Six Ways My Husband and I Pursue Friendship in Our Marriage

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I want to answer a question that I get asked a lot: How do Brian and I pursue friendship in our marriage?

First off, I want to start out by saying that Brian and I are not “marriage experts.” We have discussions and disagreements all the time. I never want to come across like we have it all together or we never have problems. 

We got married young and it was really hard. We’ve had totally awful fights and, in the beginning of our marriage, we had a lot of BIG problems caused by immature things. We’ve come a long way, but it still feels weird to talk about something that I know we’re not the best at. 

Having a good marriage has been a struggle and something we’ve really worked for. We have a very REAL marriage. We are not perfect. But we do really love each other and we are friends. 

And I just want to speak to that because I believe that any couple can cultivate a friendship with a little work. I mean marriage is already work so why not focus on working to be friends with your spouse? 

There have been times when Brian and I have really had to work on our friendship. There have been times when we’ve had to recreate it because it was ruined by words, situations, or us just growing apart.

So, be encouraged if you’re in a distant place in your relationship. You can make it back. You can be friends. 

To give you guys a little inspiration, Brian and I sat down together and jotted down a few things that we believe have helped us create an air of friendship in our marriage.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. But I hope what we share will inspire and encourage you to start pursuing a healthy friendship with your spouse. 

#1 We Search for Common Ground 

When we were younger, we liked a lot of the same things. We liked the same music, we had the same friend group, we had a lot in common. 

Over the years, those commonalities have changed. We don’t like the same music anymore. We actually have really different tastes in music now (among other things). 

We’ve just changed since we were teenagers. So, we’ve needed to revisit what we have in common. What do we enjoy doing together? 

For example, we are both “dinner and conversation daters.” We don’t really like “adventure dating.” 

We would rather go to the same restaurant every week and just talk and catch up. That is something we have in common now and it is something that contributes to our marriage and friendship. 

#2 We Compromise

We’re both pretty good at compromising. Sometimes that looks like trying to find movies we both like and watching those together. Sometimes it looks like Brian watching the chick flick with me or me watching a movie he picked with him. It’s about doing something just because the other person likes it. 

Listen, it’s OK to hate something the other person likes, but find some common ground. Be willing to compromise. Find compromises in each other’s favorite things and do those together. 

#3 We Keep Learning About Each Other

This sounds a bit cheesy but Brian and I sometimes do those fun quizzes where you ask each other things about yourselves. It’s so fun and refreshing to go over those things again...especially when it feels like you’ve known each other for so long and you probably know everything. 

A lot of the time we learn new things about each other because spoiler: people change! 

So, even though I know what Brian’s answers would have been six years ago, they have more than likely changed since then. 

There is always growth and change, and you want to constantly be learning about the other person. 

For example, I might ask Brian, “What’s one thing you really thought you would have done by now but you haven’t yet?” Learning little things like that can be intriguing and fun.

#4 We Create A Lot of Alone Time Together

We are really religious about having date nights outside the house. But even at the end of the day, we’ll sit down with each other, away from the kids, and talk. 

This is actually where we started quizzing each other and asking each other questions. We create the space to have conversations and spend time together—just the two of us. 

#5 We Connect Even When We’re Apart 

We used to spend a lot of time apart because of Brian’s job. We didn’t see each other much because he worked 12–14 hour days, 6 days a week. But we were always communicating. 

We were texting each other, sharing jokes, sharing little bits of our days, just constantly talking and connecting. 

We still do that, even though it’s not quite so hard now since we work together and spend our days together. 

But take whatever your day looks like and apply this. It could even be something small. Email. Text. Leave a voicemail. Write a note. Just connect in some way. 


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#6 We Treat Each Other Like Friends

How do friends act? What do they do for each other? How are they with each other? Well, friends have coffee, they check in with each other, and they talk about issues with tact and respect. 

It is so easy to get comfortable and let anything and everything fly out of your mouth. But in a healthy friendship you would talk about what’s bothering you in a healthy way.

This has been one of the hardest lessons for us as a couple. I’m very sensitive. If Brian says anything, even if it’s in love, I just feel smashed. 

On the opposite end, I’m also really blunt and have a hard time guarding my words. I’m just really honest. It physically bothers me to not say what I’m thinking, especially with Brian because we are so close. 

And I’m not saying you don’t talk about issues. We are very open with each other. 

But we try to be careful in the way we bring up an issue. Handling things like we would with a good friend—with tact and respect, saying things in love, maybe even waiting for a better time. 

Those are the main ways that Brian and I have pursued friendship in our marriage. These are the ones that stood out to us the most when we were thinking of how we have grown and nourished a healthy friendship.

We feel like having that piece of friendship is a really important part of our marriage. And we believe it’s something that every couple can have. 

It’s such a relief to know you have your best friend by your side for the worst situations, scariest nights, and most stressful days. I want that for you because I know how awesome and good it is. 

So, grab a sitter and schedule a date night. Or put the kids to bed early (they can handle it, ignore the whines) and carve out some space for you and your hubby to really connect. 

Maybe print this blog post out and use it for reference. Have a conversation. Express that you want to be friends. And then roll up your sleeves and work at it. 

It doesn’t come easy. But what does? I promise you it’s worth it.


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The 5 Elements of My Evening Routine and Tips to Create Your Own

I cannot stress enough how much routines and rhythms matter. I feel like I say this all the time but I am a big believer in routines—especially morning and evening routines. 

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time you know (or I hope you know, at least) that I’m not about having this super rigid, controlled life. I’m about making sure that our lives have purpose and we’re setting ourselves up for success. Having routines and rhythms in place help you structure your days so that they work for you.

 Your days don’t have to just happen to you

To be clear, it’s important to make sure all your routines work for you and your life. What works for me may not work for you. But, I hope that by sharing with you the different elements of my (very flexible) evening routine, you’ll find inspiration to create your own routine that works for you and the season of life you’re in.


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Want a simple checklist to help simplify your evening routine? I’ve got you! My free workbook has some questions to help you sort through what’s important, and a checklist to get you going.


This doesn’t have to be rigid. It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Play around with it. If something isn’t working, tweak it or throw it out. It may take time to figure out what works for you. That’s okay! 

My evening routine ebbs and flows. It’s not as structured as my morning routine because of the season of life I’m in. So, just listen to yourself and find what works for you. 

The 5 Elements of  My Evening Routine 

#1 End of Day Pickup 

Our evening routine starts with cleanup and everybody pitches in, even the young kids. We make sure the sink is clean and the kitchen is shiny for the next day because walking into a dirty kitchen first thing in the morning can really set the mood for your whole day.   

My kids do the dishes now (which is amazing and I give all the praise hands). I want to encourage those of you with really little ones, it  does get better. You’re not always going to be the only one doing everything. When my kids were babies and toddlers they couldn’t help. We were living in survival mode then. So, don’t give up if you’re still in the survival stage. It gets better. I promise. 

After we clean the kitchen, we do a general pickup of the house. We clean the floors, the bathrooms, and we put away anything that was left out during the day, like the kids’ toys. 

This isn’t a deep clean. We don’t have the cleaning supplies out, we’re not wiping down baseboards or detailing the bathrooms. This is just a general pickup. We’re just straightening things up so we start the next day with a clean slate. 

#2 Kids’ Bedtime Routine 

Once we’re finished with our family pickup, we head upstairs and the kids get ready for bed. They use my bathroom because our tub is amazing and huge. So, while the kids are in the bath, I clean our bathroom. 

It doesn’t usually need very much, but I’ll run the Swiffer Vac and pick up any hairs that fall on the floor (that’s one of my pet peeves, I think it’s so gross when there’s hair on the floor). I’ll wipe down the counters. Sometimes I’ll get into the cabinets and do a little purge. It’s just something productive to do while the kids are getting clean. 

Once the kids are out of the bath, they brush their teeth and pick out their clothes for the next day. Then we get ready to get tucked in. We have story time, prayers, a little conversation to catch up on the day and then it’s “goodnight” and lights out. 

The younger kids do have an earlier bedtime than the older kids, but at this point in the evening everyone is in their rooms. The younger kids are asleep and the older kids play quietly or read together for another 45 mins to an hour and then they go to sleep. 

#3 Finish Up Any Lingering Work/Tasks 

This is the time when Brian and I will finish anything that’s lingering on the to-do list.

If we’re in a season where the workload is really heavy, sometimes the house just gets a little extra behind during those times so, we’ll need to finish up some things in the house. 

Or if the to-do list business related, we’ll pull out our laptops, sit on the couch together with a glass of wine, we’ll talk things through, play music, and wrap up any work. 

#4 Netflix and Chill 

If we don’t have any tasks to finish up (which is usually the case) Brian and I will just sit and spend time together. We’ll watch Netflix or just hang out with each other. 

On Sunday nights, we have our weekly meeting where we go over and plan for the upcoming week. So, it depends on what night it is and what’s going on in our lives during that month. 

#5 Plan Ahead 

Before I go to bed, I pick out what I’m going to wear the next day and lay it out on my dresser. I’ll put my exercise clothes in the bathroom so when I’m roll out of bed, I can go ahead and slip them on. 

This means in the morning I’m not fumbling around trying to find my workout shoes. I’m not having to make all these decisions right when I wake up. I already know what I’m going to wear, what I’m going to do with my hair, that I’m going to workout this morning. 

I try to make as many decisions as I can the night before so that I start out the morning really well and not overwhelmed and experiencing decision fatigue before my day even really starts. 

I’ll also set out my mug and set it next to my coffee machine. I put a fresh coffee pod in there as well so all I have to do is push the button in the morning. I make sure my Bible, my journal, a pen, and whatever I’m currently reading is laid out for me downstairs in the area where I have my quiet time. 

I usually go to bed around 10 p.m. If it’s that time of the month and I’m having PMS, I might be extra tired and go to bed earlier. I really try to listen to my body during those times. 

I still enjoy my quiet time when the kids are in bed, I still get time with Brian. I can still watch Netflix, or be alone, or get things done if I need to. I don’t feel like I’m cutting myself off by going to bed at 10. 

When you’re creating an evening routine the most important thing is to think about what’s going to set you up for a successful morning.

What do you need to get done before your day gets going? Is there anything you could do at night instead of using your morning time to get it done? What is going to make you excited to get up in the morning? 

What motivates me to stick to my morning routine is knowing that I’m going to have quiet time—by myself—when the kids are still asleep (and all the mamas say ‘amen’)! And I get to have that quiet time largely because I set myself up for it the night before. 

So, just write it all out. What would you love to do in the morning? What do you need to get done at night to give yourself that gift of a great morning? 

Listen my beautiful friend, this really matters. This isn’t about shame. It isn’t about a rigid schedule with no room for spontaneity. It isn’t about being Type A because I am fo’ sho’ Type B. 

This is about setting yourself up for success,...for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day so you can handle whatever the rest of the day throws at you. 

You have the ability to live a purposeful, abundant life. You have the ability to give your family the gift of functioning effectively. 

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all. This is your family, this is your life, and this is your routine. 

You are a total boss babe. You have the power to own your evenings so that you can own your days. 


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7 Simple Tips to Help You Stop Over-Complicating Exercise

I don’t think there’s anything on earth that has been more blown out of proportion and over-complicated than exercise.

People obsess over the form, the type, and the amount of exercise they should be doing. They spend all this time reading books on the topic all while procrastinating the actual task of exercising.

And there’s nothing wrong with learning about exercise. You guys know I love research. I research everything. If you want to read up and be informed about fitness, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s not what I’m saying.

The problem is when research keeps you from taking action. When you read books instead of working out. When you over-complicate it so much that you never get out of “learning mode” and into “action mode.”

