’t we get intentional with that?

If you’re ready to become more positive and intentional with your words, the easiest way to start is to get some ideas. Make a list of positive words, phrases and affirmations that you can say over your kids. If you’d like to do blessings or scripture, just Google it for ideas.

Pick your favorite ones, and write them down. I’ve got a journal full of them that I reference on a regular basis. I’ve also got a note on my phone that has some of my favorite top 20, that I’ll just look at real quick before we start driving.

I’ve also created a list of positive phrases and affirmations for moms, that I’d love for you to grab and use with your kids.



Let’s start using our power as mothers in a positive way for our kids’ sake. Your words matter so much, mamas. Don’t let the frustrations of the day-to-day bring those negative words out, instead choose to speak the positive.

5 Steps for A Purposeful Morning Ritual


Prefer to listen to this post? I totally get it. Just click play + I am happy to read it to you while you knock out those dishes or drive the road to preschool pickup!

Morning rituals are a hot topic at the moment. People are beginning to come around to the idea that the earlier you rise, the more purposeful and productive your days can be.

I used to be a night owl. I always believed that I was most productive at night, but the truth was that I felt busy all day (not productive) and by the time the kids would be in bed I’d be wiped and nearly ready for bed myself.

The single most transformative thing I did was to start getting up earlier. It has literally changed my life!

One question I get quite frequently is: What do I do when I get up early? So I wanted to take the time to share my current ritual with you.

Over the last few years my life has shifted, like everyone’s does, and I’ve tweaked and changed my routine as I’ve found suits my life best.

For instance, back when my husband was still working his 9 to 5, I had to get up early in order to get any work done. Everything in my business was relying on me because I did not have the income to support a team. Once Brian was home, I still found it very difficult to write while the kids were around so I started getting up early to write. I’d knock out 1,000 to 2,000 words before their sweet little heads would rise from the pillow.

However, I am now in a season of life where I still want to wake up early, but I can now use it for dedicated self-care time. Over time, this is how I've condensed my morning ritual down to a science that works really well for me.

I want to share it with you - each step, how I do it, how long it takes me, and how I make it happen every morning - in hopes that it will inspire you to take action on creating the morning that you desire.

Steps to My Morning Ritual

1. Make Coffee and Get Quiet

I typically get out of bed between 5 and 5:30, and the very first thing I do is make a cup of coffee. While it’s brewing, I get quiet and sit down on the floor, which allows me to feel centered.

I focus on the things around me, like the silence, or how good the coffee tastes (that first cup of coffee is such a small, simple joy for me). Or maybe the smell of the candle I’ve lit or the crackling of the fireplace. I simply let my mind wander.

After a few minutes pass, I allow the time to leak into meditation.

2. Meditate

Meditation is so powerful. It’s also very biblical. It depends on what you’re thinking about and how you’re going about it, but for me, meditation looks like reciting something, (sometimes out loud, sometimes in my head), a word or a phrase, possibly a scripture, with my eyes closed. Closing my eyes allows me to stay present and not get distracted from the meditation.

If I feel like a word is really speaking to me, I’ll focus on that and just keep taking deep breaths, while I continue reciting the word over and over again. I’m focusing on intentionality. I choose to focus on that word, and then I invite the Lord to join me in my morning routine and to be present with me throughout the day.

Occasionally a distracting thought will come. I acknowledge that it’s there, and then purposely let it go. I stop worrying about it, and go back to repeating my word or phrase.

Doing this for 10 to 15 minutes has been proven to reduce your cortisol, so I encourage you to meditate, even if all you can spare is 5 minutes. Set a timer (one without a jarring alarm), and then close your eyes and begin.

3. Pray

After I’ve finished my coffee, I will go into prayer. I give God the day, and I talk to Him about what’s on my heart.

If anything came up while I was meditating, I will give it to God and talk it out with him and pray through it.

Whatever the day may bring, I’ll pray about it.

4. Morning Pages

Morning pages is a type of journaling where you write at least 3 pages a day. The first page is all about your thoughts. Basically you want to do “stream of consciousness” writing. Maybe what’s going on in your life, what’s bothering you, or anything that is going on in your head. It doesn’t matter, just let it out.

If you struggle to begin, I encourage you to just start writing. Usually if I’m unable to think of what to write, I’ll just open my journal and write, “I’m sitting on the couch. The fire’s going. It’s really quiet.” And, then the next sentence just begins to flow out. Try it!

The second page is all about what’s going on that day. Use this page to determine your plan for the day, collect your thoughts and mentally get ready for the day ahead.

The third page is all about gratitude. When you’re writing this page, don’t be vague or obvious, get specific. Instead of just writing that you are grateful for your husband, you could write something like, I’m grateful for the color of my husband’s eyes, or my husband’s mild temper.

Those are just examples, but my point is to just get specific.

5. Read the Bible and Read Personal Development

I start with my Bible and focus on that for 10 minutes or so. I might read my devotional, or wrap myself up with quiet self-growth time with the Lord.

Once I’ve finished that, I will start reading whatever personal development book I’m currently involved in (right now, it’s The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks), and finish my morning ritual off here.

My entire ritual usually takes about an hour, and I realize that may be a lot of time for some, but you don’t need to dedicate an hour if you don’t have it. Dedicate what time you have, and feel strong with the decision to begin making your mornings more purposeful.

For me, this routine has become non-negotiable. I don’t throw it aside, it doesn’t matter how busy the day is shaping up to be. I can always get up earlier to make it happen.

The reason it is such a priority for me is because it has deeply affected my mindset throughout the day. I start in a different place, I feel better, lighter, and more confident. This time also allows me, as a Christian, to invite the Holy Spirit to speak with me, and at the end I invite Him to be with me throughout the day. Doing this is so, so powerful.

Not only that, but it makes me a more patient person, and improves my attitude. If I’m 100% honest with you, my biggest weakness is that I can be very impatient, and I can struggle with anger. But, when I follow-through with my morning ritual, I find that I don’t struggle with these things very often.

And, finally, it provides me with a sense of gratitude in the midst of any difficulties I may be experiencing. It allows me to step back and look at the situation and ask myself, “What is good about this?” and bring my focus there.

You can hop over and follow me on Instagram to see how I practice intentional living in real life.

I hope that you find this encouraging, and that you go and make your own morning ritual that serves you and makes you feel better and more together, confident and peaceful throughout your day.

What follow-up questions do you have? Please share them in the comments!

It's Time to Start Loving Your Body Better


I totally get it, I prefer podcasts too! Just click play + I am happy to read this post to you! 

Everywhere I turn I see women trying to change their bodies so that they’ll morph into something that they’re not. Our bodies are SO much more incredible than we give them credit for.

What if we changed our approach?

What if we changed our hearts and perspective and instead focused purely on how much we love our bodies, and what we’re grateful for?

I really believe that our actions, what we put into our mouths and what we did with our bodies would start coming out of that love. I think we’d all experience a big difference in everything, whether or not size changed. We’d feel a shift in how much we believe in ourselves.

THIS, is what I want for you, mama!

Let’s just take a minute and really think about how amazing women’s bodies are. They’re beautiful and they’re powerful. Our bodies can literally bring life into this world (let that sink in for a minute, REALLY sink in).

That is so unbelievable! Now, what would happen if you shifted your focus from what you look like to what your body is able to do?

Your body has created the next generation of people that will inhabit this earth. THAT’S INCREDIBLE!

I realize that it isn’t as simple as just switching our minds from worrying about our size, to focusing on our abilities, so we need to work on shifting our mindset. A really great way to do this is to begin showing our bodies gratitude for the many things it has done for us.

Start considering the following:

  • How often do you get your body outdoors and moving?

  • How often do you say no thank you to the foods that are processed and made with bleached flours, or filled with sugar?

  • What would happen if we acted out of love and gratitude to our Creator for our bodies?

How we FEEL affects us greatly!

Trust me, I’ve been there. When we first started living in the camper,  I was feeding myself all sorts of processed foods because I was struggling to adjust. I’d look in my closet and start getting upset because I had nothing to wear. I had nothing that I thought would make me feel good, so I decided to head out and buy some new clothes at Target.

I wasn’t going to buy something new because things didn’t fit. No, I’ve been there, but this wasn’t one of those times. It was all just based on feelings.

The lesson I quickly learned, and one I want you to understand as well, is that so many of the decisions we make (including the money you spend, how you spend your day, etc), comes down to how you feel.

It might seem silly, but I was headed to Target to buy a new outfit because I didn’t feel good. I felt like garbage.

What I want you to take away from this is that we have one body. It is our temple  - how we treat it matters!

We need to take care of ourselves and value ourselves enough to feed ourselves nourishing foods.

It’s hard as a mom to value how you feel, but many of your gastrointestinal issues, or headaches or emotions could be because of the foods you’ve been giving yourself. Take the time to go to the grocery store and get yourself some healthy snacks. Fuel your body instead of filling it with junk.

One side note: I want to be clear, life is about balance. You won’t be perfect and you shouldn’t want to be. Having a treat, or giving into a craving from time to time is perfectly acceptable. (I may or may not have recently eaten an entire bag of flaming hot cheetos in one sitting...) It’s just important to look at your decisions and make the healthy ones the majority of the time.

If this post has resonated with you, and you feel as though you’re struggling, it’s time to show our body that we are grateful. It’s time to take some action!

1. Write what you love about your body.


Need help getting started? Download these free journal prompts. I want you to love your body more, mama!

Or grab a journal, turn to a clean page and write down what you love about your body. What does it help you do that you love it for? Why are you grateful for it? Get REALLY specific! I don’t want to see less than a page!

2. Taking action from a grateful place.

Turn to the next clean page, and write out how you can begin taking action out of a grateful place, out of a place of love and appreciation for the body that God has given you.

You could write out what your snacks might look like, or how much water you should begin drinking. Maybe you need to up the number of walks you take on a daily basis.

Don’t overcomplicate it!

I really encourage you to complete this exercise and then tag me on Instagram (@allie_thatsme), I would love to see them all!

In the end, my whole goal is for women to stop trying to force their bodies into a different shape, and instead focus on what they’ve accomplished.

The mindset of so many mothers is sad. I really want love and gratitude to become your new weight loss routine. A simple mindset shift will allow you to become so freaking grateful for the body you were given!

Set Goals With Purpose This Year!


I totally get it, I prefer podcasts too! Just click play + I am happy to read this post to you! 

It’s a hot time of year to begin discussing your goals. With the start of the new year comes the endless list of resolutions that people make (and often never achieve). However, I believe that we should review and reflect on our goals and intentions all year long.

I’d bet you have a list of at least 5 things you want to achieve in the new year. But, without laying the proper framework for those goals, it’s very possible that you won’t achieve a single one.

Unfortunately, you can’t just say you want something out loud, and expect things to begin magically happening. You actually need to put in the effort, thoroughly dissect your goals and put detailed steps in place, then you’ll start experiencing results.

