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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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

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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How To Stay Positive When Life Doesn’t Go Like You Thought It Would

Life is full of things that can just knock you over. Whether it’s an inconvenience or a life crisis, how you define your own difficulties depends on you as a person, your past experiences, your tolerance for pain, where you are currently in life and so on.

First, let me say that when we go through these hard seasons, it’s okay to have a tough time.

It’s okay to cry, to question, to cuss a little if you want. I’ve been there. I’ve been overwhelmed and lonely and felt the darkness of depression, so this is coming from place of total empathy.

I don’t want you to think you need to have this Pollyanna attitude and no matter what you’re going through it’s all butterflies and everything’s fine.  But I do truly believe that keeping a positive mindset is a super beneficial way to live and I want to help you make that happen. So here are three practical ways to stay positive that I have picked up and learned on my own journey. I truly believe they will help you on yours.


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don’t play the victim.

No matter what you’re experiencing or what isn’t going right in your life, it’s important to not throw a never-ending pity party. It’s okay to have a quick one but don’t stay there. If you need a minute to vent, take a minute to vent. Call your family or a friend and share what you’re feeling in that moment but then you need to move on in a positive way.

 

Acknowledge your feelings and take action.

During seasons or moments when you are just completely overwhelmed with life, pay attention to how you feel. When you take the time to acknowledge your feelings you’re able to see more clearly what it is that you need to do and how you need to move forward. Are you tired? Take a nap. Are you stressed? Take a break. Are you overwhelmed? Cut things out or let them go.

You’re probably not going to immediately solve your problem and that’s okay! Just the act of doing something is going to make you feel so much better.  


Need help figuring out your feelings?

Get my “Working Through Your Mindset” freebie

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Set boundaries on your breaks.

If you decide that you need a break and you need to just veg out in front of the tv and eat crap for a whole day or two, then you do you. But set some boundaries on your breaks so you’re not still eating crap and watching Netflix all day in three months.

Tell yourself that you’re going to do whatever you want for one or two days and then it’s back to your routine. Hold yourself to that. Even if it’s hard. The only way to get over something is to get through it, so push through it.

Maybe these seem like weird things to do to stay positive but when you’re in a season of crisis this is what positivity looks like. It looks like taking a break, acknowledging your feelings and shutting down the pity party. This is positive movement forward when you’re in a tough situation.

I hope these steps are a light to someone who’s in a dark place right now. I have been there, and I understand where you are are and I care about you. I’m rooting for you. You’re going to pull through and come out on the other side. One step at a time, one day at a time.

Because you, my friend, are an overcomer.


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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How I Structure My Schedule

Let’t talk organization + structure. Organizing and structuring months. Organizing and structuring the week. Organizing and structuring the day to day. How do you find balance in all that you have going on? Where does your job fit in? Where does schooling fit in? Where does personal stuff fit in? How about housework and cooking.

I will say that there is a lot going on in my life, but I definitely feel very present, focused, and like I am never really stretched too, too thin.

Let’s dive in and talk all about how I structure my schedule. Maybe you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks here and there that will help your days flow a bit more smoothly.


let me tell you about “batching”

Basically, you segment your work by type. If you are writing emails, you are writing emails. You are not writing your emails, then checking in on social media, then recording a podcast episode. You are “batching” your work. You are putting similar tasks together.

Basically the idea behind this is that in terms of your psyche, it makes you more productive because you are already in that zone. You are already in the zone of writing emails or writing blog posts, or homeschooling kids. You are already in that mindset and in that zone of your brain, so you don’t have to switch tasks and re-gauge yourself. You’re already there.

I have a “batch-style” schedule. It is very flexible and changes as needed. I think even if you are not an entrepreneur you can absolutely use the idea of batching with your schedule, even with housework and stuff like that.

It is very flexible. I believe in having a rigid schedule set up but being gracious to yourself and allowing yourself flexibility because that’s life. It is much easier if you can ebb and flow as needed instead of trying to be perfectionistic.


BLOG TO BUSINESS RESOURCE GUIDE

This has all my favorite books, websites, courses, and influencers who helped me when I was growing my business.

It’s basically anything that helped me in my entrepreneurial journey of starting and running my business.

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batching my days

It’s important that I plan my week in advance in a flexible batch style schedule.