Imma be real and tell you that I spent a lot of time overcomplicating fitness. Like a lot. It has always been a struggle for me. I spent years overthinking it and staying 40-50 pounds overweight. I was overanalyzing it so much that I just stood still and did nothing. I didn’t take any action.

I always envied women who loved exercise and would make it to the gym every single day no matter what. I’m just not that person. I’ve never loved any form of exercise. And even now I’ve got ones that I do that are my favorites, but I still don’t love them. I don’t look forward to doing any form of exercise.

So, I want you to know that I’ve been there. I understand. But in order to change our lives, we’ve got to be action-taking women. Change isn’t just going to happen because we wish it, or we read it in a book. We’ve got to actually do the thing.

When I finally started taking action, I didn’t do anything major. I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t start running. I just started to move for 10–30 minutes every day. That’s it.

And guess what? I healed my body. I healed my leaky gut syndrome and my adrenal fatigue.

Exercise is a good thing. It’s not my favorite thing, but it’s a good thing. Exercise decreases stress, improves sex (who doesn’t want that???), improves mood, teaches you to love your body, and so much more. Exercise has too many benefits to not do it. And trust me when I say that it doesn’t have to be complicated.


Need a little motivation to get started? I’ve got some journal prompts for you!


To prove it to you, I’ve put together a little list of ideas to inspire you and to help you stop over-thinking fitness and start moving your body. These are things that have worked for me and I know have worked for other people as well.

#1: Decide to Do It

This may seem basic, but if you don’t decide you’re going to do something, you won’t do it. You know you want.

You’ve got to wake up every single day with no excuses. Just get it done. No excuses. Decide you’re going to do some form of exercise, and then be intentional to make your body move every single day.

#2: Take a Walk

Set a timer and take a 20–minute walk around your neighborhood. Or you can even walk around your house. Pace back and forth or walk up and down your stairs while you listen to some music. Pop in your headphones and listen to one of my podcasts. Here’s one I did with my friend, Robin Long from the The Balanced Life, where we talked about food, exercise and perfectionism.

#3: Have a Dance Party with Your Kid(s)

Turn on some loud music and have a living room dance party with your kid(s) while dinner’s cooking on the stove. Even two songs are almost 10 minutes long and dancing is a great for your whole body.

#4: Throw Out the All or Nothing Mentality

Exercising for just 10 minutes is so powerful. 10 minutes is better than no minutes. You can do anything for 10 minutes.

Do arm dips on bar of the tub while your kids are in the bath. Do squats while you’re loading the dishwasher. Do leg raises while you’re watching Netflix.

If you were to do intentional movement for 10 minutes a day, you would see a difference in your mood, you would feel better and more confident, you’d make better food choices. You would notice the change.

The point is to just keep moving throughout the day (and we moms are pretty good at that already, am I right?) Start thinking, “How can I sit less? How can I change?” And then just do whatever you can to move.

#5: Make Movement a Rhythm

Ask yourself where in your day or week you can fit in a new rhythm. For example, every time you listen to the Purpose Show on Wednesdays, take the kids for a long walk.

Decide that you’re going to take a walk in the morning and make it a rhythm. I’m always talking to you guys about the importance of developing rhythms and exercise is a huge one!


Need help finding the time to exercise? I’ve got you, girl. Start with The Time-Blocking Mom Workbook. You budget your money. Start budgeting your time LIKE A BOSS!

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#6: Buy Noise-Cancelling Headphones  

If you’re a person who gets frustrated by a lot of noise or sibling bickering in the background while you’re trying to get your workout done, get you some noise-cancelling headphones.

Obviously don’t use headphones if you have a baby or little toddler who needs you to pay attention. But if your kids are old enough to be okay with you having headphones in and one of them would know to come and get you if something were to happen, then pop those headphones in. Do your workout, put some music on, and just zone out for a few minutes.

#7: Ditch the Excuses

If it’s winter and it’s freezing, bundle up. If it’s raining, have an inside dance party in the living room. If you’re PMSing, follow a yoga video on YouTube.

You can make excuses for anything and before you know it years have passed and nothing’s changed. So just stop. People who meet goals, the doers out there, they don’t have excuses.

For example, when I hurt my ankle, it would have been easy for me to just be like, “Oh, I can’t exercise. Oh well, I don’t really like it that much anyway.” But you know what? I didn’t. I went to yoga classes and I opted out of the positions that hurt my ankle.

No excuses.

The kids can come with you. You can do it while they nap. They can be watched by someone else. You can go to a gym. You can go for a walk.

There people who make stuff happen and are constantly moving forward in their lives, don’t have excuses. Be like those people.  

You can make this happen. You can be fit. You can be healthy. I know, “Make it happen,” is so over-said, but that’s because it’s true. It can be done.

You’re in charge. You’re an action-taking, problem-solving, bad-a** woman and that type of woman knows she has the power to make things happen. So, listen to me, warrior-woman, it’s time to get moving and change your life.  





5 Types of Hard-To-Kick Clutter & How To Handle Them

Decluttering is my main jam. I love helping women do this in their homes because it matters so much more than people even realize.

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For women, specifically, there are a lot of negative effects of having clutter. One study even linked having a cluttered home to feeling unhappy in your family in general.

That’s powerful. That tells me that all of our stuff is bothering us and it’s affecting us in a big way.

That’s why I’m so passionate about helping women go through their homes and remove the excess. I want you left with only the things that are serving you and your families and contributing to a joyful and full life.

Having said that, I know that there are things that are hard to declutter. I get it. I’ve been there and I want to help you make good decisions so that you can keep making progress.

So, let’s look at five areas that can really trip you up when it comes to decluttering and how to push through them.

#1 Sentimental items

Typically, when people realize the role that clutter plays in their lives, they’re ready to make a change. So they get going and they’re doing great but then they find the bin of sentimental keepsakes and they just feel stumped.

How can you let go of the sweet, little dress that your daughter wore when she was dedicated at church? Or the photo of the positive pregnancy test from the baby that you miscarried? How do you get rid of the things that really tug on your heartstrings

What classifies as clutter versus something that is sentimental and truly a keepsake? How do you make the decision?

If you’ve been around here for more than ten minutes you know that I’m not about rules. I’m definitely not going to give you anything like that because this is different for every person.

If you get stuck on something sentimental, I encourage you to skip that area and move on. Go work on your bathroom or a bookshelf in the living room.

Declutter something else for now. Come back when you’ve been at this for a bit longer and you’ve seen the positive effects of letting go of clutter.

What happens is, as you evolve in this area in your life with getting rid of things, you grow. You evolve. You change.

You see that this really makes a difference. Keeping only what is serving you well makes you happy. That makes letting go of things less and less difficult as you go.

And once you declutter one or two sentimental things, it will get even easier because you have seen that you’ve let go of something that was special to you and nothing bad happened.

Please remember that letting go of physical possessions doesn’t mean that you are letting go of memories. On the other hand, it is OK to keep some things too. I think the line is when you have a bunch of bins full of “memories” that you are storing away because you are avoiding making decisions.

I created for you a free worksheet on minimalism and sentimental items that will give you more in-depth tips for letting go of keepsakes.

 
 

WANT TO KNOW WHAT TO KEEP AND WHAT TO LET GO? LET ME SEND YOU A FREE GUIDE SO YOU CAN MAKE DECISIONS A LITTLE EASIER, MAMA!

 
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#2 Your kids toys

First of all, don’t declutter your kids’ toys without them unless they are super young, like under age 3. If they are older than that, have them join you, even if it makes it more difficult and the process a lot slower.

Kids can really feel violated and mistrust you if you throw away their stuff without them knowing. That’s not what we want.

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Start by having your kids pick out ten things they don’t play with anymore. Explain that there are so many children that don’t have toys and they would love it if they shared with them. Then, bag up the donations together and go to the donation center with your kids.

Make it a really happy, exciting thing so they don’t feel like they’re getting punished. This can teach them empathy and give them solid reasoning behind letting go of their stuff.

If your kids are having a hard time letting go of things, give them time. Go through the rest of your house and show them by example what letting go and minimalism looks like and let them follow in their own time.

#3 Your wardrobe

Letting go of your clothes is really hard when you’re a mom. You have bought clothes throughout different seasons of motherhood and body shapes. You can really easily - and understandably - not want to get rid of something that you might end up needing later.

But don’t get stuck in that fear. Go into your closet and look and get honest with yourself. What looks fantastic on you right now? Keep it. Everything else should probably go in the donation pile.

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Having a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit, used to fit, or that you want to fit you someday is not serving you at all. It is actually, subconsciously, making you really unhappy every time you get dressed.

Only keep in your closet what looks fantastic and what makes you feel great right now. Because that’s what you deserve.

A quick note on maternity clothes. If you are planning to get pregnant again, hold onto them. We are not looking to throw things out and waste money deliberately if you know you will use it again.

#4 Your husband’s stuff

Probably the top question I get is “how do I get my husband on board with this?” My answer is this: you don’t. He is his own separate person. Leave him alone.

If you start purging his stuff while he is at work he is going to resent you for it and hate minimalism forever. Leave his stuff alone if he hasn’t given you permission to declutter for him.

Find that sweet spot for yourself and let your husband be. In the end, he may come around like mine did.

The same rule applies with your in-laws, your parents, your friends and the people who come to your kids’ birthday parties.

#5 Paperwork

Go through your house with an empty box and collect all the stray paperwork that you can find. Then set aside some time to go through it.

You can pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, turn on Netflix, whatever. But sit and sort through it all.

Make decisions about every piece of paper you pick up. Don’t allow yourself to start a “not sure” pile or an “I’ll deal with this later” pile.

If it’s something that your husband needs to look at and he’s not there, you can put it aside for him. But I would encourage you to set aside time to sort through paperwork when he is with you so you don’t find a reason or an excuse to put it aside for later.

It’s OK to make piles but don’t make a bunch of random piles that could have been eliminated if you had just made decisions.

I know these areas can be hard to tackle. I know it can feel overwhelming but I hope I have helped to simplify the overwhelm.

The truth is that if you don’t take power over your stuff, you are giving your stuff power over you.

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7 Ways You Can Treat Yo’self for Free

 
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Hey, where my mamas at?? Let’s have a little real talk.

Isn’t it so hard sometimes to pamper yourself without feeling guilty?!

We think, “Oh, I can’t get my nails done because we really can’t afford that right now.” Or “I would love to grab coffee from Starbucks but it’s like $75 for a tall (small) and that’s not in the budget.” Or “The kids need shoes more than I need a night out.” And we just let ourselves make it seem impossible. We let ourselves stay in the burnout.

For most of us going out and spending an exorbitant amount of cash on self-indulgence isn’t realistic. In some seasons it’s not even an option. Been. There.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t treat ourselves at all. Mamas need love too! Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup! We just have to be a little more creative sometimes in how the cup gets filled back up.

Because I love you and I strongly believe moms need self-care, I’ve put together 7 Ways You Can Treat Yo’self for FREE! Now you have no excuses, friend! I’ve done the brainstorming for you ;)

Take. A. Frickin. Nap.

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For moms, sleep is a long-lost friend and a cherished memory. There are probably not many of us who actually get the recommended hours of sleep each night. We’re up before the sun and we don’t stop until long after it goes down.

Some of us work outside the home, some of us work inside the home—either way, we’re all working our butts off all day long. It’s a lot.

Taking a quick 30-minute nap during the day will have you feeling like a QUEEN. Or at least like a functioning human.

If you’re home during the day, set the kids in front of the tv. I promise it won’t fry their brains to watch Netflix for 30 mins. If you work outside the home, go out to your car on your lunch break, roll the windows down, lean the seat back, (set an alarm) and nap! You will wake up feeling so refreshed and like a million bucks!