Did you know that between 80 and 90 percent of people who set goals on New Year’s don’t achieve them?

I am frequently asked how I achieve so much with 4 children and a full mom life, and part of it is that I’m a go-getter, but even more than that it’s because of the way I set my goals.

Mama, if you’re ready to make this year THE MOST incredible year yet, follow the next 5 steps to a tee and you’ll begin to see some major changes in your life.

5 Steps to Goal Setting Success

1. Decide where you want to go.

In this step, you want to take some time and think about what’s really speaking to you. Is someone doing something that seems really amazing, and that you might want to try?

Nail down the goal, make it specific, something you should be able to say in a few words, or one pointed sentence.

Then, once you’ve nailed your goal down, make sure that it aligns with your core values and purpose. You want to feel peace around the goal, especially after praying over it. Your goals aren’t evil or bad, it’s just that you have a lot going on. If the goal doesn’t offer you peace, it will only lead to more stress down the line. Drop that goal for now, and reassess at another time.

However, there is never going to be a perfect time to do something. Never. It doesn’t exist.

That doesn’t mean you HAVE to work towards every goal, but just be sure you’re choosing your goals carefully.

2. Write your goals down.

You are 42% more likely to do something simply because you wrote it down.

There are plenty of things that can increase your odds, just having a drive, really wanting something, having a lifestyle that sets you up for success, all of these are great - but writing something down is so powerful.

Write your goals down!

I actually show you how to break this whole process down; how I goal set, how I write everything down and use bullet points to break things down into a simplified, readable, trackable way, in my Unburdened course.

3. Create action steps that will take you to your goal.

These steps should be very small, especially if your goal is huge.

If your goal is really life-changing, you might even have 30 or more action steps that you’ll need to take before reaching your goals. Just try to keep all of your action steps very small, simple and pointed.

4. Write down each action step.

I like to use the bullet point system (the whole system is in my Unburdened course).

To start the ultimate goal is the header bullet point, and then I get super specific and do little sub-bullet points for each action step. This leaves my goal looking very neat and is visually satisfying.

This whole process can also be completed using paper. You don’t have to use the computer!

5. Reverse engineer all of your goals.

Reverse engineering starts at the finished goal. It starts at the end point, and it works backwards all the way to where you are standing in your life right now, on this day.

You should create a step-by-step guide that will get you out of the place you’re at, right now, and will walk you through how you will reach whatever your big goal is.

It’s very hard to fail when you successfully reverse engineer your goals.

After you’ve gone through the previous 5 steps, it’s time to become a person of action. Be a woman of intent by taking action, following through on the action, checking in with yourself or an accountability partner, and never quitting until you’ve achieved your goal.


Stop putting off setting your goals, go and take the action NOW! I want you to achieve all that you dream of, that’s why I shared this with you. It works!

How I Set My Intent & Plan For A New Year

Community Icon (2).png

This morning, I was sharing a bit of my end-of-year planning process on my Instagram Story, and I received so many questions that it got overwhelming to share there! I love IG Stories for the simplicity and ease of sharing there, but some things need more space for sharing, and I think planning a new year is one of them. 

I don't normally feel compelled to share how I do every little thing, but so many of you were struggling and needing ideas for how to go about this, I really want to share. I think getting above an overwhelming task (like setting your intent for a new year), and sort of gaining an aerial perspective is something that comes naturally to me, so I love to plan things like this. However, if that's not your strong suit, I can imagine it being very difficult, frustrating, and feeling insurmountable. 

I'm actually setting my intent for the year right now, as I type - it makes sense to actually do this and write a blog post about it at the same time ;)

My hope is that seeing me do it will give you some clarity on how to go about it for yourself, or at least inspire you a little. Ready? Let's do it. 

I just use the Notes App in my iPhone. I'm normally a pen and paper girl, but when I do this in my journal is ends up taking up pages and pages, and I want it all on one page, in one place nice and neat. Lucky for you, that makes it easy to take screen shots and share what I am planning :)

The first thing I do is reflect.

What didn't work for me last year? What made me feel disconnected from my core values? What have Brian and I been talking about doing a lot lately - is this a good year to do those things? What needs to be a higher priority than it's been?

Here are some things I have realized in the end of this year, and today as I was reflecting...

1. I am not connected to my core values as a mother right now with my children in school. I miss homeschooling, and the best choice for us is to pull the older two out and begin our homeschool year after winter break. 

Note: this was not how I felt in August when I was completely overwhelmed with my business. Things change, seasons come and go, people change their minds. Flexibility is a wonderful trait to possess. It's okay to go against the grain!

2. We really love traveling with our kids and want to take a lot of trips this year. 

3. I have slid back into old habits, and my health has not been a priority lately. I don't feel good, Im sluggish and cranky, and my sugar/junk food addiction is in full swing. I need to make healthy choices a higher priority this year. 

4. I am tired from last year's whirlwind success in our business. I hired new people, delegated everything I can, and need to remain consistent with my new work schedule of two days per week. 

The next thing I do is write out what matters most to me this year. 

Planning Session Screenshots5.PNG

This list is based off what came from my time of reflection, and it's basically a list of priority focus. For example, I noticed that several of the problems I faced (or am currently facing) stem from not spending much time on my walk with the Lord. I have felt disconnected and busy - that's not how I want to live! So one thing that has made its way to the top of my What Matters Most list is building a closer relationship with Jesus.

See what I mean and how this works?

This is a really helpful soul check that I do every year and it keeps me intentionally focused. Last year, my list looked very different, with a focus on my marriage and learning to manage the business well. Make sure your list is what you need to focus on, not what you wish you needed to focus on. 

Next, I write down what each of these focuses will require from me in terms of time spent.

This is where I see a lot of well-intentioned people fail - they don't realize that meeting these goals, making these changes in their lives... it requires time from you every week, sometimes every day. If you don't plan for that, it's not likely to happen. 

I make bullet points underneath each goal/focus, so there is a list of what it will require from me right next to it. 

Planning Session Screenshots3.PNG
Planning Session Screenshots4.PNG

Next, I establish what rhythms will make my life easier. 

Time leaks through the cracks without rhythms. Simple things like rhythmically putting a load of laundry in every night, then switching it every morning make my life so much simpler! 

If there are no rhythms, then the day-to-day stuff will end up filling all my time blocks and I will stay still; and I want to be moving forward, accomplishing things, reaching goals. 

There are two types of rhythms in my life: 

1. Calendar

2. Household

Planning Session Screenshots.PNG
Planning Session Screenshots2.PNG

Sometimes our rhythms need a reboot, sometimes they stay the same, sometimes new ones are added. It's all about where you're at in your life and how happy you are with how things are currently going. 

I have noticed that not getting dressed in the morning (and my "dressed" I just mean under-eye concealer and a bra) I don't feel very good during the day, even though I work from home and don't really have to get dressed. 

I've also noticed that not having the kids' outfits laid out makes for a really hectic morning. I haven't had the head space to make this small change, so by sitting down and planning how things will change this year, I was able to set an intent to lay everyone's clothes out the night before. It's a small change that will have us all feeling better and our mornings running more smoothly. 

I will implement new rhythms by writing them in my weekly planner (here's the one I use) for the first month, and after that they become habits. 

Then, I write down any problems that need to be solved or questions that need to be answered. 

Sometimes, there are decisions that need to be made that I've been avoiding or feel really big and overwhelming, so I just do nothing about them. This is a time to sit with Brian and actually make the decisions. 

Planning Session Screenshots2.PNG

This year, as we get back to homeschooling, it's the first year we've had a very open-ended schedule. We work from home, we'll be doing school at home, we can have whatever schedule we want, and that freedom is great but it also stresses me out to an extent. We have to create our own barriers and boundaries. 

One thing we've been talking about but hadn't decided before today was regarding our weekends. There are lots of pros to having "week day weekends", meaning we can pick two week days to make into our days "off" from school and have a weekend. Less crowds, cheaper prices when you're out doing stuff, less traffic. 

There are also pros to having a traditional weekend. Everyone else is "off" and ready to do stuff, more places are open, etc. 

Brian and I have been talking about what to do with this issue for weeks and just going in circles. Today we sat down, talked it out, and actually made a decision. You know what happened? It wasn't as big a deal as we were making it. 

Homeschooling takes about two hours a day, and my new work schedule is only Mondays and Fridays. We came to realize we can kind of have both kinds of weekends! We ultimately decided to make Sundays and Thursdays our days totally "off" of homeschooling (we enjoy not having two days totally off in a row, but spacing them out a bit), but to also enjoy Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays with no work. 

So with this decision, our homeschool week looks like this: 

Monday: school

Tuesday: school

Wednesday: school

Thursday: NO SCHOOL

Friday: school

Saturday: school


We really like this because it's broken up, and we know that the "school days" are only a couple of hours ;)

Do you see how making that one decision gave me so much clarity and I can now see what a typical week will look like for us this year? Such a burden lifted!

Finally, I get detailed. 

The last step is to pick up all the little pieces and put them in place. 


How am I going to get my health in order? (make a list of healthy groceries, pin recipes to pull from on meal-planning Sundays, download a hydration app to remind me to drink water, set workout days, etc)

If the goal is to enjoy homeschooling and not have it feel like a point of stress, what curriculum am I going to choose? (I already went through this step with homeschooling last week, but do you see the breakdown of following through with the goals and intents you set?)

When are we going to have breaks and take trips to ensure we are enjoying this year? (Brian and I sat down and actually penciled in one major vacation, an adults-only getaway, and three small trips to take as a family)

You can do this with any goal or focus, and I encourage you to! Follow-through is something that rarely happens, and I really think this is why! People don't write out how and when they're going to do things they'd like to see happen in their lives. This is the difference between a sayer and a doer. 

This is a lot of planning. One thing I want to say here is that flexibility is KEY! 

The heart of man plans his way, but God directs his steps. 

Proverbs 16:9

The goal with this process (for me) is to be intentional, and to use the past year to reflect and learn and grow. I do not want to be stagnant; I want to leave a legacy of purpose behind me when I'm gone. That doesn't mean being a control freak or unadaptable. In fact, it means just the opposite. 

I hope this helps you guys! Share your planning session with me on Instagram by tagging me! @allie_thatsme

Want to declutter your life this year?

Enroll in one of my courses!.png





Wrapping up 2017 & Running Toward 2018

IMG_0190 1.jpg

At the beginning of this year, I was hopeful, but sort of terrified. I was just a few months in to my blog turning into a business with global reach, going on Good Morning America, ABC News, The Today Show, talking to Jenny McCarthy in my living room, and being featured in every major news site across the world.

I was getting used to (more like trying to get used to) being exposed to the world of virality, living in a fish bowl, and cyber bullies. We were moving out of our little rental in Northwest Arkansas and gearing up to embark on our full-time travel journey in our camper. So much has happened, so many things have changed. I'm looking back on this year and feeling shocked. 