Here’s how that looks:

MONDAY: I complete work tasks. Often these are the days where I am recording the podcast, interviewing guests for the podcasts, etc. I am in a good working mindset, after coming off of a restful weekend. Brian does schooling with the kids while I work.

TUESDAY-THURSDAY: Less business work, heavier homeschool days. If there’s something I really need to get done, I work first, then do school with the kids after. I may knock out a couple of tasks, but these days are more school focused days

FRIDAY: Batched meetings all day. There are always different needs for meetings, but I always have the same few meetings, weekly. Depending on the load and the need that week, I have at least a couple of hours of meetings on Fridays, sometimes more than that.

 
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batching my month

Typically, the last week of every month and the first week of every month, I am recording the podcast for the following month. For example, the last week of February and the first week of March I was recording for April. 

There is a huge benefit in having cushion and giving yourself space and time.

Aside from those two recording intensive weeks, the other two weeks of the month consist of working a bit more heavily on things like: writing emails and blog posts, and connecting with my audience through things like livestreams or Instagram stories.

 
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batching my personal life + housework

Brian and I have a weekly date night. It is kind of religious for us. We only skip it if we have to. Even then, we will try to squeeze in some time alone together because we look forward to it. Similarly. we try to get in some one-on-one time with our kids whenever we can.

With housework and stuff like that I try to look ahead. I like to plan meals ahead of time, based on our schedule that week. I try to have my family eat at home whenever we can. We definitely do enjoy eating out, so if we need to, the night calls for it, and it is going to be a lot easier, we will definitely eat out together.

In terms of cleaning and maintaining my house, I am a big believer in not scheduling this per se and getting it all done as I go. Basically, a “see something that needs to be cleaned and do it right then and there” mentality. If a mess is made, clean it. I also have my kids do as many chores as they can for their ages. This is great because while I am doing one chore, they can do another. We get a lot more done that way!

I also have a housekeeping team that comes every other week to the do the deep cleaning stuff because I do work and I would rather have that time with my family and pay for that to be delegated.

That’s how I do it! Batching has really helped me a lot. There are some weeks that are really, really heavy and busy. Sometimes you just go through a busy season and that’s OK. There is grace for that. There’s takeout for that. There are crockpot meals for that. There are cereal nights for that.


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8 Ways to Create an Intentionally Peaceful Home

After a decent amount of trial and error, I think I've finally come up with a comprehensive list of ways to bring peace into your home, and set up a peaceful home. I have worked hard to create a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. 

Intentionally creating a peaceful home is a great way to ensure there is a solid foundation to fall back on when stressful moments make their way into your day to day life.

If you want to quickly and easily reference these steps, I created a free checklist for you!  Get it HERE!


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1. choose intentional DECOR

Use décor that makes you feel the most at home, relaxed, and happy to be there

I have created a home that is perfect for me. It makes me happy and relaxed. It feels lived-in and functional, but still beautiful and stylish. It reflects my personality. I don’t really purchase things to decorate my home with, unless they are really amazing and “my favorite” and I love it that way. Everything in my home just makes me really happy. That is so important.

Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What could you maybe change? What is it that you don't like? Do you not like the way it's decorated? Do you feel like you don't even know how to decorate? Educate yourself. Figure out a way to make it happen. You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house. I think decor is a big part of that because it's so visual.

 

2. handle your ENTRYWAY

Some homes have an “official entryway,” whether it’s a mudroom or whatever. My home does not have one of those, but I’ve created an entryway. Whatever you are standing in when you first walk through your front door, set that up. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. Everything should have a place. It should be functional and work well for you, but also be pretty, well-lit, minimalistic, clean and clear of clutter so that you walk in and the first thing you see is good.

Figure out a way. Do you come in through the garage? Do you come in through the back door? Do you come in through the front door? What do you and your family use as your main door? Where were you coming in from running errands and setting your keys down?

Make that section of your home really functional, pretty and clear of clutter for yourself, so the first thing you see when you walk in is clear. That's really going to help you set up a peaceful existence in your home.

 

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3. give your kids the gift of a "lived-in" home

I think there's a balance between a home that feels way too kid friendly and a home that looks like a kid doesn't even live there . My style is very important to me. It's important to me that I love my home when I walk in. But I don't want my house to feel so perfect and so beautiful that the kids are afraid to touch anything.