Take a Hot Shower or Bubble Bath

Remember the days when you stayed in the shower until the hot water ran out? What a life, am I right? When you’ve got little kids, a hot shower can feel like an impossibility. You basically feel like you won a gold medal if you can wash the shampoo out of your hair.

It sounds ridiculous because, you know, we all deserve to be clean. But it’s true! It’s like kids have this radar that tells them that you’re about to do something by yourself and all of a sudden, they need all the things.

If your kids are really little and can’t be unsupervised for any amount of time, then wait until dad comes home. And don’t feel bad letting him watch the kids by himself for a little while. Sure, he worked all day, but you did too.

He’s a grown man, who (probably) has a job with a lot of responsibilities. He’s capable of watching your kids and you need to trust him. Plus, it’s great bonding time with daddy!

Side note: most husbands really do want their wives to feel good and they want to help with their children. So, just tell him what you need and then go take an hour-long soak in the tub.

If you’re single-mommin’ it. Call a friend or your mom to come watch the kids for 30 mins to an hour. Or, if that’s not possible, set them up in your room with toys or a movie, turn on the baby monitor and “Treat Yo’self!”

Netflix and Chill… By Yo’self! #livinthedream

After the kids go to bed, pour yourself a glass of wine—or a cup of coffee— get comfy on the couch and watch an episode or two (or ten) of a show that doesn’t include a talking animal. Talk about feeling like a new woman!

Olivia Pope will have you walking away feeling like you know how to handle your bizness!

Go For a Walk

Fresh air, mama. You need it. It can be so easy to find yourself stuck inside all day. Especially if you work outside the home.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom and your kids are little enough, strap them in a stroller, pop in some earbuds, and take a walk around the neighborhood. Or if your kids are older, let them ride bikes or walk in front of you. Either way, they’re not allowed to bother you for the duration of the walk. Unless it’s an emergency. They can handle it.

If you work outside the home, find a safe park or neighborhood near your office and walk during your lunch break. Listen to a podcast, here’s one of mine on self-care. ;)

This is also considered exercise so, look achoo workin’ out and stuff!

Read a (Good) Book

It doesn’t always have to be an educational/self-help book. Find a good piece of fiction. It’s fun, it’s stretches your imagination, inspires creativity, and is actually proven to make you a more compassionate person.

Books are great because they can transport you to another place or time. Who doesn’t wish they could be someone or somewhere else every once in a while?

Give Yourself a Mani/Pedi

You don’t have to go to the salon and spend $40 to get your nails done. Grab your favorite color polish and give your fingers and toes some love.

It’s not quite as good as having someone else do it, but you’ll feel better when your toes are pretty! ;)

Go for a Drive.

I used to do this all the time when my husband worked a lot. I would get my kids in their pajamas, put them in their car seats, and go for a drive.

They would be asleep in minutes and I would have the car ride to listen to music, pray, or just think. Basically, it was uninterrupted alone time.

This could work if it’s raining outside too. Wait until naptime, strap your kids in the car, and go for a long drive.

Write in Your Journal

There is something so therapeutic about getting everything in your head down onto a sheet of paper. Light some candles, pour a hot cup of coffee, and just have some quiet time. Write down your feelings, your dreams, and what you’re learning.

 
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Here’s some Loving Your Body Better Journal Prompts because we could all do that a little better!

 

It’s so easy to make excuses when it comes to treating ourselves. We’re too busy, money’s too tight, the kids are too little. Or if we do, we end up feeling guilty because we could have done something else with that money.

Stop it now. No one is forcing us to feel that way and we shouldn’t.

So grab some chocolate, pour some wine, and TREAT YO’SELF!


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THE SUPERMOM VAULT

A LIBRARY OF INSPIRATION

  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired

4 Reasons Why - No Matter What's Going On - You Need to Declutter Your Home Now

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When it comes to decluttering, so many people get stuck on the hurdles that come up in the process that they procrastinate and never actually take action to kick the clutter.

These hurdles can be tiny or big - it doesn’t matter - the point is, they let a problem get in their way and either stop them in the middle of their progress or keep them from ever diving in and starting.

And I get it. When I tackled all the clutter in my house years ago, it was the worst time for me.

I had three kids under age three. I was seriously struggling with depression and all I wanted to do was go to bed and turn on Netflix.

I had no money, an overwhelming house, my marriage was a mess and Brian was not on board with minimalism.

I had every reason not to do this. I had every single excuse and everything stacked against me. And yet, I did it.

I don’t talk about this stuff for nothing. This isn’t just something that I randomly do or that I just like talking about or that I’m just good at. This stuff really matters.

When I realized that my stuff didn’t have to own me. That I could put it in its place and simplify. That I could focus on what actually matters and live my life instead of cleaning up after it all the time, everything changed for me.

And it breaks my heart when I see people not understanding that. I get that life is really busy, really full and there’s a lot of different things pulling at your focus and attention.

But the reward is so great! And I want that for you. I want your freedom for you.

And so I decided to write your ‘why’ for you. I’m literally writing 4 reasons why - no matter what’s going on - you need to declutter your home NOW!

  1. Materialism is directly related to depression.

In an article published by Leaf Van Boven at the University of Colorado, it’s stated that investing financial resources in experiences makes people happier than investing in material possessions. Van Boven basically came to find that materialism is directly linked to narcissism and depression. That’s pretty heavy.

Ready to ditch survival mode?

  • Narrow in on your why behind decluttering

  • Throw away twenty things right now

  • Discover how to simplify the two biggest time-suckers: dishes and laundry. 

Download my fan-favorite Clear the Clutter Starter Kit for free!

2. Your home is meant to be a haven (and it can be)

There was another study done by Darby Saxby and Rena Rapetti published by Sage Publications called “No Place Like Home.”

Here’s a quote I pulled from it: “The home can be a place to unwind from the work day, but when housework and home repairs compete for the attention of time-strapped, working parents, home can become more of a source of demands than a haven from the outside world.”

Who’s feeling like they want to raise their hands?  Who feels like your home is a giant chore list instead of a shelter from the outside world?

What can we do to make our homes more of a haven for ourselves, our husbands and our children?

The answer: Create less work. That’s why I’m so hard hitting about minimalism. Because how you feel about your home is how you feel about your life in general.

3. Less housework (can I get an amen)?

A study done at Harvard University stated that “eliminating clutter would cut housework by 40%.”

How would your life even look if you had 40% less housework every day? That’s a whole lot less of a burden on you.

Just let that sink in.

4. You’ll be happier

Another study that I talk about all the time was done at UCLA and it found that the more stuff that’s in a woman’s house the higher her level of the stress hormone cortisol. The study found that women subconsciously relate how happy they are with their home life and family to how they feel about their house.

So the more clutter and chaos in the home, the less happy the woman was with her family and her life.

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IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR #MOMLIFE

You’re the hero in your story, sweets. You’ve just been bogged down by STUFF + STRESS.

I’m ready to put you on a better path - the path to PEACE! Let’s do this.

Your Uncluttered Home is an online course to help you clear the clutter, reduce your stress, and create more space for what matters.

Wow.

There’s your ‘why.’ There’s four reasons you need to get serious about the stuff that’s taking up space in your home.  

If you’re coming up with excuses, I want to give you a pep talk and just tell you to stop overcomplicating this. You know exactly what the problem is and you know exactly what the solution is.

Stop overcomplicating it and just do it.

If you’re having trouble finding the time, decide this is a priority. Treat this like it matters.

Even if it’s just 30 minutes a week. It’s something and something is better than nothing.

10 minutes is better than no minutes.

Start somewhere that’s sucking up a lot of your time and energy. Maybe that’s your kitchen. Start with the dishes.

Simplify. All you need is a dish per person. Let the rest go.

Or start somewhere really easy like the bathroom.  Let that be an easy ‘yes’ and ‘no’ area and build the momentum you need to keep going.

Eventually you will get to the other side where you can say,”Wow, things are lighter.” And you’re going to be in maintenance mode and it’s going to be awesome.

Please let this serve as your big ‘why’ and let it push you forward and just start.

Life is short. And it can be so good and so purposeful. But you’ve gotta decide that it’s worth it.

Clean out the clutter and start living your life. Because you’re happiness is worth the work.  






Everything You Need to Know to Simplify Your Life Right Now

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Hey mama! Did you know that I have a podcast called The Purpose Show?

If you did, I’m giving you all  the high-fives; if you didn’t, I’m still giving you all the high-fives but also a love-push to go check out my podcast!

I just recently recorded the 100th episode, which is still just so surreal to me and I can’t even believe. Like what is my life?

If you’re new to podcasts, they’re kind of like a radio show—it’s all audio. You can download the episodes from iTunes, the Podcast app (if you have an iPhone), and there are other apps that you can listen from also. Or you can check it out on my website, I post them all here!

Each episode covers a different topic—kind of like the audio version of a blog. Most of the episodes actually have what we call “show notes” so they can be read like a blog post if reading’s more your thing ;)


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Real quick, let me tell you something NEW and FREE I’ve put together for you! I promise it’s totally worth it.

Hassle to Harmony is a five-day video series and, each day, you’ll get a link in your inbox to one short video.

Starting April 8th, each video will cover a different topic:

  • Day 1: Quiet the Noise

  • Day 2: Daily Rhythms

  • Day 3: Weekly Rhythms

  • Day 4: Time Ownership and Shifting Your Mindset

  • Day 5: How to Live with Intent

At the end of each video, there’s a lesson and an action step that will help you start living a life of intent and vision.

It’s only gonna be around for a few days so get in now!


In case you haven’t noticed, The purpose of my podcast—and really of my whole business—is to get you to a point in your motherhood and in your life where you’re living intentionally and abundantly.

And all of that really boils down to simplifying your life and your time. Because (as Annie Dillard says) how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

I am so passionate about this and I feel my purpose—outside of my family—is to help other women experience the joy that comes from a life of less. I’ve pulled together 5 of the most helpful episodes of the Purpose Show to give you the low-down on everything you need to know to simplify your life RIGHT NOW:


Ep 011 - Taking Care of Yourself

Self care is talked about so much in our culture but I don’t think we—especially moms—are actually taking action on it. I mean, what good is it doing us to talk about taking care of ourselves while never actually putting down our to-do list to give ourselves a little t-l-c?

We are so busy looking out for so many other people that we forget that we matter, too! In this episode, I explain why taking care of yourself matters and ways you can fit self-care into your hella-busy schedule.


Ep 031 - An Uncluttered Life

Living an uncluttered life is about more than your physical possessions. It reaches out to your health, your calendar, your obligations, your relationships.

It’s about letting go of excess, saying no to things that don’t serve your family and your purpose, putting boundaries around your relationships and your schedule so that you can live a more joy-filled life.


Ep 020 - Balance and Simplicity for the Busy Family

In today’s culture being “busy” is seen as either a badge of honor or something that is really negative. Like, if you have too much whitespace in your calendar you’re lazy, but if you don’t, you work too hard, ignore your kids, and don’t enjoy your life.

And honestly, I think both views are pretty incorrect. Life is lived in seasons. Some seasons will be busier than others. That’s just the way it is. The key is finding systems and rhythms that will help you in whatever season you’re in to run your life well so it’s not running you!


Ep 065 - The Beginner’s Guide to a Minimalist Home

There is a connection between minimalism and motherhood. It’s scientifically proven that women with cluttered homes tend to be more depressed and anxious. There have been actual studies done on this connection.

So, minimalism is good for you!

But we have to move beyond simply decluttering to truly experience the joy that comes with minimalism. I know that as moms, we have enough things competing for our time and the last thing you need is a rigid cleaning schedule or a list of tasks to check off every day. That’s not what I’m about at all.