How does so much happen in such a brief period of time?

I thought it might be fun to talk about what happened, what's changed, and what's coming in the new year in the different areas of my life and the blog. I've been getting lots of questions on Instagram from you guys about what is going on with the podcast, why the blog has been so silent, and all that stuff. So let's catch up a bit. 

Let's start with the blog.

To be honest, things have been silent here for longer than I planned. What started as a "quiet month" in October turned into a nearly-three-month hiatus. I needed a break, quite simply.

I was burned out and writing had turned into a source of stress instead of the relief it used to be. I've always struggled with spotlights, being seen, and being judged, and I think knowing my posts were being seen by so many people all of a sudden freaked me out. I'm a very vulnerable, open person when I write. What used to be 350 people exploded into millions and that really effected me. Coupled with exhaustion, traveling full time with four kids, and lots of life changes, I just needed to press pause on blogging and not share everything for a bit. 

All in all, the time of rest served me really well. I was able to take a step back, get some perspective, and make some decisions and changes that are going to be better all around. I found a love for Instagram Stories and began sharing my day-to-day life there since I was writing less, and now that's turned into a super fun community that I look forward to sharing with each day. I got lots of new ideas during that time of no blogging, and God restored me in many ways. 

I'm excited and expectant instead of exhausted now. 

Your Uncluttered Home now has THOUSANDS and thousands of students enrolled, and lives are legit being changed every week - it's absolutely incredible and invigorating to see! I wake up every day with the best job in the world. I love helping you let go of the clutter that's been weighing you down. 

I launched Unburdened - a mini course for mothers who are overwhelmed to the extreme and can't focus on just their homes just yet - and it now has over a thousand mamas enrolled. Crazy!

I launched The Purpose Society - a monthly membership site for moms who want community as they reach their goals. 

Brian and I started and quickly stopped a family vlog - totally not our thing!

I launched Made For This Mom with Kendra Hennessy, and we turned our collaborative project Rock Yo' Mom Life into its own entity. 

Look at all that good right there! Ahh thank you Jesus!

We grew and grew and GREW. 

I started this year with two part-time sub-contractors helping me with emails and social media. I thought that was a lot! God must have been laughing when I thought that...

We are ending this year with SIX contractors working for us plus a full team of creatives managing Facebook and Pinterest. 

We were able to take our friend (who's also an amazing husband and father) out of a terrible job that was sucking the life out of him, exceed his pay, and bring him over to do what he loves and work for us from the comfort of his home as our designer. 

We were able to fly my Chief of Staff from North Carolina to San Diego and spend three days in a seaside hotel and plan out the entirety of 2018 while also figuring out how to get my weekly work hours from 38 to 6. SIX! 

This year, I left "blogger" behind me and stepped into being a CEO. It's been dang hard. 

Firing people sucks. Giving bad news is so hard. Laying down the law feels weird sometimes.

But you know what? This business isn't mine, it's God's, and I have a responsibility to run it well. I am still learning and have such a long way to go, but I do feel like I'm getting the hang of this more and more every week. 

What's changing in the new year?

Last month, Kelsey and I made the announcement in our final episode together that The Purposeful Home Podcast is becoming The Purpose Show (with just me) and Kelsey's starting her own podcast next year. 

It's been weird and sad, but also incredibly exciting. The split needed to happen and was covered in prayer (Kelsey and I are friends and our relationship had nothing to do with this decision), but it's always more fun to record with another person. 

The Purpose Show has been getting situated behind the scenes and it's been so fun! There's been lots of branding, photo-shooting, planning, editing and recording. 

I will be producing two episodes a week, and a special Friday segment with Kendra Hennessy is making its way into the schedule in February. 

The new show launches January 1st with new episodes every Monday and Wednesday. 

Copy of The Purpose Show Thumbnail B (1).jpeg

One thing you can really look forward to with the new podcast is the fact that I get pretty vulnerable and am opening up a lot to share stories and experiences I've never shared anywhere else, including the story I've had the hardest time sharing - the story of the blog and Brian leaving his job and how my business saved our family. I end that episode literally sobbing into the microphone, and I can't wait for you to hear it. 

If you were subscribed to The Purposeful Home podcast on iTunes, you won't need to do anything to find The Purpose Show - it's the same thing on there, I'm just taking over it. If you're not subscribed and you want to be, click here. (you can still listen to all of me and kelsey's episodes, but just subscribe and you'll see my new show when it starts! i'm just taking over the old show)

What's going on with us...

Our family has gone through so much this year, and for the first time I don't mean that in a negative or difficult way. Of course, we had hard days and problems, but this year was really great! It was our first year in the green pastures God promised us a long time ago after wandering in the desert in a lot of ways. 

We pursued our dream of traveling full-time while also taking on sort of a dare and seeing how small our family could live. We did our traveling in a 26-foot travel trailer with no pop-outs. You can read my very honest post about it here

We prayerfully decided to stop homeschooling and enrolled the kids in school in August. That was hard and weird and a relief all at once. I'll be really honest with you... I've cried a lot, questioned myself a lot, and run to the feet of Jesus a lot.

Here's what I know: 

Sometimes God gives you peace and asks you to do something, and it's our humanness that causes us to feel like the decision is final.

He never told me homeschooling was over for me. I took the peace I felt about public school and read it that way - final. Now that we're on winter break and I've run to Him a thousand times with tears on my face, I see that I needed my kids in school for a period of time. I needed to work extra for a little while. I needed to get the business ahead of schedule. I needed it to be able to run without me every day. I needed to hire and train people to take over so that I could get back to my roots and handle homeschooling and business owning at the same time. 

Before we hired six new people, I was overwhelmed. I couldn't run my business and do all the work I was doing AND home educate four kids at the same time. There are only so many hours in a day and there weren't enough for me. 

Having the kids in school was a relief and a wake up call for me. It gave me the time and space I needed and it lit a fire under me that had me moving quickly, delegating everything I could, and working hard towards a meaningful goal. 

We will be getting back to homeschooling very soon (I'll share more with you when the time is right), but my message for you readers for now is this: 

Don't put your own meaning or limitations on what God tells you. Just listen. 

Allie Kisses Emmett.JPG

2018, here I come. 

I am so freaking excited for this year, you guys. There's going to be so much good!

Don't think that the blog is going to die now that the podcast is my main source of content. Each episode is being transcribed into a blog post, so you can still read my voice if you prefer. I'll also be writing posts that aren't podcast episodes as the inspiration strikes (like right now... it feels so good to be inspired and not forced!). 

I have big goals both in business and in my personal life. I've found myself slipping back into some old habits that don't make me feel very good, and I'm really looking forward to breaking them again and stepping into more joy in those areas!

I am so grateful for the place that Brian and I are in as a married couple after this year. We celebrated ten years of marriage in September and I feel like it was a pivotal turning point for us. Something just clicked and we are more in sync than ever. God is so good. It has NOT always been this way! We have a ton of episodes on marriage coming in February and lots of them feature the two of us talking together about this kind of stuff!

We have some big announcements coming soon about our family and where we're headed and how we're growing in the coming months. There's just a lot of GOOD, and no matter what happens or how life tosses and turns as it always does, there is always grace, love, hope, and the joy of Christ. 

Merry Christmas, my friends and happy new year!

xo Allie

3 Steps to Prepare for a Merry & Simplified Christmas

A Merry Little Christmas Allie Casazza


Christmas has the potential to be the MOST joyous time of the year. But it can also be the most stressful if you allow that to happen.

Every year, I sit down with my family to create a mission statement for our Christmas. We discuss things like whether it’s our beliefs that take center stage, or if we want to make it about giving or serving, or any other heartfelt experience that can increase our joy.

Once we have that mission statement in place, creating the holiday that we desire becomes easy. We’ve determined our “why" and that determines how we will celebrate our entire season. If people try to push back or veer us away from what we truly want out of the season, we have a strong leg to stand on and it doesn’t feel as hard to tell people no.

If you feel like your holiday season is being ruined by your kid’s stuff, it’s time to consider simplifying Christmas.

Many women turn to minimalism hoping that it will change their lives. But then the holidays come around and relatives begin asking what sorts of gifts the children would like, and before you know it your home is full of new toys again (and they’re still barely being played with).

If that statement sends you into a panic...

Mama, I gotchyo back! It doesn’t have to be that way!

How to Get Started

1. Be frank and honest.

If someone is coming to you and asking what your children would like for Christmas, be frank with them. Explain what types of things your child may be into. Maybe your daughter is really into drawing, so you could suggest a new art set.

I always find that it’s super helpful to make the other person feel like they’re going to be a superstar to my child. It makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

If you want to make this even easier, you could have your child create a wishlist. Then you can provide that to people who might be buying for them. I also have a list of toys for minimalist parents and their kids in a PDF right within my FREE course, A Merry Little Christmas.


2. Remain Gracious and Selfless

You can’t expect everyone to jump onto the same page as you when it comes to simplifying things. Asking them not to get your child anything can be really hard. Especially if their love language is gift giving.

Try tweaking the gifts so that they are working for you.

Provide a gift idea that your child would absolutely love - maybe something that would pull them away from technology. Or you could always ask that they get your child a game for their game system they’ve been wanting.

Spin it in a way that helps you and still allows them to feel joy for giving your child a gift they will love.

3. How to Handle the Out-of-Control Gift Giver

It’s pretty common to have someone in your life who is out-of-control when it comes to giving gifts. They claim “it’s their joy,” but it’s your home, and your holiday, and you don’t want to be completely stressed out because someone won’t stop buying presents.

Communication is the key here!

Talk to them. Let them know you love their heart, and that you are grateful that they can give so much to your children, but that it’s overwhelming. You could even mention that your children don’t even get the opportunity to play with everything because they’ve received so much.

In the end, if they choose to give a crap ton of gifts, that’s fine. There’s NO contract that says you must keep everything. You can always donate some of the items instead.

Don’t allow yourself to become handcuffed to the idea of minimalism. Allow things to stay if you or another family member love them, and if it makes them happy. Don’t make minimalism an idol, because all it does is shift the way you’re handcuffed to your stuff.

Communicate with people, set strong boundaries, control yourself when you respond to people asking for gift ideas, and allow yourself to feel the true joy that this season brings.

A Merry Little Christmas Allie Casazza

If you’re ready to put a lot more purpose in your family’s holiday, you definitely want to sign-up for my free course! A Merry Little Christmas is a guide to a simplified holiday for moms pursuing less.

How to Raise Unplugged Kids in A Tech-Obsessed World


I have always wanted to raise unplugged kids. When you live in a tech-obsessed world, where most kids’ weekends are spent beating the latest video game and even doing homework requires a screen, it gets hard.