I think there's a way to mix functionality with style. You can have a beautiful home that you love, that you're proud to show off, and that you're proud to host things in but is also a comfy place where your family can relax and unwind at the end of the day. 


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“HEY MAMA!

DO YOU FEEL LIKE A SIMPLIFIED DAY IS TOTALLY UNDOABLE FOR YOU?

I’VE BEEN THERE!

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4. find simple solutions to daily problems

Another way that you can bring peace into your home is find a solution to the things that are regularly stressing you out in your home.

When we moved into our two story home, I noticed that there was continually a pile of things that belonged upstairs at the bottom of the stairs every day and it was really ugly. So I found a regular dark wicker basket that goes with my décor. I put it in the empty space on the wall by my stairs and every night we take it up. It’s part of our nightly cleanup routine. We put things away, put the empty basket back downstairs for the next day. 

It took away the stress, it took away the mess. No matter how minimalistic you are, if there are people living in your house, you're going to have stuff around. 

Sometimes you don't think outside of your box and you don't realize there's such a simple solution that would help you so much. 

 

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5. get yourself some FLOWERS

I personally love to always have fresh flowers in my house. I budget for flowers every week and stop at the store every Sunday to pick up a new bunch. I have a couple of vases I love and I swap them out on my kitchen sink. I do not like to do the dishes and I don't particularly love cooking either, so one way that I helped myself is by making myself love my kitchen.

I take extra care. I put extra thought and budget into making my kitchen a place that I love. 

In some way, shape or form, whether faux or real, flowers can really brighten up your home. And they do make for a more peaceful environment. It's a gift that only they can give.

 

6. create a peaceful atmosphere with scents

A great way you can create a peaceful atmosphere is to diffuse essential oils, use incense, or light candles. I have a diffuser I absolutely love. Pretty much all day, every day, I set it to “on”, and it goes until it runs out of water. I put distilled water in it, add some essential oil drops in there and I just diffuse all day.

It's in the main area of the house. You can smell it anywhere you are downstairs; sometimes even upstairs too. Seeing the steam and smelling the oils, really does create a more peaceful atmosphere.

Lighting candles is always a very easy way to create a calm atmosphere in your home. The flicker and the scent warm you up like nothing else can!

Whatever way you choose to do it, adding a comforting scent to your home will bring peace to your household.

7. INTENTIONALLY PLAN PEACEFULNESS

Intentionally planning for peacefulness around times that are usually stressful is huge. If you want to set your home up to be peaceful, you have to think ahead. What are usually the most stressful times of your day? Intentionally look ahead and plan for peacefulness around those times.

Play worship music. Play instrumental music. Play acoustic music. Light candles during those times. Maybe take a minute and go in a closet or the bathroom or somewhere and just sit for a second and focus on your breathing. Consciously do a quick standing meditation for 5-10 minutes before those times. Get yourself in a place of peace. We reflect what we're feeling on our kids and our families, and they tend to follow how we're feeling. I think there is something to be said about intentionally planning for peacefulness around the times that tend to be tense and stressful.

 

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8. create PHONE BOUNDARIES

Phone boundaries make for a peaceful home by fostering family time. I actually did a whole podcast episode a while back on phone settings for a present life. I would encourage you to look at how much you're using your phone. It's going to create stress if your kids feel like you're always looking down at your phone.

You can have your phone settings set up so your phone will ring for phone calls but not make other sounds. You can a have set time and place where you check your text messages and Instagram. 

Putting your phone in its place will create an atmosphere of peace because you're focused on your family. You're available to answer questions and talk to them about their days and be there without being distracted.


the peaceful home cheat sheet!

more ways to calm the feel of your home

When a stressful or tense situation hits, this checklist is GOLD! It is the perfect go-to because it's practical, straight forward, and has even more great peacemaking ideas! It's incredible to have something like this on hand just in case a stressful day decides to creep up on you!

Friends, I really don't want you to forget your checklist! It’s all the points that I covered written out for you to print out and put on your fridge. “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.” What an amazing thing to have sitting on your fridge so you can look at it and be reminded all the time.

It's divided into two sections: ways to set up a peaceful home and “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, look at these ideas and do one of them or all of them.


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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.

 


10 Things I've Done To Simplify My Life

I'm all about asking the question: What can I remove from my plate in the different areas of my life?