Organization is not a real solution. Less stuff is a real solution. I’m giving you the gift of less so that you can enjoy more in your motherhood!


Ep 025 - How to Deal with Negativity from Other People

Good. Lord. It seems like anytime you try to share anything—especially online—someone will find a way to be offended by it. Or they’ll have something critical to say about it.

Negativity is such a prominent thing in our society and the truth is: it’s never going to stop. Some people are just negative and super irritating and they don’t wanna change.

So, we need to set ourselves free from the weight of the opinions of other people and just live how we are called to live. Because when you stop letting negativity affect you, you’ve won.


You can simplify your life. You can have a joy-filled, intentional, abundant life no matter what season of life you’re in right now. This life isn’t for later. It’s for now. It’s for you, sweet mama!

A few years ago, I was practically drowning. In stuff. In obligations. In unhealthy choices. I was not happy. By making these changes, I went from literally struggling to force myself to get out of bed every morning to living my purpose every single day.

I want this for you! Listen to these episodes, read these shownotes, join my Hassle to Harmony video series, then take ACTION. You, mama, are a FORCE and you can change your life!

Ditch the Working Mom Guilt Because You're a Badass

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Let’s talk about mom guilt. It’s a real thing and chances are you’ve felt it. Whether you work full time, part time, outside the home, or from your home, everyone has their own version of guilt surrounding motherhood.  

We don’t want to miss the first moments of our kids’ lives or the activities they’re involved in. We don’t want them to think that all we do is sit on our computers or phones all day working. And we definitely don’t want them to resent us for working.

But work is a part of life. So how do we balance work and life? How do we teach our kids to value good work ethic? How do we deal with our guilt?

Recognize what’s causing Guilt for you.

What is the guilt circling around?

Do you always have guilt around the fact that sometimes you miss your kid’s baseball games? If so, is it possible to find a way to make it to the game? Could you work out with your boss to get those nights off? If you work at home, could you structure your schedule to be finished working by then?

If that’s not a possibility then maybe you should just have an honest talk with your kid and say something like, “I want you to know that I love you. I care and I’m supportive of this activity of yours. I can make it to your Monday night practice, I just can’t make it to your Wednesday night games.”

Honestly, often we can find or create solutions for our mom guilt. We just don’t. We let it feel hopeless and we do nothing so it becomes this lifelong struggle.


Do you want to be an action-taking, problem-solving mom? I’ve got a guide for you!


I think mom guilt is always going to be there in some amount. But if you chronically feel guilt about something then stop, step back and ask yourself what this guilt is circling around and be creative about a solution.

Decide what’s important to you (not anyone else) and prioritize it.

What would break your heart if you missed it? Don’t miss those things. Just remember that you can’t not miss everything.

That’s the only work/life balance you’re going to get because perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a total lie. It’s such a BS and it’s just fueling the working-mom guilt fire.

There will be seasons.

Sometimes work will be busier and you’ll be less present with your family. Sometimes your home and personal life will be busier and you need to dial down your efforts and hours at work.

It’s all give and take. And that’s ok.

Be grateful for your job and focus on feeling joy and satisfaction in your work.

Use positive words when you’re talking about your job. Have a positive vibe and energy around it. Because how you feel, how you react, how you treat you job, is going to be how your kids feel, react to, and treat your job.

Your kids aren’t going to see it as negative, stressful, or make you feel guilty about it if you don’t. And you shouldn’t!

You’re providing for your family. You should be so proud of that. Step into that awesome role and feel good about what you’re doing. It’s a big deal.

And if you love what you do, don’t you dare feel bad about that. That’s so amazing! Step into that and let yourself feel that completely.

What a freaking gift that is! You get to provide for your family while working a job you love. That’s incredible!  

Maybe you’re not super passionate about your job but you like the environment at work and you’re making good money, let yourself feel that joy.

If you don’t love what you do, I would encourage you to look for a different job. Pray about it. Figure out a way to go a different route.

Girl, it’s OK to take breaks

If you work from home or bring work home from your office, it’s OK to take breaks from work and prioritize your kids for five minutes.

I think a lot of us tend to get into this “all or nothing mode” where we feel like we have to finish a task completely before we can spend time with our kids. Nothing has to be “all or nothing” unless you choose for it to be that way.

Don’t feel weird about working on your phone or using tech at home to work.

We live in an awesome time where work can be done from anywhere. So don’t feel guilty about that. Don’t feel weird about it.

Be grateful that you can work on your phone so easily and it’s something you can do anywhere.

It’s OK to bring in some help.

You absolutely cannot do it all. And if you are doing it all, you’ll see that you won’t be doing all of it very well.

So what does that look like for you? Child care — do you need some help with your kids? Housekeeping help — do you need to hire a housekeeper? A meal delivery service? Get creative and think it through.

If finances are a problem, just do what you can. Every time I’ve delegated something, I have more time and energy and I end up making more money because I feel better.

Stop comparing yourself to other people.

Seriously stop.

You’re making yourself emotionally unhealthy by comparing yourself to other people. You are not them and you are not supposed to be them. You are you.

You’re living your story right now, so focus on that and understand that work is a part of that. At least for now.

Just accepting that work is a part of your life can be so huge for letting go of the mom guilt. If you see an instagram picture of a mom baking cookies with her toddler and you’re at work sitting at your desk like, “Oh my gosh, i feel like the worst right now,” that’s so emotionally and mentally unhealthy.

Don’t let that lie sink in. Sure that mom is doing something awesome. But so are you!

And work at home moms, don’t ever let anyone make you feel “less than” for working from home. Or like it’s less legit than working outside of the house.

That’s total BS. Don’t you dare take that!

I realized that usually, when it comes to working mom guilt, most of the judgment actually comes from ourselves. It only freaks us out when we see a glimpse of it from other people because it’s solidifying what we feel about ourselves. And we need to deal with that.

Reflect on where it comes from—usually it’s our childhood—and just let it go. It doesn’t have to have power over you for one more day. So please deal with it.

Because the reality is that when our kids grow up, it’s very likely that they’re going to work. So it’s important that we model a healthy work/life relationship for them and not act super guilty, stressed, burdened and victimized by our role as a worker.

We’re their example, so let’s change the way we’re treating and talking about our work because that’s how our kids are going to view work in general. Especially if you have girls and they become mothers and they’re working.

Being a mom is such an empowering role and being a working mom is totally badass. And it’s not something you need to feel remotely bad about.

You’re taking care of your kids just as much as the mom who stays at home. So you get out there and you keep kicking butt, mama!


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Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you're surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened is exactly what you need. 

This small, straightforward course is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start. SIMPLIFY THE THINGS THAT HAVE YOU STUCK AND LEAVE SURVIVAL MODE BEHIND.






I Made My Own Plant Wall and You Can, Too! Here's How...

You ever just have a stroke of inspiration so good you have to share it? Because it basically changes your life? Well I’m about to share with you the little lightbulb moment I had because it’s too good to keep to myself!

It all started when I went to pick up a rug for my living room from World Market. When I say this is my DREAM RUG, I mean it. And it had just gone on sale for 40% off so I was a little giddy.

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Here’s a picture of me and my rug looking happier than I looked after the births of my children because that’s how much I love decorating and this rug! (not really, but really).

I looked for the rug to link for you, but I don’t think they sell it anymore. But check out their website if you want to search for yourself.

While I was there, I was browsing through the office section and I spotted this metal 9-cubby wall organizer and I immediately had this vision that I could use it as a wall shelf for small plants!


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I love the look of lots of green house plants but I was just never sure if I could commit to them or if they would work with small kids in the house. But once I had this idea, I knew I could make it work!

So, I bought the metal wall organizer and ordered a second one online because they didn’t any more in stock. Once I had them both, I spray painted them black using this paint.

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Side Note: Amazon sells this this 3-cubby wall organizer if you’re interested in another option ;)

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Then I went to Armstrong Garden Center and bought terra cotta pots in a couple of different sizes to put in each cubby. And I also picked out and bought the plants to go in the pots.

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When we got home, we spray painted the terra cotta pots black, so they’d blend in with the shelves. It’s all personal preference but I thought it might look better to have everything one color so the the green of the plants really pops!  

(We used this paint for the pots. It’s different than what we used for the metal shelves.)

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Once the pots dried, it was time to put the whole thing on the wall! Brian suggested we use drywall toggles to keep them sturdy and in place since the shelves weren’t going to be super light with plants in them.  

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It worked perfectly! (Cause Brian’s a genius - obviously). And it looks so, so good!

I got a whole variety of plants to go in the pots. Some are cascading, some stringy, some fuller, some smaller. So it really gives it a boho vibe - which I love.

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The only things the plants have in common is that they are all OK to live in a little light and they are all low-maintenance! But I did buy a teeny-tiny watering can to help care for them and it works great!

Here’s a photo of my living room before the new rug and wall project…

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And here it is after!...

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It totally transformed the room! And it’s so different than what you might expect in a living space — which I love! It’s so fresh, so fun, so us!

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So if you like greenery and you love the look of it indoors but you’ve been nervous to take on the inconvenience of floor plants, this might be your DIY solution!

P.S. I love that this idea came to me while I was shopping. Don’t ever underestimate the power of some retail therapy!

When your hubby asks why you gotta shop so much, just tell him it’s how you get your best ideas ;)


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Looking for other ways to bring peace into your home? I’ve got you, girl. Let me send you a FREE PDF of 13 ideas for you!

My 5 Favorite Marriage Books and How They Changed Our Lives

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If you’ve been around here for a minute you know that reading is so important to me. A book can teach you something new about yourself, others and God. A book can give you ideas and inspire you to make positive changes in your life.

I actually set aside a time for reading into my daily rhythm. That’s how valuable I believe it is.  

Back in October, I did an episode of The Purpose Show and I shared with you a list of books that shaped me as a person - whether in my personal life or my business. You can check out that episode here.

Now, I want to share with you a list of books that have helped shape my marriage. Like I said, I believe that a book can teach you something new about yourself and others and I think that’s especially true with marriage books.


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Need some date night ideas? I’ve got you, girl! I’ll send you a FREE downloadable PDF of 20 date night ideas straight to your inbox!


I want to give a full disclaimer before we dive in. Every book I read, I take action on. I read a book and I go and do what I learned. That’s key.

You might read these books and nothing happen. These aren’t little magic pills. There’s no promise that if you consume them, they’ll change everything for you.

I believe you can read an amazing book and feel so inspired and then finish it, close it, and not do anything else about it. And, obviously, that’s not going to do anything for you. If you want a book to help you change your life and your marriage, you’ve got to take action. Nothing works if you don’t.

So, with that being said, let’s dive into the 5 marriage books that have helped shape Brian’s and my marriage.

5. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

This is obviously not a marriage book, but I believe you can’t have a good marriage if you don’t believe some core truths about yourself as a woman and carry yourself a certain way.

You Are A Badass was a turning point for me in my life. It taught me how to go after what I wanted with confidence, knowing that God has plans for good for me.

4. Tender Warrior By Stu Weber

This is a book written for men, and it’s been one that Brian has referenced so many times. It’s a big part of why he is who he is as a husband and he’s always recommending it and ordering it for friends.

3. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

I first read this book as a new bride, and it set a strong foundation for how I handle issues, conflict, and anger in my marriage. One of the first lines is “God, give my husband a new wife, and let her be me.”

It’s powerful to pray for your husband and your relationship with him. It transforms YOU, rather than you focusing on praying for him to be the one to change.

2a & 2b. For Women Only & For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhaun

These books are so helpful! They’re founded on research of how men and women interpret things differently, and how we can better communicate with and understand each other. Shaunti covers everything from pornography and sex to conversation and household roles.