Six years ago, finding minimalism changed my life and restored my motherhood. I got my time, my joy, and my home back. I also feel that I gave a huge gift to my children. First of all, they got their mama back. I was no longer spending every ounce of my time cleaning up and folding heaps of laundry, and they developed wild imaginations. What does that have to do with minimalism? Well, everything.

The thing about minimalism is once you start, it doesn’t really stop. It’s like pushing a large snowball down a steep hill - it just keeps rolling, collecting more and more snow as it goes. You begin to look at the way things have always been done with fresh eyes, and you desperately seek a simpler way of doing pretty much everything. Minimalism will touch every area of your life once you realize what a truly freeing gift it is. For our family, our use of technology has been no exception.

Now let me be clear - I’m not the mom whose kids never play video games or don’t know how to use an iPad. We have plenty of technology in our house. I’m a professional blogger for pete’s sake. My boys’ biggest obsession right now is the Mario Brothers (my littlest is usually tasked with being Bowser while the older two run away from him screaming). The difference is, there are boundaries around technology. There isn’t constantly some kind of screen on entertaining everyone, and tech time isn’t something that’s expected by my kids.

My boys spend far more time actually pretending to be Mario, Luigi, and Bowser than they do playing the video games that made the trio famous.

Most people think limiting technology has to feel like some kind of punishment, and that is simply not true. All things need to be limited - it’s just not good for you to have too much of pretty much anything! By limiting technology, we are simply setting healthy boundaries, teaching our kids how to be well-balanced human beings, and encouraging the power of their imaginations. That is such a gift!

Kids played happily (and a lot better) without technology for generations before us, and I think sometimes we forget that.

In 1950, 10% of American households owned a TV set. By 1954 this increased to 50% of households and by 1970 98% of households had one. We grew into constant entertainment very quickly, not realizing the effect it had on our family time and our kids’ imaginations.

Let’s take a quick look at the deep impact technology has had on our children:

  • A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates kids ages 8 to 18 spend an average of seven and a half hours a day with cells phones, computers, televisions and other electronic devices. That means the only things keeping kids away from electronic devices are eating, sleeping and school. And, during the summer months, of course, you can generally remove school from the equation.
  • Childhood obesity has reached an all-time high. Tech time has surely contributed to that.
  • Imaginative play is also influenced by screens- instead of creating their own play themes they often reenact characters from shows in a repetitive and stifling way.

  • TV often creates a sense of detachment in our feeling life- for example, we sit in a warm house with plenty of food in a comfortable chair and watch a show about homeless people and our hearts go out to them but rarely does this actually call people to action. This detachment also happens for children- violence, sarcasm, adult-themed innuendos or jokes become the ‘norm’. You may argue action-packed books could lead to the same effect- but when a child reads, his mind creates its own pictures and has time to think about them, digest them and make them his own. These thoughts could lead to new ideas that lead the child to action. TV does not give time for this higher level of thinking. When children are accustomed to lots of TV they are not used to using their imaginative thinking at all and don’t exercise that part of the brain (the neocortex). By telling stories and reading books children are able to create pictures which inform our dreams, intuitions, inspirations and imaginations.

  • Recent studies have shown that regular screen time causes atrophy (shrinkage or loss of tissue volume) in gray matter areas (where “processing” occurs) of the brain.

  • When a child is watching a show or video or playing a game and it is then taken away there is a withdrawal period. They often become anxious, nervous or irritable. Their movement becomes impulsive, erratic and uncoordinated.

Compare all of this to when a child is in nature for a period of time- playing in the dirt or sand, digging with sticks, building with fallen branches, exploring, looking at bugs. There is a sense of groundedness, calm and steady energy about a child who has been outside playing freely versus inside looking at a screen.

You will be amazed at how easily a child fills up his day without a screen. “I’m bored” happens in our home on occasion but it’s not a common thing to hear.

Jean Piaget, a pioneer in child psychology said,

“Children should be able to do their own experimenting and their own research. Teachers, of course, can guide them by providing appropriate materials, but the essential thing is that in order for a child to understand something, he must construct it himself, he must re-invent it.
Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from inventing it himself. On the other hand, that which we allow him to discover by himself will remain with him visibly.”

Screens put everything on the table so that there is nothing to uncover. But when we get out of our children’s way and let them be bored they come up with all sorts of exciting things to do and learn.

I have seen absolutely incredible benefits of limiting screen time in our home, and let me encourage you by repeating myself - we do not ban tech time - my kids regularly enjoy screen time. It’s simply that we limit it. You do not have to throw away all your devices and forbid the TV be used by anyone but you. This doesn’t have to be a thing that turns you into a monster or a tyrant, I promise!

Before we get into how you can start encouraging your kids to play more and stare at a screen less, let’s go over the positive effect of limiting technology in your home…

  • My kids get along much better.
  • They are more grateful. What I mean by this is that my kids seem to appreciate what they have more. They play with each other better, seeming more grateful for their siblings, and they come up with new games to play together. They are more grateful for their Legos and blocks and simple toys that were "boring" before we limited toys and technology. Their imaginations and creativity expand.
  • They spend their time reading, creating art, running around outside, making up games and stories together, reading stories - independently and with you.

  • They just seem a lot happier. They are less moody/cranky/irritable - no withdrawal symptoms.

  • You are empowering your children to connect with nature, the seasons and real people.

  • You are teaching self-discipline through example- carving out specific times that screens are appropriate and disengaging at times when they are unneeded- prioritizing your life and time without wasting it.

  • You are creating more time to be together as a family.

  • When you are clear with the boundaries you decrease whining, bargaining or constant negotiating.

  • They are allowed to be kids! This means more messes, more energy to be expelled, more attention required from you as the parent but you are gifting them their childhood. They are not chained to a screen for your benefit- this limitation is actually totally freeing for them.

Okay, so you’re convinced. But…. how do you start? When you realize your kids are spending way too much time with screens and you know you want to begin limiting, what do you do exactly? Sit back and take a deep breath, girl, cause I gotcho back.

How to Get Started

1) Get clear on your family’s values.

You can’t copy mine or ask your neighbor about her’s. You need to be deeply connected to what matters to you for your family. Grab a journal or open a note in your phone (See? Technology isn’t all bad, it can be super helpful!) and write out what matters a lot to you. How do you want your kids to grow up?

Some of my biggest values are:

  • That my kids have wild imaginations and know how to play like kids should
  • That my home be a beautiful haven we all love spending time in

  • That my kids see my husband and I intentionally spending lots of time together

  • The pursuit of minimalism in our home, calendar, and lifestyle

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts from it.
— Joshua Becker

Get the picture? Now go and do this for yourself. Without a clear picture of what matters most to you, you’ll find it impossible to implement new rules and boundaries, especially when your kids push back. You need a super solid why in order to be in this for the long haul.

2) Decide how you’re going to do this.

You can go about the pursuit of less technology a couple of different ways. You can do a full-fledged detox and not have any in your home for a set amount of time, or you can slowly pull back from it, limiting it more and more as time goes on until you hit your personal sweet spot.

Personally, I think a detox is incredibly beneficial for most families, especially if you’re reading this post and feeling the tug to take action. A detox doesn’t have to be super long or extremely painful. My advice is one week of no screens (or as few screens as possible if you need them for school).

One week is a great amount of time because it’s just enough to reset your kids’ brains. Just know that if you reintroduce your old tech habits after this detox, you’re going to undo all your hard work, so be sure to reintroduce technology on a very limited basis. For example, Netflix and video games for one hour on weekends only, or whatever similar boundary feels good to you.

3) Plan your first screen-free day.

Grab that journal again and come up with a gameplan, girl.

  • How are you going to find a moment for yourself?

  • How will you handle “witching hour” when you and everyone else in your house are just done.

  • How will you help your kids find media alternatives?

Without a plan you are much more likely to cave, drink an entire bottle of wine, and think I’m a jerk for even suggesting the idea of a tech detox. We don’t want any of those things….

4) Create a connected and consistent family rhythm.

Rhythms in your day help everyone feel at peace. The kids know what to expect, you know your day is already somewhat planned and you aren’t trying to come up with on-the-spot entertainment for your kids. How will you fill your day? What are you going to do with each time block?

Start with the blocks that are filled for you - school and work hours, meal times, nap time, etc. From there, come up with ideas of how to fill your day with intentional, family rhythms.

Another thing to think about is balancing inside play and outside play. This can help you find a consistent rhythm for your kids’ play because it feels like a transition. Instead of just two hours of straight playtime, you can guide them to play for a bit in their playroom, then outside, then in the living room while you prepare lunch. It doesn’t take much to change things up!

5) Help your kids get into their play.

We can’t go about life doing things one way and then rip the carpet out from under our kids and expect them to know exactly what to do and how to be, right? Nah, that’s not gonna work! We can, however, gently guide them and offer them alternatives and new ideas. #MommingSoHard

  • Give your kids something tactile and new to play with

  • Provide them with a clean, uncluttered space to play in #minimalism

  • Have open-ended, simple toys on hand (think Legos, blocks, puzzles, dress up clothes, art supplies)

  • Be prepared to spend more time with your kids as they re-learn how to play

6) Set yourself up for success.

How are you going to handle this big change? You have to be prepared and equipped, and that takes a little preparation.

We talked a couple points ago about deciding how you’re going to have a moment to yourself in order to go the length of a full day without relying on technology. Here are some ideas:

  • Seek support from your “village” by reaching out to a relative or friend to come over, break up the day, and help a girl out!

  • Lay the foundation for good self-care or “quiet time” by setting time for yourself before the day even starts. This way, you sort of give yourself a “moment” before you need it, and it can really help!

  • Make sure you have a strong bedtime routine. This will give you the evenings to yourself.

  • Get outside. One of my favorite things to do when I feel overwhelmed and stretched super thin with my kids is head to the park with my headphones. I listen to music or an encouraging podcast while they play on the playground and I watch. Win win.

  • Play an audio story to give the kids something calm to entertain them while you drink some coffee and take a break. We love Story Nory!

  • Make or prepare dinner early. This gives you a break during one of the hardest, busiest times of the day.

7) Set up a home that allows you to be a present mom.

It’s hard to ditch technology and apply family rhythms when you’re overwhelmed by a long to-do list, endless chores, and that feeling of dread you get when you know you’ve got tons to do but are spending time with your family instead. I want you to be able to pour into your kids and know your house is maintained without you having to constantly catch up. Believe me, it IS possible!

Here’s how it works:

the clutter cycle

When our homes are cluttered, we have more to clean. When we have more to clean, we feel an inner overwhelm and a pressure to keep up. We wind up feeling like we are always cleaning, and unable to pause and spend quality time with our children unless we are willing to pay the price later on - catching up on the housework.