1. The Enneagram in Love & Work by Helen Palmer

Helen is a pioneer of the Enneagram personality studies, and so gifted. This sort of knowledge about yourself and your spouse is among the most powerful you can arm yourself with! To deeply understand how you and your partner mentally process and function is an incredible gift that not enough people are taking hold of.

Side note: this book has also helped me be a better business owner and leader for my team!

I hope you’ll check these books out! They have truly helped me understand myself and my husband better and in turn have strengthened our marriage.

And I believe that you will only benefit from reading them. But girl, remember not to just read them.

Take action! You can have a better marriage. But you’ve got to get up and put in the work!


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UNBURDENED

NEED TO LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD?

Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you're surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

The Unburdened course is exactly what you need. 

If you're wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, home, calendar, health, routines, and relationships, this guide will help you go from drowning in a sea of stress and overwhelm to owning your time and living the best version of your life.

THIS SMALL, STRAIGHTFORWARD COURSE IS EVERYTHING FOR THE MOM WHO FEELS LIKE SHE NEEDS A TOTAL OVERHAUL, BUT IS TOO OVERWHELMED TO START. 


(This post contains affiliate links. I’m just sharing the books I like best with you!)



3 Ways Living an Uncluttered Life Goes Beyond Just Getting Rid of Your Stuff

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Living an uncluttered life goes beyond your physical possessions. It extends to your health, your calendar, your friendships.

We live in a society that says, “give me more, spend more, do more.” It can be so easy to let stuff accumulate in your home and in your life…. Especially when you’re a mom.

But ALL THE THINGS are adding so much extra burden. And that’s the last thing we need, mamas. We have enough on our plates without being buried under extra.

That’s why I’m so passionate about helping moms live a life of less. When I started my minimalism journey years ago, there were 3 areas (besides our physical possessions)where I noticed my simplification spilling over.

Simplifying these areas was so life-changing for me, I’m sharing them with you! I want you to live a life you love and that serves you and your family.

So here we go! Here’s the 3 ways living an uncluttered life goes beyond getting rid of your stuff.


1. My Calendar.

When I started my minimalism journey several years ago, the first place I noticed also changing was my schedule. Decluttering my home had trained me to look at things and ask if it was serving me and my family.

And as I looked over my schedule each week, I realized I was doing a lot of things I didn’t really want to do just because I felt like I had to. Sound familiar?  

I started asking myself, Why am I taking my kids to this thing every single week when, honestly, I hate it. It’s at a terribly inconvenient time and it totally ruins the day. Every. Single. Week?

Then I’d weigh out the pros and cons. If it was a kids Bible study, I might decide that’s worth the hassle to me. So I would find a way to be flexible in other areas and create a way for Bible study night to not be miserable.

For instance, maybe I put on a crock-pot meal. Or plan ahead a little better to make it work with our schedule because it’s purposeful for us and it’s worth it to me.

Or I might say, You know what? This really isn’t worth it to me.

This isn’t about going in with a machete and hacking away at every single thing that isn’t super fun. We don’t want to be unrealistic. There are some things we don’t love doing that we have to do.

This is about giving yourself space to look, analyze and ask yourself, “Is this how I want to be living my life?” Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.


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Wanna discover how much time you need, how much you have, and how you can get more done? This digital download is for you!


2. Toxic people.

I love the term “vampire people” because they literally drain the life right out of you.

Often, these are people that we feel “forced” to spend time with. Very often it’s family members.

We don’t want to be jerks. We don’t want to be selfish. But we need boundaries.

You don’t have to stop seeing the vampire people in your life altogether but, you can separate yourself from them. Look at the problems with each relationship and come up with a plan to deal with it.

A few times in my life, my husband and I have had to have extremely hard conversations with people. We’ve had to say things like, “You’re not treating me and my family well. This is abusive and it’s not OK. I don’t want my kids around this. Until you can shape up your game, I’m taking a step back.”

These are really hard, really awkward conversations to have. I’m not saying this lightly.

But for me and my husband Brian, having healthy boundaries - protecting ourselves, each other and our kids - is a big deal to us.

You may not encounter such extreme situations. You may just have somebody in your life that’s just rude or a little manipulative.

Come at your relationships with a minimalistic mindset and ask yourself, “OK, where do I go and feel like I’m in a toxic environment? When is it that I’m seeing these people? Why am I seeing them? Is this something that I have to have in my life?“

How can you create space? How can you respond in love but with firm boundaries so your vampire people no longer affect you?


3. Health.

Health and wellness is such an over-saturated industry in our society. It’s actually a multi-million-dollar-a-year industry because so many people think they need books and programs to get healthy.

But unless you’ve got some kind of illness or ailment that makes it difficult, losing weight and getting healthy is really very simplistic. Eat less junk. Eat more of what is good for you. Move more.

So simple.

If you have a desk job, initiate nightly walks with your family. Do some squats while you are waiting for your lunch to heat up in the break room.

There’s never a good enough excuse. You can always find a way.

I used to be 50 pounds heavier. One day I had to get real and ask myself what I wanted. Did I want to continue feeling awful every time I got dressed for the day?

Did I want to keep running into people I knew but hadn’t seen in a while and feeling embarrassed because I was heavier and my skin was broken out? Did I want to keep feeling bad?

My answer was a hard no.

I didn’t have a label for what I did. I didn’t think to myself, Oh, I’m going Paleo or doing the Whole 30 or working out 5 times a week.

I just asked myself where the excess was. I’d just hit the drive-thru because it was convenient, and sometimes that was excessive. I realized it would be cheaper and easier for me if I just had some meals prepped in the fridge.

I sit down a lot for my work and when I’m homeschooling my kids so I try to take a walk every single day. I also try to get in about 15 minutes of exercise as a part a part of my morning ritual.

That’s it. That works for me.

I’m happy with the way I look and feel when I’m doing these things. I’m happy with my life when I’m living with less in all these areas.

I want you to understand the beauty of living an uncluttered life beyond just your home. Because it matters.

This is your one, beautiful life, sweet mama. Wake up and live the the life you love.


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Why Our Family Collects Experiences and Yours Should Too

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I’m not the type of person who needs to own a lot of things. I love to shop and decorate and have a home full of beautiful things that make me happy.

But I’m not obsessed with having a lot of stuff. That might seem pretty obvious since my whole business is centered around minimalism.

But it’s more than just not buying things so my house doesn’t get cluttered. I mean, that’s a pretty great side effect. It’s just not like my holy grail of why I’m a minimalist.

Our family is really big on experiencing things rather than owning things. Brian and I definitely have a core value of prioritizing experiences over possessions when it comes to how we handle our finances.

That’s doesn’t mean we never buy anything or that you should never buy anything.

I’m not telling you to only have a suitcase amount of possession and to  go to Disneyland every weekend.

That’s not where I’m coming from at all. I mean, if that’s what you want to do, you do you. That’s just not my heart.

We do enjoy taking the kids to Disneyland or Legoland. And weekly date nights are really important to Brian and I.

Traveling is something we really enjoy and something that is important to us and we want to do more of.


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Our priority is experiencing things together.

That’s where we kind of put our money where our mouth is. Like when we flew our family to Nashville for two weeks of fun and staying at different Airbnb’s and hotels and experiencing new people.

Whether it’s trying out a new restaurant or taking the boys to a baseball game. We’d rather do things together as a family than sit around around in a house full of stuff.

We’d rather have date nights than purchase things that don’t really contribute to the vision we have for our family. That takes a lot of intentionality on our part.

Brian and I work really hard to have a successful business so that our budget is bigger and we can plan for those types of things. But even when we were pretty broke, we always prioritized experiences over things.


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experiences last

Experiences are so much more fulfilling and have so much more depth to them than material possessions. Research even shows this!

The happiness that people get from purchases fades away pretty quickly. But the joy that we get from experiencing something actually increases over time as you remember and as you look back on it (which I think is super incredible).

Basically, it’s like a good return on an investment. It’s adding happiness to your life and then it’s increasing that happiness over time because positive experiences give us positive memories. And that’s something that all of us desire and find fulfilling.




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We learn to be present and enjoy the moment when we’re out doing things.

When we’re holding hands with our kids, we wonder how we can live that way more often. How we can soak up little moments in even the mundane moments of life.

And when you get out of your little bubble, you get to meet other people. You get the chance to strengthen your bond with your family. I can’t emphasize the importance of that enough.

Yeah, when you travel somewhere with your kids, it’s crazy and hard and there are negative aspects to it. But when you just decide to suck it up and do it,  to go to Disneyland or to a movie or the beach, or really anywhere away from your typical atmosphere, it gives you the gift of connection to the people who belong to you.

That’s so worth any frustration or embarrassment that comes from traveling with little people.

Adventuring together is where the funny stuff and the weird stuff happens and where meaningful conversations are started. Connection is built and cultivated and that’s vital, especially with your husband and your kids.

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ask yourself how you can infuse your family with more experiences

It doesn’t have to be a huge trip somewhere. It can be, though! And if that’s what you want to do, you can start saving money for that.

But it can also just be a fun experience in your neighborhood this weekend. Go out for ice cream or see if there’s a kid-friendly street fair in your city.

Instead of laying around your house and doing nothing because you’re exhausted, get yourself up, get the kids dressed and go do something fun. Sure, you’re probably going to be tired later but I promise you’re not going to regret it.

You don’t get forever with your kids. You only get so much time  to invest in and be a big part of your kids’ lives. And once they leave, it’s just going to be you and your husband so you want to make sure you’re nourishing that relationship now too.

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HERE’S YOUR WAKE UP CALL

If you’re thinking, “Allie, this all sounds really good but I don’t know if  I can do this.” Like maybe you’ve spent a lot of money on material things and you feel a little unbalanced on where your focus is versus where you want it to be.

I hope this will serve as a wake-up call for you. Starting now you can begin to focus on experiencing life and connecting with your family and you can make sure your finances reflect that priority a little bit more.

And you know what, buying less stuff means less clutter. Which I’m super passionate about because clutter causes us stress.

It  requires maintenance and takes up our time. Time that we could be spending experiencing things. Cut clutter from your life so you can be unfettered and live more abundantly.

In our home, we’re still cutting out clutter and we’ve been minimalists for years. But with all the travel we’ve been doing, we’ve been focused on going deeper with minimalism and letting go of even more stuff so our home can be even simpler.

We want to feel like we can leave it more easily to travel and do more fun things together.

Because that’s what we truly believe is the most important thing.

I want to encourage you to prioritize experiences. Especially with your family.

Life is out there. There are things to be experienced. Don’t miss your moments. .


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3 Unique Ways to Follow Through on Your New Year's Resolutions

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time you probably know that I love setting goals and I’m intentional about reaching them.

The week after Christmas is my absolute favorite week of the year. It’s the week I get very reflective and I look back at the year that’s wrapping up.

I look at the decisions I made and the person that I became because every year brings you into a new season... into a new piece of who you are. I look ahead to the coming year.

I dig deep and find the answers to the questions, “Where do I want to go this next year? What were the problems with this past year? What were the triumphs?

And I ask the Lord, “Where do you want to take me?” What do you want me to focus on in the new year?”

Instead of setting resolutions, I usually pick something (like a word or an intent) I want to focus on. For 2018, my intent was to “enjoy.” I really had it on my heart that the Lord wanted me to rest and relax after a year and a half of hustling hard to grow my business.

It was time to sit back and let myself be restored, quiet that hustle a little bit, and just enjoy what I’d built and the life I’ve been given.

And so, that was the intent I set and headed into 2018 focusing on.

I think it’s really, really easy to abandon your goals and intentions for the New Year once it’s not the New Year anymore. On January 1st, you have this grip of control over the coming year because it hasn’t happened yet.

But life is chaotic and ish happens. Things out of your control take place.

I get that. But I really believe we can live our lives with purpose on purpose.

I really want to live an intentional life of trust in the Lord, but I also don’t want to be a person who sits back and lets things happen to her.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “Yes, Allie! That’s what I want but I just get so bogged down by life…” Let me tell you about three (unique) ways you can start and finish the year with intent.


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1.Don’t forget your goals

It’s so easy – when you’re in the middle of life happening to you – to forget the goals you set at the beginning of the year.

The difference between people who reach their goals and people who just set resolutions is how often they check in. By revisiting your intentions throughout the year, you are setting a pace for yourself to actually achieve what you set out to achieve on January 1st.

Take time each quarter or at the very least halfway through the year and ask yourself, “Where am I? Am I living out my intent? Did I forget about it? What can I do to get back on track and intentional with where I wanted to take myself this year?

2. Journal it out

Once I ask myself these questions, I’ll take a week or two and look at my life extra closely and think about what’s on my calendar, my to-do list, my Trello boards? What’s going on my life, my business, our homeschool? What am I spending my time on?

I’ll put it all under the microscope and ask myself if everything is aligned with what I’m supposed to be focusing on this year. Then I’ll make decisions.

Like I said, in 2018, my intent for the year was to “enjoy” my life. So, one example would be that I realized that I never hang out with my best friend anymore and I miss our coffee dates.

So, I decided that I’m going to text her and see if we can set up regular coffee dates again because I’m really not being intentional with my friendship with her and our friendship is something I enjoy.

It can be little things like that or it can be bigger things that you notice are really sucking your energy, draining you and making you not able to live with the intent that you planned for this year.

3. Simplify what you’re aiming for

Usually there are things that you realize aren’t working with your goals. They’re not allowing for your intent but you think if you change them, you’ll let other people down.

Maybe you’re afraid of what people will say or think. Or it may even be scary for you to let go of things because they’ve been a part of your life for so long and you’ve attached your identity to them.

But let me tell  you that you’re going to have to edit things if you want to accomplish your goals.

We all start out with a lot of goals that are really great. Things that would be so good and so productive.

But halfway through the year, we may realize that they didn’t really line up with our focus for the year.

I encourage you to revisit your goals. Do they reflect what your original intent was?

Let go of things - even good things - if they’re not serving your purpose. Just because they’re good things, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for you right now. Maybe they will be later.

Intentionally checking-in is the difference between people who actually reach their goals and people who just set resolutions from “fresh start syndrome” and then walk away and head back into their normalcy.


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NEW Year's Goals Midway Check-in Prompts

I created a worksheet that will help you guys do this for yourselves. It’s really prompts that will help you reflect and ask yourself if you’re on track to achieve your goals and live your intent for the year.

You can do this on your computer or you can print it out and fill it out, pen and paper style. I’ve been doing this for years and I know what questions you need to ask yourselves to get intentional!


I want to help you take action on this. it’s so important. You’re really going to see a difference in yourself. You’re going to know who you are, where you’re at, where you want to go and exactly what steps you’re going to take to get yourself there!

This is your year. This is the year you set goals and actually follow through.

Drop the ish, girl and let the badass, wonder woman (you really are) break through.


THE SUPERMOM VAULT

A LIBRARY OF INSPIRATION

  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired

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#DeclutterLikeAMother Is Back!

For the past three years, I’ve led women in in the charge against the clutter overwhelming their homes. It’s been  SO rewarding to see lives transformed in the same way mine was when I started my journey to minimalism years ago.

But this year is super special because I won’t just be leading the charge... I’ll be right there in the trenches with you!

That’s right. I’m putting on my war paint too and joining the #DeclutterLikeAMother challenge!


1. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED FOR ME IN THIS LAST YEAR…

There has been so much behind-the-scenes work happening to help mamas all over the world declutter. The business grew so much, I hired 15 people to help me so I can serve you guys to the best of my ability.

It’s been a huge blessing and so great but I’ve found that I haven’t really been focusing on keeping my own space as simplified as I like it. I still don’t have a ton of stuff. I’m just not doing what I normally do.


I’ve noticed my house requires too much maintenance. I’m craving less even though my house is still pretty minimal. I just don’t feel simple enough.

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2. I can always tell when I need to simplify…

I’ll start feeling suffocated by things that really aren’t even clutter. Like I always keep a bouquet of fresh flowers on my kitchen counter.

I buy them, cut the stems and put them in a vase. They’re pretty and it’s just something I like to have.

But the other day, I was rinsing dishes and I felt suffocated by having these flowers sitting on my counter. The flowers really aren’t clutter but I just felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like there’s just too much stuff.

3. In the past, I haven’t needed to declutter…

I’ve just led the challenge. But on top of just feeling suffocated, we’re also probably going to be moving out of state soon!

What? I know.

It’s really exciting! But it makes the need for me to simplify is even greater.  And all this just so happens to come at the perfect time with the challenge beginning at the first of the year.

So I’m jumping all in! I’ve cleared my travel schedule for all of January and I’m going in hard on this #DeclutterLikeAMother challenge and I want you to join me!

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4. Last January, 40,000 women went to war against clutter…

They kicked their mess to the curb and, over-time, cultivated a stress-free, clutter-free home for themselves and their families!

And it only took 30 minutes for 30 days! Say what? You heard me. 30 minutes for 30 days.

Anybody can do that, right?

Here’s how #DeclutterLikeAMother works. Each week, we focus on a different area of the house and for 30 minutes each day, we work within that area!

Every Tuesday and Thursday of the month, I’ll livestream in my Facebook group to offer you encouragement and answer your questions. I’ll also send you two emails a week, the first on Monday to give instructions for the assigned area and the second on Wednesday to give you more tips and to let you know that I’ve got your back.

5. I’ll also be sharing clips of my own #DeclutterLikeAMother progress on my Instastory!

You’re not alone in this battle, mama. You’ll be joining a sisterhood of other bad a**  women who’ve put on their war paint to #DeclutterLikeAMother.

So, join me in the trenches and let’s wage war! I promise we’ll win.


#Declutterlikeamother

a challenge for moms who are so over the mess.

We focus on 1 area per week

30 minutes a day for 30 days

Because small chunks of progress lead to BIG change.

Over 50,000+ joined us in January 2019!

Join the waitlist to get in on the next round!

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5 Honest Things I (Don't) Want to Share With You

I’m not really a person who acts or reacts out of fear. I don’t typically care what people think about me. And I’m kind of a risk-taker.

But with the growth of my business and reach comes a larger audience and I’ve been kind of freaked out by the expectations people have for me.

I always welcome feedback, questions, and messages. But a lot of times, they have this underlying tone of, “You’ve got it all together, Allie! You have all the answers!” And that’s a really weird pressure, because, honestly, I don’t.

I’m just a blogger with a small platform but I don’t want to let anyone down. And this pressure has left me feeling like I have to have all the answers and I need to hold it all together.

Journaling through that thought recently has really empowered me to be myself. I’ve just been letting my guard down and not worrying about if something I say or do is going to rub someone the wrong way. Or if someone is going to leave if I don’t have the answers.

I’ve never been about putting up a facade but I think I subconsciously built one up by thinking that I always had to have it together and have the answer. So, I started writing down the things that I would normally struggle to share with you.

After I made the list I thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself to share with you guys what those things are. It’s so easy to build up this perfect idea of someone based off their social media photos and I don’t want anyone to misunderstand and assume that I’m perfect and have my life perfectly figured out.

So here is a list of 5 honest things I don’t (but mostly do) want to share with you...


1. Motherhood is dang hard and I’m not perfect.

I’m pretty honest. I share a lot of my flaws and mistakes and things that I’m learning. But even still, I feel like I’m put on a pedestal.

A lot of times, people talk to me like I’m a robot who always does the same things and never, ever changes. It’s funny but it’s also a really terrible pressure to feel.

I’m a normal human being and what works for me and my family in one season, doesn’t always work so well in the next season. And that’s OK!

Things change. Kids grow up. Schedules shift. You get busy and then you get less busy.

If I was still forcing myself to be a robot and to keep doing the same things I’ve always done because it worked for me before and everyone expects me to now - man, what a joyless life I’d be living. I’d also be super hypocritical and not living my abundant life in the specific season I’m in.

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2. What I do is friggin’ exhausting and I struggle with feeling guilty that I’m so exhausted by such a huge blessing.

A lot of work goes into my business. From my blog, to my podcast, to creating my courses and live-streaming, most of what I do involves me being “on” and vulnerable.

And for an introvert like me, that’s pretty tiring and nerve-wracking and it’s a lot of pressure.

One of my biggest fears is that I would come off as ungrateful or unrelatable. But I’m a human being and my job makes me tired and it takes a lot out of me.

But it’s my calling. I know it’s my calling. I’m not going to stop just because it’s tiring. I get to do what I love and what I’m passionate about and that’s a huge blessing!

3. I don’t want to do a lot of things.

Most of the things I don’t want to do are things that I talk about all the time like playing with my kids.

I really don’t want to play with my kids. Unless it’s Super Mario Brothers. I have no passion for sitting on the floor and building Legos.

And sometimes I feel guilty about it but I’m calling total B.S. on the mom guilt! Nobody wants to play with their kids all the time.

I talk a lot about being a present mom who’s able to play with her kids. But what I’m really talking about is having a life that allows for that. Having a life that allows you to be present and to make memories.

I’m trying to make a point about your time, your life and your joy..


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4. I don’t do it all.

I’m such a huge believer in delegating, you guys.

I think a lot of people assume that because I help other mothers simplify their lives and homes so they can do it all easier, that I do it all in my own life. I don’t and I don’t want you to think otherwise.

I have a housekeeping team that comes every week. I have a personal assistant who runs basic errands for me. I have a team of people who are full-time contractors who help me run my business.

I don’t do it all. There’s absolutely no freaking way I could.

I think I’ve been pretty honest about that, but, if you’ve been thinking that stop. And if you’ve been trying to do it all on your own, get you some help, mama! There’s no shame in the delegating game.

5. I’m a businesswoman and I love that side of what I do.

Not to burst your bubble but I don’t want to talk about mom stuff all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so passionate about my mission to help moms lighten their loads but I am also super passionate about entrepreneurship and running a business.

I would rather talk about marketing than motherhood most of the time. I am passionate about branding, logging and creating courses. I love the thought of creating a life you love and making crazy, amazing revenue from a business that you start from home with almost no overhead.

But I never really get to talk about those things. And lately I feel less joy talking about motherhood. I’m trying to figure out what that means and how or if I would bring in entrepreneurship.

I don’t really know how that’s going to shake out and I feel weird about it but I just wanted to share with you that just like the seasons, I’m evolving as a person..

So there’s a little peek into my journal, a little look into my heart. I hope this list humanized me and made me more “real.”

I never want to come across as perfect or as having it all together. I love you guys and I always, always want to connect with you.


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THE SUPERMOM VAULT

A LIBRARY OF INSPIRATION

  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired

 

How to Be at Peace with Difficult Family Members this Holiday

We all have family members who are difficult to be around. For some of us, it’s the strange uncle you don’t leave alone with the kids, or the well-meaning but totally overbearing mother-in-law who makes you feel as though you should take up yoga (or drinking… kidding).

Whoever it is, the holidays are a time of being around those people more often than usual, and this can suck the life out of you.

It doesn’t have to though, promise.


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

- Eleanor Roosevelt


We, fortunately, have total control over our responses, thoughts, and how we handle our emotions.

You don’t have to let your rude sister ruin your Christmas Eve dinner.

You don’t have to sit next to your incredibly negative great aunt on the drive to look at Christmas lights.