I used to tell my kids to “go play” almost constantly! I realized it just really wasn’t the type of mom I wanted to be. I’m all for unentitled kids who know how to play, and my kids do- they use nearly all their free time to make up stories and games and play with each other, but sometimes, especially when you first start this or your kids are very young, they need a little help. I started saying “let’s play” a little more often, and some of my sweetest memories were born out of that switch.

What takes up your space takes up YOU.

  • Less stuff, more joy.

  • Less chaos, more peace.

  • Less busyness, more intentionality.

I used to be a very unhappy mom. I struggled with depression, I always felt overwhelmed and like I couldn’t keep up with all that was on my plate. Every day felt like a battle I lost.

I noticed I was spending the bulk of my time wrangling the kids’ toys, so one day I decided to get rid of almost all of them. All the useless toys that were doing the imagining for my kids, all the mismatched pieces of toys, everything except toys that inspired creativity and constructive play was donated or thrown away.

I noticed an immediate shift in our home. My kids began to display the benefits of an intentional home. I brought my new minimalist outlook into the rest of my house and my whole life changed.

Suddenly my to-do list was much shorter on a regular basis, the laundry didn’t need to be done every day (even with six of us in the house) because I had also purged our clothes down to only what we needed, the house was almost always picked up and ready for company to drop by, and that was a great feeling.

I had so much free time! I was able to play with my kids, take them on hikes, pour into them, homeschool them, even start a business from home (something I never would have been able to add to my plate before minimalism) and I was so much less stressed. I finally felt like I was looking more like the mom I wanted to be.

A life of less freed me and allowed me to be more intentional, more present with my family, and to fulfill some life-long dreams as well!

Eliminating the clutter and the chaos in your home gives you a firm foundation for raising unplugged kids because you are more able to pour into them! You’re able to be centered, calm, at peace with yourself and much less stressed. You’re freed up to replace some of the TV time with family adventures, sitting outside together, playing together - better things than sitting in front of a show.

Copy of Starter Kit Mock.png

Feeling like this is totally you?

Let me help you get started! Download my FREE Minimalism Starter Kit.

It's designed by me to help you find freedom, white space, and more joy in your home. Free your motherhood and give yourself the gift of more time with your family!

Don't give stuff that kind of power in your life. 



I want you to feel capable as this long post comes to an end. This doesn’t have to be a burden, a stress, or scary. Let it set you free to confidently and happily limit technology, throw away the crutch in your motherhood (do we really want to go through this thing relying on Paw Patrol to babysit whenever we get uptight?) and step into present, sweet, abundant life as you raise your sweet babies.

You were chosen out of every woman who has ever lived in any generation for all of time, to be the mother of your children.

- Allie Casazza

Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way as a Minimalist Mama


A guest post from Lisa Avellan of Simple & Soul

Minimalism isn’t about the stuff we get rid of; it’s about the life we uncover.  That lesson came hard and fast in my minimalist journey.

In fact, minimalism swept up my old life with such a fury that I hardly had a chance to properly welcome the new me – you know, with a bottle of wine and a pedicure.  It was more like a pressure wash of the soul, as if to test the resilience of my resolve to take back my motherhood.

Everything I thought motherhood would be had faded behind the constant to-dos and the overwhelming pressure to lose the weight, wear the brands, play the part, volunteer and participate, play-dates and socialization… I couldn’t get comfortable in the role of my lifetime as Mom.

I stepped into minimalism expecting more time and energy to spend with my kids and husband and what I got was an overhaul of my identity – my soul came alive. 

My soul awoke to all the ways it hadn’t been living fully, and it pushed me into a series of reboots and refreshes and power downs and restarts. And thank God it did because now I know what minimalism is really about.

There was a lot of stuff we decluttered and donated, and we were free of the excess, clutter, and overwhelm in our home.  But I also found freedom from living in that place of expectation and comparison and performance.  It was hard, really hard – still is sometimes – but these three have been the most grounding and liberating experiences minimalism has given me:

3 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

1.     I am only this moment.

When I detached my worth from the things I owned and my need for validation from out there I had to sit with my soul in its rawest moments. Exposed and tender, I battled guilt for having abandoned it for so many years and shame for having believed I wasn’t worth more than the things I owned or activities I planned.

It was in this process that I learned I can’t be anything other than what I am in this moment.  I spent most of my moments either in shame or regret of the past or in worry and preparation for the future.  I was missing the life happening in front of me, the only moments I could do anything with.

I can only be this moment, this breath God has given me. I began asking questions like who am I in this moment? What can I bring to this present that will matter in the next?

Every moment is a possibility for the soul.   That means this moment – any moment – is sacred space to become fully present; aware of the opportunity for something really amazing.

2.     I become whole by emptying myself.

I had to learn what whole meant for me. Before minimalism it meant fitting in, receiving validation from others, and being self-sufficient. Simplifying showed me those beliefs were the cracks where my joy and purpose leaked out.

The more I emptied drawers and cupboards and toy bins I felt renewed, filled up with a whole spirit of simply becoming myself.  It turned out, the security I’d been searching for by buying and doing and comparing was within me the whole time. It was buried underneath all the things I filled my home and life with.

The joy of surrender – ceasing to resist the spirit within me – was the key to becoming the mother I hoped I could be.  The pouring out was filling the cracks with light.  Not only was I able to be present and available for my girls, I was confident that the light-filled cracks mapped the way to the center of my best self.

3.     I am not perfect.

I didn’t realize it, but I was striving for perfection as a mother.  I was determined to spare my girls the struggles that burned inside of me.  I’d never say a negative word about my body out loud, but my internal voice body shamed me constantly. I’d plan the perfect birthday party and justify the cost later. I’d always be happy and willing to help but inside I was depressed and introverted out.  I determined I’d never show my vulnerabilities to my girl, for fear they’d adopt them for themselves.

Perfectionism was killing me. Inside, I hated my body, I spent money we didn’t have, and I couldn’t admit that I needed space and quiet to recharge.  But I thought I had to be perfect to give my kids the mother they deserve.

Minimalism taught me to embrace my imperfections, to find the lessons in them. I stopped being afraid to fail and stepped into not getting everything right so that I can get right on grace.

Getting rid of the things is a tool to recover what’s been inside all along. The life we hope for isn’t out there waiting for us to do enough or be enough to have it, its right there – under that list of to-do’s and weight of expectations.

It’s in the moments we least expect, when we open ourselves to experience the now, the present, and the perfect imperfections of becoming minimalist mamas.

10 Ways to Simplify Your Groceries & Meal Planning


I have kind of a funny history with meal planning and cooking. The thing is, I always hated it. When Brian worked his dawn-to-midnight job, I was super overwhelmed. I would get to dinner time and be...done, to say the very least. Dinner often meant cereal or protein plates or snacking around because Brian was the only one who really cared, and he was very rarely home for dinner.

Fast forward to last year when we lived in Arkansas and I started my business. Brian’s job was less hours and he was usually home for dinner, which meant more cooking for me. However, I really needed time to work as I grew my business. Things very quickly moved forward and it became a full-time thing.

In order for me to focus on what was most important in that season of our family’s life, we decided that Brian would take over dinner time and all things grocery. He’s basically a chef and enjoys cooking, so it made the most sense for us.

We lived that way for about a year, and now here we are, back in our home state of California with a thriving business that I am no longer running myself (I have five amazing team members I delegate tasks to) and I have taken back the part of my role that entails meal planning and preparing.

I actually started to miss it! Preparing food for my family is important to me and something that makes me feel good, even if it wasn’t elaborate. Plus, I never want to stay stagnant in any area of my life. If I suck at cooking then I want to get better, so I am.

Now that we have the business to run together (Brian does all media work, so he’s actually busier than I am most days), plus four kids, a house, and extracurricular activities to juggle, it’s more important than ever that I keep this area of my life streamlined.

Brian has taken up Crossfit recently and is even training for a competition, so he needs A LOT of food prepped and ready to grab and go. He also needs big meals to provide the protein, energy, and stamina his body needs to perform during his workouts.

I can’t have gluten, have to be careful with dairy, and generally have to eat extremely clean because of my gut and skin issues.

All of this is enough to be super intimidating for someone who took a year off and is already not a natural at this area of homemaking, but I’ve figured out a pretty solid routine (thank the good Lord), and since I get asked about this a lot, I’m sharing my tips with you today!

10 Ways to Simplify Your Groceries + Meal Planning

1. Choose a few pre-planned meals, just get staple ingredients for the others.

I think a lot of us feel the need to know exactly what we’ll be serving for dinner every day of the week. If that works for you, stick with it! But for me, I’m a little too sporadic for that, and whenever I plan my week that way we end up not cooking one or two of the planned dinners and groceries get wasted.

So now, I only choose about three exact dinners, and then get basic ingredients like chicken breast, bacon, sweet potato and other veggies to make a spur-of-the-moment, simple meal the other nights.

I might also make those other nights a repeat meal that we have all the time, like tacos.

2. Get all your planning done in one day each week.

Every Sunday night, I pour myself a glass of wine and sit down with a notebook, my cookbooks, and a pen. I choose my meals, make a shopping list, and map out exactly what I’ll be buying for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.

I make sure I’m planning all the way through the following Monday (the day I shop) which leads me to….

3. Choose another day for all shopping.

On Mondays, I do my grocery shopping. What isn’t being delivered by Amazon Fresh (more on that below) is purchased and ready for the week.

4. Prep immediately after shopping whenever possible.

Instead of bringing in groceries and putting them straight in the fridge, I’ve started washing and slicing and prepping everything as soon as I’m home from my errands.

I got this handy trick from my new favorite book by Brooke Sailer, (I’m Failing At) This Thing Called Home.

5. Food prep, don’t meal prep.

Meal prepping may totally work for you, but it doesn’t for us! We’ve found that food prepping is much more doable. Food prepping looks like sauteed potatoes, sliced fruit, cooked and shredded chicken, baked sweet potato fries, all stored in the fridge, ready to use. It’s pieces of meals that you can grab, reheat, and eat based on what sounds good and how much time you have.

6. Base it on your schedule.

If you know Wednesday nights are super crazy for your family, have that be a Crockpot or take-out night every week.

7. Keep a running list of everything you’re out of.

This one is obvious and overstated, but worth saying one more time! My list is on my fridge and in my phone. I check both on Sunday nights when making my shopping lists.

8. Amazon Subscribe + Save and Amazon Fresh.

Amazon is KILLING IT. They just bought Whole Foods, so more organic goodness is surely coming our way, and they now offer subscriptions for your most-used food and household items. Some things on my Subscribe + Save account include; toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, snack bars, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, and cleaning sprays.

With Amazon Fresh, you can do your grocery shopping from your couch (if it’s offered in your city) and get organic fruits, veggies, and pretty much anything. Amazing!

9. Don’t overthink it. Know what works!

Don’t over complicate meal planning because it’s daunting or you dislike it. Streamline, simplify, cut out the things that aren’t working and stick to what is.