You can have a peaceful holiday that’s truly full of joyful moments spent enjoying your kids’ reaction to those sweet, magical moments, no matter which family members are joining you.

Here’s how:

1. Get into a peaceful mindset before the festivities start.

Before your family members grace you with their presence, take a few minutes to be by yourself.

Talk to yourself out loud if possible with affirmations of the kind of person you are, how much you love your family and this time of year, how deserving you are of a wonderful time, and how it really doesn’t affect your life at all if someone is rude or intrusive tonight.

Pray, speak life over yourself, pace back and forth and talk to yourself if you need to. This isn't a silly or unnecessary thing - your family members get to you and that bothers you - you have to get inside your head for a bit and change your mindset sometimes.

Decide to be at peace and to respond in peace. Decide to focus on what is good about this event - your kids being there, your husband being off work and with you, your parents being present and in good health, the delicious cookies and hot cider… find the good, focus on it, breathe.

This will only put you in a bad mood if you let it.


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2. Let go of your emotional ties to other people’s words.

People can be truly rude, believe me, I get it. But you don’t have to allow yourself to emotionally attach to their comments.

If someone says something rude, sharp, condescending, or something similar, get out of the present moment and into your head.

Think to yourself that this doesn’t have to affect you, you won’t let them ruin your evening, and you’re just gonna let this slide right off your back and move on.

3. Boundaries when needed.

Sometimes, a simple “well it’s good to see you, Aunt Cathy. Merry Christmas.” and a quick exit is what you need to do for yourself. It’s a boundary.

You’re essentially saying “I don’t need to sit here and hear your negative words, and I’ve tried to change the subject and be polite but you insist, so I’m going to walk over there now.” in a very acceptable way. It’s okay!

The important thing to remember is to not let difficult, rude, or hurtful people have the power over you that it would take to bring you down.

Don’t give them that.

Stand tall, be confident. You’re beautiful and loved and it’s the best time of the year! Soak in the good and let all the negative parts wash right over you.

Here’s to a truly joyful holiday and family members who put aside their issues for the sake of cookies, egg nog, fireplaces, and twinkly lights. *cheers!*

“You cannot change someone’s point of view using logic if they did not arrive at that point of view using logic.”- Unknown




How I Overcame My Fear of Meal Prepping and Took Back Meal Time

We just came out of a busy season of life. Our kids were involved in sports, we had many commitments and just a lot of different things happening at once. It was fun and we enjoyed the busyness; it was just really full.

Instead of our evenings being empty, we had a busy schedule and we found that prepping and cooking dinner each night was no longer doable for us.

We were either eating dinner at 4:00pm and eating unhealthy snacks when we got home. Or we were waiting to eat dinner after we got home, and we’d be famished because it was so late. It just wasn’t working.

We resorted to eating out a lot which got to be expensive because we would still try to eat healthy. Of course, sometimes we would get the kids convenient food and even Brian and I would give in occasionally.

That became a problem because I don’t do well when I don’t eat clean. I get sick and it’s just not good. You can read about how I healed my gut health here.

This way of doing meals felt messy. I felt out of control and really frustrated about how we were eating. We were never sitting down and eating a meal together as a family. I knew things had to change.

Meal prepping was the only solution I could think of. I’ve done food prepping before. I recorded a whole podcast episode on how I simplified meal planning by learning to food prep. You can listen to it here.

I’d prep some basic foods but then I’d have to decide what of this food I’m going to put together for a meal. I knew even that was too much. I needed to have dinner off my mind completely.

I was determined to find a way to make meal prep as simple, useful and worth it as possible and, once I did, I ended up liking it so much that I’ve started prepping pretty much all of our meals.

Mama, if you’re like me and meal prepping is something you dread or you’re afraid of, I get it. I want to help you. Here are some tips that I found  to make meal prep simple and mealtime easy during busy seasons.


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Find recipes you know you will enjoy.

One of my fears about meal prepping was that I’d make something and then when it came time to eat it, I wouldn’t want it anymore. But I found that if I chose recipes that sounded good to me or that I already knew I’d like, I would look forward to the meal and not feel that way.

Choose meals that can be easily prepped in advance.

Pinterest has a ton of good ideas for meal-planning or you can invest in something a little more in-depth. I put my money where my mouth is and purchased Nutrition Stripped’s Master Meal Planning Guide and invested in this area of our family’s life. McKell Hill is the founder of NutritionStripped.com and she has a lot of helpful resources and recipes for eating well. If you’re interested in McKel’s Master meal Planning Guide, you can find it here!

Go grocery shopping for all your ingredients at once.

Make a list and get it done. Pick up the basics you eat too.  I know my family likes watermelon so, even though watermelon isn’t a part of the recipes I’m making that week, I buy watermelon. You know your family so get the basic things you know you’re going to eat as well.


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HERE’S A FREEBIE FOR YOU, SWEET MAMA!


It’s time to be intentional about the things you allow into your home!

Let me help you, mama! 


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Pick one day a week and spend about two hours prepping meals for the coming week.

For me, it’s typically Saturday or Sunday so that I have enough meals to last through the week. If you know that you will want to have some flexibility and variety in your meals, you don’t have to have something prepared for every meal.

Pick three dinners, two lunches and two breakfasts that you and your family will eat that week.

If you’re not picky you could even pick one lunch and one breakfast and three dinners or something like that. Whatever works for your family.

Only prep what won’t get soggy.

You can just use your brain on this one, but an example would be salad dressing and toppings. Wait until it’s time to eat your salad and then put your dressing and avocado or whatever you like on top.

A weeknight meal in our house now looks like me heating up a cast-iron skillet on the stove and throwing in the rice and chicken I cooked on Saturday.

Then I’ll add in the seasonings and add dressing to the salad that’s already prepped in the fridge and I’m done. Dinner’s done.

Essentially, I’m just heating up dinner if it’s already prepped and cooked which saves so much time!

I know it can be hard to give up time on your weekend to meal prep but remind yourself what your priorities are. Remember that out of the 168 hours in your week, two or three hours (at most) really isn’t that much.

You have to make time for what matters to you.

You have to make a choice about what you want and make how you live line up with that. Otherwise you’re just kind of floundering through life and not living intentionally.

Meal prepping doesn’t come natural to me. It’s been a struggle for me since I became a wife and mother. Just when I feel like I get the hang of it, life changes or we’ll get into a busy season or something will shift that makes me have to change or tweak again.

But I had to get real with myself. If I wanted this busy season and I wanted the kids in sports and I wanted to eat together as a family and not spend a million dollars, then I had to compromise somehow.

Don’t overthink it. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all the options or problems. Just find a solution and decide there’s no other way but to live an intentional life.

Remember, mamas, you’re in charge! Be empowered! Get out there and make it happen!


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THE SUPERMOM VAULT

A LIBRARY OF INSPIRATION

  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired

Meet The Team

Today we’re interviewing some of the lovely people who make up Team Allie. We’ll be sharing their name, role, and some fun facts about each of them. This will be fun!

But first, a note from Allie:

This blog post is so fun! I’m super excited for you all to get to know my team! Before we dive in, I thought you might want to know a little bit about how my company works.

Most people don’t understand that I’m running a company, not just sitting on my couch blogging and recording podcast episodes. There’s a whole bunch of amazing people who make sure the content I create gets out into the world so I can focus on being creative and making awesome things for you all! There’s intimidating legal stuff involved, trademarking, big decisions to be made, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to think that what we’re doing is being watched by so many people - I’ll never get used to that!

P.S. Listeners who subscribe to the podcast get access to episodes early + never miss one!


ALRIGHT, here we go…

My company is called The Purpose Group, Inc. Brian and I incorporated in early 2017 (we were previously an LLC). The company houses everything you see happening on the outside - the blog, The Purpose Show, and my online academy.

I’m the founder and the CEO, as well as the face of the company and of course, the creative mind behind all the fun things we put out into the world. Basically, I act in my zone of genius- the things I’m good at- which is coming up with content ideas, blog posts, podcast episodes, emails to write you, courses to change your life, etc. And the people on my team help me take those wild ideas and make them exist.

Everyone on my team has special gifts they bring to the table, and I adore each and every one of them. I believe in affirming the people who help me make my mission a reality, and encouraging them big time! We meet every Friday all together to discuss what we’re currently working on, check in, and shout each other out for being awesome.

The people who you’re about to meet are the core team members. They’re the front lines of big projects and they come to weekly team meetings. But we also have a handful of other amazing team members who are doing SO many amazing tasks, projects & tech. (Shout out to them - we love you!) We’re only mentioning our core team members here so you can begin to imagine what day-to-day operations are like.

Hope you enjoy getting a little glimpse behind the scenes!

xo Allie


Allie Casazza - CEO and Founder

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Allie is the creative mind behind everything you see coming from Alliecasazza.com. She comes up with all the ideas for episodes, blog posts, and writes emails to you each week from her front porch. She is the name, the face, and the heart beat of what we do, and her heart beats for the other mamas of the world!

ABOUT ALLIE

How many kids I have: one thousand. Okay fine, four.

How do you take your coffee?: Strong with a splash of almond milk. Sometimes I’ll just drink it black.

Who's your role model: Lucille Ball. She was a femme pioneer and she was so strong amid so much. I’ve read every book about her. I adore her.

Favorite Quote: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard

Favorite Episode of the Purpose Show: Ep 063: Life Hacks For Moms of Littles. It feels so strange to be out of the super-small-kids season of motherhood! It’s a really nice feeling to be able to help moms with babies and toddlers who are in the thick of it, trying to figure it all out and hear that the simple tips in this episode were game changers for them!

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I haven’t shaved my legs in like 3 weeks and it’s getting rough… #winter


Hayley Pandolph - COO

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Hayley is Allie's right hand man ;) She manages the team and runs the day to day business stuff. She helps integrate Allie's wild ideas!

ABOUT HAYLEY

How many kids I have: one tiny human

How do you take your coffee? Coffee? I'll take whatever you give me.

Who's your role model: Daren Lindley is my hero! Here's the highlight reel of things he's taught me: love people before productivity, to affirm someone before correcting them, and never lose sight of your vision!

Favorite Quote: "Life is short. I want to live it well." -Switchfoot

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 006: How I Got My Husband Out of His 9 to 5 (Allie has allowed several stay-at-home moms to get their husbands out of their 9 to 5s! My husband included!)

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I'm a pretty calm person, but bugs make me scream and flail like a toddler.



Ashley Spriggs - Podcast Manager + Press Coordinator

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Ashley helps Allie snag the best guests in the world for her podcast on top of getting her amazing press opportunities. If Allie is speaking on a stage, appearing on TV, or talking into a microphone ... Ashley coordinated it. Ashley also ensures that each episode of The Purpose Show are flawless and produced on time for your listening enjoyment.


ABOUT ASHLEY

How many kids I have: 2  - Liam and Lucy

How do you take your coffee? As basic as it comes … either an iced white mocha or iced cold brew with peppermint and cream.

Who's your role model: My husband, Jesus, and Christine Caine.

Favorite Quote: Be you. Everyone else is taken.

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 083: Let's Talk About Working Mom Guilt + Ep. 081: Love In Action with Bob Goff

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I still sleep with the stuffed animal duck I carried around as a child. He is my best friend. My husband hates it. Don’t judge me!



Jenny Randle - Social Media Strategist

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Jenny manages a team of ninjas that help get Allie's face all over your social media. She makes sure Allie's stuff is in front of mamas who need to find it!

ABOUT JENNY

How many kids I have: 2

How do you take your coffee? With almond milk and a dash of cinnamon if I'm feeling spicy.

Who's your role model: I love learning personal and spiritual development from Havilah Cunnington, Christine Caine, Shawn Bolz and Bob Goff's resources.

Favorite Quote: Our God-given creativity is the greatest weapon we carry.

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 081: Love In Action With Bob Goff

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I was speaking at an event and had a skull-bending-headache. An attendee found out and gave me some peppermint hippie-oils, which I proceeded to aggressively splash all up in my face. Newsflash: this isn't the proper way to use essential oils. My headache was dulled by the burn in my eyes and I basically led the presentation blind.


KENA ROTH - CUSTOMER SERVICE, VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

ABOUT KENA

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How many kids I have: 2 boys - 18 & 16 :)

How do you take your coffee?  Black & Strong

Who's your role model: I have lots of role models in my life. Each teach me something new everyday.

Favorite Quote: “Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” ― J. Lynn,

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep. 074: For The Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I'm deathly (like freeze up and die) afraid of cats of any size or kind. And, they ALWAYS flock to me no matter what or where I go.


Amy Tripak - Social Media & Operations Specialist

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Amy helps admin Allie's Facebook page and ginormous and incredibly active Facebook Group. She also helps Allie keep up with all the Instagram messages - because the awesomeness never stops pouring in!  

ABOUT AMY

How many kids I have:  1 + baby #2 on the way!

How do you take your coffee? I don't. :)  I've never liked coffee - not even the smell of it!

Who's your role model: Jesus, Bob Goff, Hermione Granger

Favorite Quote:  "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." - Henry David Thoreau. Anything from Michael Scott on The Office

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep. 045: Body Confidence with Jenna Kutcher + Ep. 081: Love In Action with Bob Goff

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I drool in my sleep... a lot... like sometimes I wake up in an actual puddle.



Brian Casazza - Videographer, Allie's Backbone

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Brian is a super savvy video maker and can make a dark room look super well lit with minimal gear. If you have ever seen one of Allie's video, Brian is behind the camera. He’s behind the scenes in more ways than one! He also provides constant, minute-by-minute support, encouragement, and brainstorming for Allie. He’ll drop everything to take a walk and talk out a problem with her (which means he just listens… Allie is an external processor). He truly is the Love Bug :)

ABOUT BRIAN

How many kids I have: one thousand (Allie says this so much it now feels true). Seriously though, four.

How do you take your coffee? Black

Who's your role model: Mat Fraser

Favorite Quote: “I’m gonna do today what other people aren’t willing to, so I can do tomorrow what other people can’t.” -Mat Fraser

Favorite Episode of the Purpose Show: Ep 068: Ask Allie & Brian Anything was so fun to record. We were cracking up the whole time. But Ep 006 is our story. It makes me cry every time I hear it.

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I snore insanely loud when I sleep. In Allie’s loving words, it sounds like a “freight train full of bears coming down the highway at full speed”.



Caleb Sanchez - Video Editor

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Caleb is Brian's right hand man during filming. But once the filming is done, he works his magic in the editing room. fun fact: he is Allie's little (but taller) brother.

ABOUT CALEB

How many kids I have: none.

How do you take your coffee? Black cold brew

Who's your role model: My mom

Favorite Quote: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Favorite Episode of the Purpose Show: Ep 049: Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I’m seriously terrified of spiders. It doesn’t matter how small it is, or the fact that I’m over six feet tall, get it away from me.




Casey King - CFO

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Casey handles all things financial on team Allie. She pays all the contractors, watches the bank accounts, and is super organized and fiscally minded - which really comes in handy for Allie who is way the opposite.

ABOUT CASEY

How many kids I have: 2  - Elijah (8) and Alexandra (5)

How do you take your coffee? I don't (I know blasphemy)  I prefer tea :)

Who's your role model: My Mama.  She was a strong single mom who set a great example to me that I now roll into my role as a single parent.  

Favorite Quote: "Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." Mother Teresa

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 056: Slowing down in a World of Hurry Up.  I feel like i'm always on the go and taking time to slow down and be present can sometimes be a challenge for me.

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: When I get really excited about food, I do a little dance that may or may not include a song.


Want frequent updates on how to simplify your entire life?

I've got you, mama.

Sign up for my free e-mail list and never miss a thing!

Own Your Decisions and Say Yes to More Joy

I’m a doer. If I have an idea, it’s hard for me not to do something about it. It’s not natural for me to have an idea and keep going about my day.

With that comes a lot of change. I’ll decide to do something and then I’ll change my mind. Or I’ll do something for a little while and then leave it. Or I’ll just make a mistake and need to course correct.

Because I share a lot of what I do publicly, I’ll get these messages from people that make me feel like I’m not a good wife and mom or that I don’t know what I’m doing. Honestly, sometimes I don’t and that’s okay. I’m a human being.

Social media brought an obsession with perfection into our society along with this idea that if you change your mind then you’re a mess. That’s just not true!

Life is so tumultuous. Things change. Seasons change. We change. We grow and mature.

You don’t have to stay the same or do the same thing if it’s not serving you anymore.


want help determining what’s necessary + what’s excess?

I HAVE CREATED THIS FREE DOWNLOAD TO WALK YOU THROUGH CREATING AN “ENOUGH LIST” TO HELP YOU SORT THROUGH THE EXCESS.

IT WILL HELP YOU BREAKDOWN THE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU NEED TO CREATE ENOUGH LISTS FOR AS WELL AS HELP YOU DETERMINE WHAT IS ENOUGH FOR THAT AREA. I ALSO SHARE SOME ENCOURAGING STATEMENTS AND THINGS THAT YOU CAN INCLUDE IN YOUR “ENOUGH LIST” TO LOOK AT WHEN YOU'RE FEELING LIKE YOU NEED TO! 

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FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOLING…

One example for us is homeschooling. I’ve always said that we homeschool season by season, not year by year. I’m always at the feet of God, praying, “what do you want us to do in this season?”

We were homeschooling our kids when our business just exploded. All of a sudden, homeschooling became a source of stress.

The business was requiring full time work from both Brian and me. We were also working with the kids all the time. It just became this stressful balancing act.

We started to pray and feel that sending the kids to public school for the year was what we needed to do. And so, we did.

THE tRANSFER…

They started school in August and by the time December came around we were already in a completely new season. Our workload went from beyond full time to just a few hours a week due to hiring a handful of people to take work off our plates.

Doing the whole school drop-off and pick-up became super inconvenient and this thing that had helped us so much just a few months before became stressful.

We made the decision to let them finish through Christmas break, then we transferred them to a Charter school and started homeschooling again.

AND SO BEGAN THE JUDGEMENT…

I got so many messages like, “Wow! They didn’t even finish the year?” There was this judgmental undertone in a lot of these comments and it was really not cool.

I know what’s best for my family. You know what’s best for your family.

I want to empower you. It is okay to change your mind. It’s okay to start a juice cleanse, go twelve hours, decide you love food and stop. It’s okay to change your mind about what you thought was best for your kids. It’s okay to change your mind about your style.

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You don’t need permission to grow and mature. To become a better version of yourself.

If that makes people uncomfortable and they feel the need to share their opinion on your decisions, that has everything to do with them and their issues and nothing to do with you.

Mamas, be brave. Be bold. You do what works for you and your family. Say “no” to what isn’t working and “yes” to more of what brings you joy.



UNBURDENED

THE OVERWHELMED BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO A SIMPLER MOTHERHOOD.

SO YOU CAN LIVE ABUNDANT, WELL, AND INTENTIONALLY FOCUSED ON THOSE WHO MATTER MOST!

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Six Things I Said Goodbye To In Order To Live A Life of Purpose

Minimalism can get a bad rap. A lot of times when people think about minimalism they think they need to empty out their homes and live with the bare minimum. That’s just not what I’m about.

I’m about simplification, about mindfulness, about purpose. That’s why I’m so intentional about the things I purchase and allow to take up space in my home.

When I buy something, I want to know that it will serve me and my family. I need to know that it will help me live on purpose and serve me well.

If you’re thinking, “What on earth does that mean, Allie? What does it look like to be intentional with my purchases? Where do I even begin?”

I’ve got you, mama!

I’m going to share six things that I no longer purchase that help me live intentionally. This is just my list. Your list may look completely different and that’s okay! We all lead different lives and have different priorities.

I’m sharing this with you to encourage you to start questioning why you’re purchasing something so you don’t end up buying cute junk you don’t need. Because we’ve all been there, am I right?


“HEY MAMA!

 STOP SETTLING FOR OVERWHELMED. 

LET’S UPROOT WHAT’S WEIGHING YOU DOWN AND UNCOVER YOUR ABUNDANT MOTHERHOOD.

AND LEAVE SURVIVAL MODE BEHIND.

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01. My kids’ school and athletic pictures.

It’s not that I don’t care about my kids’ activities or that I’m not sentimental. They’re just not my style so they’re not important to me.

I would rather be intentional about taking my own candid photos of my kids playing their sports than buying professional photos.

I want the photos of them living their full, little lives rather than pictures of them using props with fake smiles on their faces. That’s just not authentic to me so I don’t ever buy them anymore.

02. Cheap crap that doesn’t last

I’ve become really intentional about adding things to my closet and home that I actually love and know will last for a while. I don’t buy cheap, low-quality things just because there’s an empty space in my living room.

Instead, I’ll wait until it’s the right time and the right item and I’ll invest in a purchase that lasts. I’m not saying I never shop at H&M and Target (I do), but it’s really about quality for me now.

03. Items that I think are capturing a memory but they’re really not

I don’t know what it is, but souvenir shops can just suck you in! It’s so easy to feel like you need to bring back something. But I just don’t anymore. I’d rather take photos to remember trips and events than purchase a gift shop souvenir.


I’m not talking about collectible items - like maybe you collect travel coffee mugs from different places or some other item that means a lot to you. I’m just talking about crap that we feel like we have to buy that really means nothing.

04. DVDS

This is a huge NO for us. We don’t buy DVDs anymore because almost everything we want to watch we can get on a streaming service like VUDU or Netflix.

It just seems kind of pointless to buy a physical DVD when you can rent or buy anything you want to watch on Amazon Prime.

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05. Things that I love at the store but I have no real purpose or place for them

Target is a place I go where I just think everything is cute and amazing! Can I get an amen?  But I’ve really learned the art of appreciating something and not feeling like I need to have it in my home.

When I see something cute, I’ll ask myself, “What’s the purpose of this? Where would I put this? Why would I get this?” And if I can’t come up with a good answer, I don’t buy it. I just appreciate it for what it is and go on my way.

Just because something is super cute or I think it’s SO ME doesn’t mean that I have to buy it.  

06. Things that I want to use but never actually use in real life.

An example of this for me would be hair clips. For a long time I was bad about buying these cute, little hair clips and then never putting them in my hair. Or I would see a cute piece of clothing that really wasn’t my style but I wanted it to be my style so I’d buy it anyway.

I don’t do that anymore because I know it’s pointless. I won’t use or wear these things and they’ll just end up taking up space and becoming clutter until eventually I get real with myself and get rid of them.

These are things things that I’ve just become really intentional about saying no to. And it’s not about saying no to everything or never buying hair clips. When I talk about minimalism I’m really talking about checking in with yourself and being mindful about the things that you purchase and allow to take up your space.

Make sure the things that you bring into your home serve you and the season of life you’re in. Make sure they serve your purpose, mama. Because you’re making a difference in this world and in the lives of your littles.

WANT A LITTLE EXTRA MOTIVATION?

HERE ARE SOME EPISODES OF THE PURPOSE SHOW THAT ARE RELATED TO THIS TOPIC!

 
 


YOUR UNCLUTTERED HOME

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 IS ABLE TO BE A LOT MORE PRESENT FOR WHAT MATTERS MOST.

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