10. Stop being afraid of repeating meals.

No shame in repeats, yo. I know a friend who rotates ten meals, exactly that way, all the time. It’s been that way for years and her family has no complaints. It’s easier for her, too! Win win. If that works for you, embrace it and count yourself as one of the lucky ones!

Other Things That Work For Our Family

- Prepped food becomes lunch plates we can fix up in less than ten minutes.

- Breakfasts are the same meals rotated.

  1. Coffee and a bar (cereal for kids)

  2. Smoothies

  3. “Big healthy plates” (this is what we call eggs topped with avocado, uncured bacon, grilled tomatoes with salt and pepper, and sweet potato hash).

  4. Pancakes + bacon (GF, of course!)

- Bars instead of lunch for the really busy, on-the-go kind of days (our favorites are Lara and RX).

- Prepped foods that work on-the-go.

  • Fresh sliced fruits
  • Grilled chicken (cold in a Ziplock)
  • Snackable veggies

- We always have a couple easy/frozen meals on hand for “emergencies”. Like when the babysitter shows up on time and you were so excited for date night that you forgot you have kids….

  • Mac + Cheese
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Frozen pizzas

- I (try to) always have kid & adult snacks as well as water bottles in my bag or in the car.

Phew! That pretty much sums up what I’ve been doing to keep meal preparation as simple as possible with four kids and a Crossfit hubby. I hope it inspires and helps you!

What do you do to simplify meals in your house? Let me know in the comments!

How to Do A Digital Declutter


When we think of decluttering we often picture our clothes, our kid’s toys, or other stuff in our home. But how often do you take the time to look at all of your digital clutter? 

I think that a lot of the time digital clutter gets forgotten because it isn’t physically in front of your face. It doesn’t often bother you until you open your computer, or start looking for a file only to stop halfway through because you’re so frustrated with being unable to find anything you’ve saved on your computer’s hard drive.

It’s about time that we stop ignoring the digital clutter and instead use the digital world in a way that can not only keep our online world in sync and organized, but also help us declutter our homes.

Are you familiar with cloud storage?

I’m sure that the majority of you are. It is a magical way that you can begin digitizing your family’s life, plus when you have everything stored virtually it becomes really really easy to share files and pictures with just a few clicks.

However, just like the junk drawer in your kitchen, without a system in place it can easily become a complete disaster. Systems aren’t just for physical things, mama!

Create a System for How You Will Organize Your Files

There’s no right or wrong, here. Just create a way to organize your files that makes sense to you. Maybe you organize by purpose, so: work, family, recreation, etc. Or, you could even organize based on events, vacation, parties, family, etc. Or, get really basic and just organize by month and year. Honestly the sky’s the limit, as long as you choose ONE consistent way that suits you best.

One thing to note, please don’t overcomplicate things! Just don’t do it to yourself!

For example, choosing to save everything by day or week will likely lead to burnout. You’ll get so sick of having to go in and label and file everything by the appropriate date.

By grouping the types of folders needed together, you’ll make it easier to keep up with. And, the biggest part of living in a minimalist way is to be able to enjoy life more, not create more burdens.

An example would be to start with the year, and then branch off from there. So...

2017 > September > Family > Photos
2017 > September > Family > Documents
2017 > September > Vacation > Photos
2017 > September > Vacation > Documents

Of course you can always come back and change anything, but if you use a method you really love from the beginning, it will help you stick to the method for the long-haul, and help remove the headache of needing to start from scratch down the road.

Resist Saving Every File

Just like it is unnecessary to save every piece of mail that you receive, it is unnecessary to save every digital file.

Take the time to go through what you already have saved, maybe take 30 minutes a day. Move everything that are MUST KEEPS into the appropriate folders so that you can easily find pictures, documents, etc in the future, whenever you might need them.

I’m sure it goes without saying, but it isn’t worth saving every blurry image, or a video that is inaudible, but at the same time don’t blindly start deleting files. Doing that could lead to accidentally losing something important or sentimental.

Then, once you’ve completed your file purge, be sure to periodically check-in to be sure you aren’t allowing clutter to build-up again. Make time to go in weekly, to quickly move things into their corresponding folder. If you keep up with this process, it shouldn’t take much time at all!

Awesome! Hopefully you’re starting to feel like your digital life can be easily brought under control. Remember, nothing needs to happen immediately, take it step by step.

Your Beloved Photos

These days it is SO easy to take and keep pictures. You no longer need to buy rolls of film, nor do you need to get them developed. Now, it’s as simple as plugging your SD card into your computer, or going to the camera roll on your phone.

However, with the ease of taking photos, comes the overwhelming urge to keep every single one. But, mama, that just isn’t necessary!

The days fly by, and your children grow up fast, but you really don’t need 8 pictures of the same scene at your daughter’s birthday party.

Instead, here’s my advice, if you have an excessive amount of photos on your phone or on your SD card, go through some each day.

If you have many different shots from about the same moment, choose ONE to keep, make it your favorite one, or the one that makes you laugh, or it can even be the one where you feel the prettiest, but make it JUST ONE.

Once you’ve pared down all of the ones on your phone and on any other storage device you have, you need to upload these to your cloud storage, using the method you chose above.

Stick to the system you created. It will make the images easier to find later on, plus you’ll keep everything clutter free!

Love Your Children’s Artwork Without It Taking Up Space

Let’s face it, our kids will be creating and bringing home artwork for many many years to come. And, we love it all! We love the little reindeer heads made out of baby feet, and the quickly colored pages that were created during library story hour, but our homes just do not allow us to keep everything.

Here are two things that I recommend you try doing.

1. Use a Folder.

Have a folder where you keep all of your children’s artwork (one for each child), but every piece of art into that folder. Then, at the end of each month, go through it with your child.

Have them choose their favorite piece that they want to keep, and then you get to choose 1 piece that you want to keep.

2. Store Digitally

Once you’ve gone through each piece once, go through them a second time choosing some of the best, or some of your favorite ones and start storing them using an app like ARTKIVE or canvsly.

This way you are able to store their work forever, without it taking up a substantial amount of space in your kitchen.

3. Ditch the rest (and the guilt).

I know, I know. It seems impossible to get rid of anything that your children create. You worry you’ll miss that one single item, but it is completely unnecessary to keep every single piece.

By completing the previous two steps, you’re allowing yourself to remove the guilt from getting rid of the papers with just a few scribbles, or stickers on it.

Replace DVDs with a Way to Watch Videos Online

Now, I want to talk about a potential eyesore in your home-- The spot where all of your DVDs are housed. Kids love movies and cartoons, and even if they don’t watch a ton, allowing them to watch it on occasion is necessary, things need to get done around the house, and let’s be honest, sometimes mama just needs a break.

The great thing is that there’s no longer a need to keep every single DVD. With services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu you can find many of the popular cartoons and older movies there, without needing to house the physical disc in your home.

You might then be asking, what about all of the new movies that I’ve purchased, but aren’t available anywhere else?

Well, there are a couple of different things you can do, many new videos come with codes that can then be used to download digital copies on apps like VUDU. And, if you no longer have those codes, or it’s an old movie that didn’t come with one (and it isn’t available on Netflix), you can always buy a digital copy. Spending the extra money may not be your favorite thing to do, but if it helps to remove the dreaded clutter and it is one of your children’s favorite movies, it might be worth the splurge.

You could also allow your children to choose 2 or 3 movies each. Find or purchase those movies digitally, and then donate the rest.

It can be tough to get rid of beloved DVDs, or gorgeous pieces of your children’s artwork, but if they are taking up space that is leading to a clutter problem, which in turn causes you stress, it’s time to buckle down and go through everything. With the advancement in tech these days, it makes it pretty easy to keep the items that mean the most to you, nearby.

How do you digitally declutter? Leave a comment and let me know!

10 Ways Minimalism Helps the Very Busy On-the-Go Family

Allie with Kids_Fall Colors.JPG

Motherhood is a lot of things, but boring is not one of them. As my kids get older, go to school, and realize the activities that interest them (and in turn, sign up for them) I find that my life just gets fuller and fuller.

I really enjoy having a full schedule. I’m an introvert, and I love being home, but I don’t like doing nothing. I need one “nothing” day per week. That usually means going to church on Sunday morning, eating lunch and then enjoying a family nap and a leisurely afternoon with my family. Other than the occasional need for a week off, I truly thrive when my calendar is full and my days are packed with a life lived on purpose.

Kelsey and I talked on the podcast recently about how the idea of “a simple life” doesn’t really appeal to either of us, and the difference between a simple life and simplicity applied to each area of your life. If you want to listen to that episode, click here

When you have kids who are interested in sports, activities, and extra classes, your schedule will get full fast! Unless this goes against your core values for your life and your family, this is a good thing! Kids are so much fun and motherhood is something to be celebrated in every season.

There’s a big difference in being too busy and in simply having a full life. Embrace where you’re at and if you find yourself overwhelmed, find ways to simplify wherever you can.

Minimalism is one way to do this.

I started my journey to minimalism while I was in the baby phase of my motherhood.  I was a stay-at-home mom who spent lots of time at home (usually with no bra because #momlife) and I didn’t have a lot else going on. I had three kids under three, and my babies were all-consuming. That’s the season I was in, and minimalism helped me in different ways than it does now.

It kept me afloat and simplified my to do list in a very chaotic, uncontrollable time of my life when babies dictated everything, all the way down to how much sleep I got.

Now my “baby” is almost three and we’ve got baseball, horseback lessons, a business to run, meetings and media interviews each week, photo and video shoots on a regular basis, and minimalism helps me even more now.

No matter how many kids you have and what season of motherhood you’re in, minimalism lifts a huge burden you may not even know you’ve been carrying. It’s such a gift! I think it’s especially helpful for the family with a full calendar. Let’s talk about how!

10 Ways Minimalism Helps the Very Busy On-the-Go Family

1. You spend a lot less time cleaning.

Like, a lot less time. I typically spend about 30 min a day maintaining my house (which I prefer to be very clean) and we have a weekly cleaning day as a family that usually ends up lasting less than two hours. That’s it.

2. Your house is always ready for people to come over.

When another mom from the soccer team stops by to drop off your son’s forgotten knee pads, you can invite her inside without throwing a bunch of mess in the closet. When your church asks for volunteers to host Bible Study, you can raise your hand and be confident that it won’t be a panicked screaming match between you and no one else who cares as you clean all the things the night before every week.

3. You have more time to actually enjoy this season of your family.

You can be present. Imagine that!

4. Your life is way less stressful.

Managing a family meal plan, running errands, and playing chauffeur is a full time job on its own, and these things will stress you out a lot less if you don't also have a house full of junk you’re constantly picking up.

5. Your kids aren’t overstimulated.

Scientific studies done all over the globe have shown us time and time again that kids don’t function well when they have a lot of options surrounding them. A cluttered room to come home to after a long day of school full of toys and junk they don’t even use just isn’t good for them. Add in screen time and long school days… no wonder they’re in terrible moods sometimes! Simplify their space. They’ll be in better moods in general and they’ll start enjoying their days a lot more (and you will too).

6. Your life is centered around relationships, not stuff.

No explanation needed.

7. When you want to say “yes” to something, you usually can.

When you’re not bogged down by a ton of home maintenance time, you’re a lot freer to be involved in the things you want to be involved in. You can volunteer more, spend more time with your kids, help your community more….you get the picture!

8. It teaches your kids to enjoy experiences over things.

I think we all want our kids to grow up knowing the value of living a good life, of experiences. None of us wish our kids would grow up materialistic. Minimalism draws all attention to relationships, family, and spending time living life.

9. You know where everything is.

When you live out minimalism, there’s a lot less time spent looking for things! Every mom knows how frustrating it is to desperately need to find your daughter’s other cleat and be fifteen minutes late to practice because it was wrapped up in a blanket behind the sofa. Less stuff means less mess, less chaos, less clutter, and more owning your space and what’s in it.

10. Less decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue is a real thing, and it sucks. All the little decisions like what to wear, when should I clean the bathroom are made a lot less overwhelming when there’s simply less stuff. A smaller wardrobe means less choices (you weren’t wearing 80% of it anyway). These little tweaks in your home really add up to a totally different life! Trust me, I’ve seen it in my own life and I see it every day in my business ;)


Ready to unburden yourself? 

This small, straightforward course is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

Huge, Major, World-Changing Announcement!

I’m a big believer in the power of words and the power of prayer. At different points in my life, I have seen both totally transform people, circumstances, and relationships. I am truly honored and excited to share one of those times with you today!

About a year and a half ago, I was working on turning my little hobby blog into a business. I wanted to do more- to start a movement among women everywhere.

I prayed that God would help me take the right steps forward, and gave everything over to Him. Mothers from all over the globe began joining my community and experiencing the freedom of simplicity. It was record-breaking website growth, and it had zero to do with me.

A little while into this growth, I realized this is so much bigger than me. This isn’t my thing, it’s God’s. This isn’t my business, it’s His.

Feeling the weight of responsibility in leading this tribe, I started praying over the women I was reaching, and God laid something very specific and powerful on my heart. It was a sort of oath, a mission that I knew was to be kept in my heart as I worked, grew, and expanded my reach.

I am using you to change the world with this twice - once with this message for mothers everywhere, and again with the revenue this business creates.

Those words rested on me - both heavy and freeing at the same time - and they haven’t left me since.

As things continued to flourish, my community began to feel too big. My Facebook group hosted over 30,000 members, and although that’s amazing and I’m so happy to get this message to so many mamas, it started to feel impossible to connect with people on a more personal level.

My fellow women are my heart. I serve the mothers of the world and they are who I feel a pull toward. While I want to reach as many of them as I possibly can, I also want to be able to connect with them on a little bit of a deeper level. I want to lead them in reaching specific goals, making real, tangible changes in their lives that lead to less stress and more joy.

At this point, I felt it on my heart to start a paid version of my community - a membership program. This would provide a smaller community within my community where women could join me in monthly focus areas and we could work together toward goals in a space that feels a little tighter-knit.

The words echoed in my head every time I thought about the idea, and it wouldn’t leave me alone.

I am using you to change the world with this twice - once with this message for mothers everywhere, and again with the revenue this business creates.

As I prayed about how to work out the kinks in making this new project happen, it hit me.

Women empowering women. That’s what this needed to be, in more ways than one, and suddenly it all fell perfectly into place in my head, and I knew exactly what to do.

And so, friends, I am so very happy and honored to announce to you, my community that I love so much, The Purpose Society.

The Purpose Society is a monthly membership program designed to help moms with full lives get intentional, reach their goals, simplify, and live well.

Instead of sporadically trying to balance it all and change all the things, we focus on one area of life per month so you are reaching goals and making steady progress, all while connecting with like-minded women around the world in an exclusive community. 

Mothers are literally raising up the world. We are raising the future, and how we live out this role, what we do, how we feel, the way we spend our time and what we focus on… it matters so much!

We are changing the world, girls. That’s what The Purpose Society is all about.

And then what happens? We change the world again. 

Through my new Society, I’ve partnered with International Sanctuary in order to free women around the globe caught in sex trafficking. These girls are not living well, they are not living their abundant life, and they need our help.

IS Walking.jpg

In the Society, we are action takers, warriors, and we make things happen.

We don’t let the blessed role of motherhood become an obligation, we create a life we love and we live it well, tweaking it as needed to be simple and awesome and beautiful, not a burden.

We don’t watch our fellow women get mistreated, neglected, abused, and harmed. We DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. We put our money where our mouths are and we fight back, hard.

In the Purpose Society, we change the world twice - once with the way we do motherhood, and again with our money.

And that is incredibly powerful, friends.

Here are the details of joining:

  • It’s $15 per month (there is a yearly option in which you get one month free).

  • It’s a totally separate website and community, but still a branch of my business of course.

  • Each month, I choose a different focus area and we all work on that area of our lives together. There is strength in numbers and power in sisterhood, so get ready to see some real results!

  • Every month you get all kinds of things - video, checklists, calendars, worksheets - all designed by me and my team to help you take action and implement real changes in your life.

  • 10% of monthly revenue created from this Society goes to International Sanctuary to help them fund more safe houses for girls enslaved. Once we have 2400 women enrolled, we will give 20% of revenue thereafter. Let’s make this HUGE for them!

There is so much more information on the website, so if you want to read more, head right over here and find out what you need to know.

Let me encourage you though… there is never going to be a perfect time to start making changes in your motherhood. It’s always going to be “too busy” or “too tight” or “just not right now”.

Let me encourage you to stop the cycle of never getting anywhere new and say your time is NOW! The doors are open and they are not opening again until well into next year.

So are you coming with us?

The doors just flung wide open, but they close quickly. Enrollments are happening, and I want you to be one of them!



This is it, friend.

It’s just $15 a month and that’s going to change for the next round.

Get in here, join us, make changes and be a part of changing the world for women everywhere!


Packing Your Diaper Bag the Minimalist Way

A guest post from Kelsey Van Kirk of Simply, Life On Purpose

Something that can feel really intimidating and challenging to do is practice minimalism as a mama with a kid (or four!) in tow.

When it’s our job every day to show up and be responsible for small people who haven’t yet learned how to care for and fend for themselves, it’s easy to go overboard thinking we need to do and have #allthethings in order to keep it together as a mom.

Case in point: the overstuffed diaper bag!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a poor mom hunched over, lugging a ginormous diaper bag filled to overflowing with who knows what, while carrying a baby carrier and grasping her toddler’s hand as she simply tries to make it into the store for some groceries.

Poor, sweet mama - I just want to run up, take that diaper bag off her shoulder, give her a big ‘ol hug and tell her she doesn’t need to carry all this weight around with her through motherhood!

This overwhelmed, overburdened picture of motherhood has become the commonplace expectation for many women - and ladies, it needs to stop!

We think that, because we are moms, we have to live up to Mary Poppins-level standards by being prepared for everything and ready to handle any possible calamity with a sweet smile and snappy song.

(Random side note: can we all take a deep breath and remember ourselves that Mary Poppins wasn’t even a mom!!)

We’ve grown to believe that being “supermom” is the standard of expectation….and anything less would mean that we are less.

And so, we pack in more and take on more, trying desperately to be more for our kids and our families.

That is, until the weight breaks us and we completely fall apart (which is NOT what abundant motherhood is all about, friend!)

So, back to the point...diaper bags. How does one approach packing a diaper bag with a “less is more” perspective, so you’re prepared with what you’ll need, without being overburdened by anything unnecessary?

I’d say the answer is by following these three guiding principles:

1. Pack only what you’ll need and use

This, in my mind, is kind of what minimalism is all about….tuning in and being mindful to only give space in your life to the things that are necessary, useful and loved.

Take a few moments to mindfully consider what you actually need anytime you go out with baby in tow.

Better yet, maybe think about it like this: if you were stranded somewhere without your diaper bag, what are the things you’d be seriously missing?

Make a quick little list of the staples you want to keep in your diaper bag at all times, that way getting out the door with your kiddo(s) isn’t a bigger ordeal than it has to be.

2. Don’t let fear or worry drive your decision-making

Something I’ve found as a mother myself, and in observing other mamas, is that too often we allow our decision-making in motherhood to be driven by fear and worry.

We want what’s best for our kids (and honestly, for ourselves too) and the idea of being in scary, uncomfortable or inconvenient situations isn’t pleasant.

So, we’ll often go overboard trying to avoid any possible unpleasantness by over preparing and overpacking….you know, just in case.

Friend, let me ask you how many times those “just in case” moments actually happen?

Let me ask you something else: have you proven yourself capable of making it through those “just in case” moments, relatively unscathed?

Here is the truth: you will never be able to predict and foresee the future, so stop trying!

Being mindful and prepared is one of the hallmarks of purposeful motherhood, and I highly recommend it.

Just don’t let fear and worry steal your peace and make you do crazy things….like pack enough stuff in your diaper bag to last you a full 2-week vacation!

3. Learn to let go

We don’t live in a perfect world. Your kids aren’t perfect, you aren’t perfect, and your diaper bag won’t always be 100% perfectly what you need every time.

The sooner you can learn to let go of the things you can’t control, and be okay with showing up and doing your best, and can trust in your ability to do hard things and push through challenges when they arise…..the happier and lighter you’ll feel as you continue to journey through motherhood.

It’s time to dump that back-breaking diaper bag out, and let it all gooooooo!

Diaper Bag Essentials for the Minimalist Mama

Now, since I know that the reason you clicked on this post is because you really just want someone to tell you what to put in your dang diaper bag, I’ve got you covered ;)

Here’s a quick checklist of things I recommend packing to make sure all your bases are covered without being excessive.

  • Keys, wallet & phone

  • Small toiletry bag for mom (chapstick, hand sanitizer, female “supplies”)

  • Diapers & wipes

  • Changing pad

  • Outfit for baby in a large ziplock bag (to put soiled clothes in)

  • Burp cloth

  • Nursing cover (if breastfeeding)

  • Bottle with water & ziplock with formula (if formula feeding)

  • Snack for baby (if solid feeding)

  • Water bottle & snack for mom (snack bars or trail mix are great)

  • Pacifier (if you use them)

That’s it! Of course every mama, baby and family are different, but this is a good checklist of the basics that will see you through on an everyday basis while running errands and taking care of business with your little ones in tow.

What about you? Are there any diaper bag essentials you love and swear by that didn’t make the list? Share with us in the comments below!


To help you get started on your journey with purposeful simplicity, click here to download my FREE Simplicity Starter Kit, a workbook and resource guide designed to help you simplify your life today so you can experience more peace, purpose and joy every day.

Kelsey Van Kirk is a blessed wife, mama to four beauties, writer, podcaster, and joy-seeker on a mission to help women embrace purposeful simplicity in everyday living. She is the Founder of Simply, Life on Purpose, Co-Host of The Purposeful Home Podcast, and a lover of good books, good wine, and salty sea breeze. You can connect with Kelsey more on Facebook, Instagram or in her online community, The Simply Life on Purpose Sisterhood.

Tips For Decorating A Rental

Leather flower pouf: Etsy
Leather sofa: Overstock
Teal love seat: World Market
Coffee table: Threshold for Target
Gold side table: Target
Rug: Target

I don’t know much about interior design, but I do love to decorate. My goal is always to have my home feel very me. I want to spend my time in a space that I love, that inspires my writing, that makes me happy to take photos of my family inside. I need to feel really good about how my home looks, even if it’s not perfect.

I can’t stand having plain walls or temporary furniture that I don’t love. My home is very important to me, and I want my family to feel safe and cozy here. I also want to make sure that I like what I see and that I spend my days in a place that shows my personality and style.

I don’t know how one would officially describe my decorating, but I like to think of it as cozy and modern. I appreciate white, straight lines, and trend. I also appreciate cozy throw pillows, a shelf full of books, and a couch you can curl up in. I never want my family or my guests to feel like they can’t come in and relax.

Since I’ve been getting asked a lot about my decor as we’ve been transitioning out of full-time travel and into our little apartment (a temporary home while we figure out what we want in terms of buying or renting), I thought I’d show it off a little and share where I bought things and how I decided how to style the main areas.

Since this is a very temporary home (and an apartment), we couldn’t change much about it. Instead of finding creative ways to cover the things we don’t like, which is what we usually do when we know we’re staying longer-term, I found ways to distract from the not-my-favorite features.

I’m sharing my tips and tricks with you today!

1. Distract from the features you don’t like.

Our apartment has dark beige carpet. I despise carpet for many reasons, but in this house I’m glad we have it since another family lives below us (bless their hearts. And ears…). However, that doesn’t mean I have to just deal with it. My goal was to use decor placement and color to draw the eye to other parts of the house in each room. My gallery wall, plants placed up high, colorful loveseat, and rugs all help accomplish this.

2. Oversized rugs and rug layering.

Rug: World Market
Jute rug: RugsUSA
Table & chairs: IKEA

Rug layering is a newer trend I started seeing a lot on Pinterest last year. I love the look and decided to be brave and give it a try as part of Mission: Distract From the Carpet. The trick is to use two totally different patterns that compliment each other, and let me tell you… it is terrifying to do this at the store or online when you’re a visual learner. I really wished I could’ve seen it in my living room first, but everything I risked ended being exactly what I was going for!

I bought oversized rugs to fill two of my rooms almost wall-to-wall (because again, the carpet). In my office, I put an IKEA rug and in the kids’ room, I used a Rugs USA rug with lots of color.

3. Put a gallery wall in your living room.

Thin black frames: Target
Colored frames: thrifted and painted by me

Gallery walls are a great way to showcase your style. I did this by choosing mostly thin, black, modern frames and drawing most of the attention to my photos. They’re also great for bringing a little personality to a room.

If your landlord doesn’t want you to use nails in the wall, use Command Strips. There’s an entire aisle at Target dedicated to those things- they’re amazing and you can now decorate however you like, even in a rental because of them.

When it comes to the living room, I like mine to feel personal and cozy, so I wasn’t going for clean, perfect lines and matching frames in a neat row with this wall. I chose some of my favorite photos of our family, some printables with words I like, and I stuck family artwork in there to really relax the look of this wall.

For a subtle pop of color amongst the thin black frames, I included a really happy yellow and a pretty, soft pink frame as well. I also intentionally placed the colorful pieces toward the center of the collage to compliment the bright frames on the outer edges. There’s nothing to a gallery wall except eyeing it.

I laid all my frames out on the floor in front of this wall and placed each frame where I wanted it to go before hanging them, and it still somehow came out different than it had looked, but I ran with it and fit things in as needed until it looked right.

I also did a huge InstaStory as I decorated this wall and people found it really helpful. If you want to see things like that and my daily cup of coffee (I mean, who doesn’t want to miss THAT?!), click here to follow me on Instagram.

Is clutter your real problem? Been there!

Check out Your Uncluttered Home, my globally-praised online decluttering course for moms.

I'll walk you through the A-Z of minimalism for every room in your home.

Let's get you simplified so you can walk into a home you love and stop spending your weekends catching up on cleaning!

4. Fill space with oversized art.

We scored this Pottery Barn bicycle art from Brian’s dad when he was moving a few years ago. My old timer Instagram followers know it’s my staple piece. It’s so big that it instantly fills an entire wall in an empty space when we move and makes the room come together and feel “lived in”. You can score oversized art at estate sales, online, thrift stores, garage sales, really anywhere that fits your budget. Just keep your eye out for the perfect piece.

You can also make your own oversized art (maybe not as big as the bike canvases….) for super cheap! I talked all about how I did that for the main wall in our bedroom, and you can even view my tutorial by reading this post. 

Chandelier: World Market

5. Swap the statement rental pieces that aren’t a big deal to put back when you leave.

When will landlords and rental companies start decorating in ways that fit most styles?? It’s always either outdated or severely contemporary- so not my style. When I come into a new rental, Two things I almost always do is swap the blinds for curtains (or put curtains over the blinds to hide them), and store whatever hideous pendant light they have hanging in the dining area and replace it with a statement piece that fits my style.

6. Base your decor on how the room will be used.

Hanging plants (fake): IKEA
Sofa: IKEA
Fur blanket: IKEA
Throw pillows: Target
Basket: Target
White bookshelf: handmade by my hubby

My style tends to shift slightly depending on what the room I’m decorating will be used for. For example, my living room is much cozier than my office. In my office, I need to be inspired and feel productive, so I opt for lots more white, lots of clean lines, less color, and less coziness.

7. If the kids share a room, keep everything neutral, but sneak in personal touches.

In our last house, my kids all shared one huge room even though they had the option of splitting up a little. In this rental, we decided they’d keep sharing one room so that we could make an apartment work for a few months while still having a workspace to run the business. We ordered double bunk beds, and to keep things from looking chaotic in a tiny space, I got them all matching white quilts.

To bring each of my kids’ personalities into the room, I let them pick out their bed sheets while we were at Target. The Pillowfort Kids line is to die for! Each child has their own set of sheets, so when they pull back the covers to crawl in for the night, it feels a little more them and not just a neutral white zone without personality.

Throw pillows: Target
Floral sheets: Urban Outfitters
Side table: Target
Macrame wall hanging: Target
Curtains: IKEA
Reading light: Target
Planter: Target
Headboard: IKEA
Printables: made by me

Note: I get asked a lot if having white is a pain to keep clean with four kids in the house. My answer is always that it’s actually easier. Kids spill no matter what, and knowing that I can throw some bleach in the wash and easily get every stain out is much more comforting than a patterned or colored piece that I’d have to be careful stain-treating.

8. Use temporary tricks.

There are so many more options for making a rental look more like you nowadays. If your rental isn’t as temporary as ours, you can really go crazy! Use these anti-mold subway tile stickers to cover an ugly backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom (we used these in our camper and they’re great!), put this peel and stick wallpaper to give a room more personality. These items won’t damage your place when you remove it and it makes it feel SO much better!

A temporary home with details you don’t exactly like (like brown carpet) doesn’t mean you have to just grin and bear it until you move. You can make any rental look beautiful and put your personal touch on it without causing damage you’ll pay for later.

Is clutter your real problem? Been there!

Check out Your Uncluttered Home, my globally-praised online decluttering course for moms.

I'll walk you through the A-Z of minimalism for every room in your home.

Let's get you simplified so you can walk into a home you love and stop spending your weekends catching up on cleaning!

How to Make Your Own Modern Wall Printables

My decorating style is super simple, so when it comes to wall art, I walk on the minimal side. Less is more!

I also love words (I’m a writer, so, makes sense) and want them all over my house, so last year when I was redecorating, I started looking for ways to implement them.

The first thing I did was put together a wall of inspirational words for my office. I spend a lot of time in here first thing in the morning, and sometimes coffee and powerful reminders are the only things keeping me focused!

I wanted to keep things black and white and super simple. This is an office for a minimalist, after all, and I feel distracted when I’m surrounded by visual clutter.

Some of these prints were found on Etsy, but I made most of them myself. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, and so many options were way too colorful for what I wanted to do in this room.

I decided that I’m not totally inept and could probably make my own simple wall art.

How to Make Simple Printables

Option 1: Google Drive (or similar program you prefer)

Option 2: Canva

I still wanted another way to bring words into our home, specifically in the master bedroom. I wanted something that was different from what I did in the office.

Our wedding song was “Yellow” by Coldplay, and it’s always been really special to us. Brian once figured out how to play it on his guitar and took me to a hilltop on date night and performed it for me (sweetest. ever), we played it in the car to calm down as we waited for a very scary doctor appointment to start, we’ve danced in the living room to it… it’s just one of those super special songs.

I really wanted something to fill the space above our headboard, but it needed to be pretty big… a couple of wall prints wasn’t gonna cut it. I’d heard that you could get things printed on construction-sized paper for super cheap, so I thought I’d give it a try. Most places I saw info about oversized printables mentioned going to Staples because it only cost like five bucks. However, we lived in Arkansas at the time and didn't have a Staples anywhere near us, so I went to FedEx to see what they could do for me.

I had already bought some simple black frames in the size I wanted, so I brought them with me and asked if they could please print my files to fit the frames.

I got three 22x34 prints for less than nine dollars. I was pretty happy with that.

The only issue I ran into was that I had overestimated what would fit nicely in this space, and only needed two. I put the third one in the master bathroom :)

How to Make Your Own Oversized Prints

1. Follow the same instructions for the first tutorial (I made my oversized prints in Google Drive. I haven’t tried these ones in Canva yet).

2. At FedEx (or somewhere similar near you), bring a USB with your file(s) on it and ask them to print in the appropriate size. It was super simple for the FedEx guy to print my stuff according to the frames I had in hand, so I’d suggest having those with you!

Other Helpful Tips + Links

For fonts and graphics, I shop at Creative Market.

My favorite minimalist frames can be found here.

If you’d rather buy your printables, I always use Pinterest and Etsy to find mine!

For a tutorial on how to use your downloaded fonts in Canva, click here.

For a tutorial on how to use your downloaded fonts in Google Drive, click here.

Decorating your walls can be really intimidating (and expensive), but don’t let that keep you from having a home that makes you smile when you walk in. That’s really important!

Leave any questions for me in the comment section below!