What must be done by me? What do I want to be done by me? What's dragging me down? Is it necessary that it drags me down? Is it just a part of life? Or can it go?

Is there a way that I could learn to enjoy this more? Is there a way I could learn to do this more efficiently? Is this serving my family? Is this serving someone else in a positive way? What is going on with each area of my life?

I think that's how you really get intentional - checking in with yourself, asking those questions. 

This is the first time I've actually come up with an even ten so, I'm feelin' like the most profesh blogger of all time right now.

*ahem* Anyway, let's dive in.

10 Things I've Done To Simplify My Life


01: DECIDE WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT

The first thing that I would say came to my mind about things that I've done to simplify my life is I decided what's most important to me. I would encourage you to do this and to keep your list to 5 or less things.

Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are.

For me, my list is broken down into relationships because really that's what each area of life breaks down to is your relationship with your priorities.

For me, it's: 

  • my relationship with God
  • my relationship with myself
  • my relationship with my husband, Brian 
  • my relationship with my children
  • my relationship with my business.

And frankly that's about the order that it's in, too.

GOD

The reason that I have it in that order is, well, first of all, God. Not to be cliché, but really He is my most important relationship. And I'll be honest and say sometimes my actions may not reflect that. But in my heart of hearts, that's what's most important to me. That's the relationship that deserves the top priority. And if I feel like my actions are not aligned with that statement, I know that I need to make some changes and some shifts. And I will and I do. That's a constant fine-tuning of sorts.

Myself

Controversially, I put myself next instead of my relationship with my husband. I don't know if that's right or wrong, perfect or flawed, or what, but that decision came out of a lot of reflection and a lot of learning in my twenties. I just recently turned 31, so, I’m no old sage or anything.

But I will say that in my almost 11 years of being married to Brian, being a mother and “growing up,” I've learned that if I don't prioritize myself first, I'm kind of a terrible wife, mother, person, friend, sister and daughter, and all the roles that I fall into because I'm an introvert. The way the Lord made me is beautiful and incredible. But it's human. It's flawed. And if I don't prioritize myself and take care of myself at least a little bit, I don't perform well. I don't feel good. I'm snappy. I'm cranky. I'm short-tempered.

Of course, there are times where I feel like that and I've got to suck it up and be a decent person. Do my job. Get through my day. Be a nice wife. Say nice things. Hold back from saying something rude, unhelpful or cutting. But my point is, after my relationship with the Lord, my relationship with myself is important in that I need to make sure that I'm taking care of myself.

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MY HUSBAND

I put my husband first in a lot of ways. But all in all, I will say that I will make sure that I carve out a little bit of “me time” before I carve out a little bit of “marriage time,” if that is what it comes down to, it often does not.

I hope I'm getting my point across that I have to take care of myself so that I can be a better wife, a better mom, more available, more patient, kinder, able to respond and be mindfully present for my husband and for my children.

The order doesn't matter as much as you saying what your priorities are.

WHAT ABOUT FRIENDS?

Friends and non-immediate family are very important to me, but they're definitely on the outer rings of my life. Not the center ring. They don't come before that other list.

That doesn't mean that I'm selfish. That doesn’t mean that I’m money hungry because my business is on the other list first or anything like that. It just means my relationship with God first, and I've got to take care of myself. I have to make sure that I'm having some quiet time. That I feel OK. That I have taken a shower. That I take a second to myself. That I’m not feeling anxious or like I am lacking something. That I am just not doing good and not able to function. That my marriage is healthy. That my relationship with my kids is going well, or at least it's been taken care of and that I put time into.

BUSINESS

My relationship with my business is so important because my business is not just a business. It's my passion. It’s really a ministry of sorts. It is so important and it is my family's livelihood. Brian and I work together on it and it's how we provide for our family, as well as other organizations who are doing good work and need financial backing. This matters!

When it comes down to it sometimes (a lot of the time actually) I do have to prioritize my business and my work above having coffee with a friend who's going through a hard time. Every once in a while it just comes down to it.

But usually - because I'm an entrepreneur, I work from home and I've got an amazing team behind me to carry the load of the day-to-day stuff - I can say, “You know what, I'm not going to work today. I'm going to finish up school with the kids and I'm going to go ahead and have lunch with my friend because she needs me.” I do that all the time.

But when I'm writing out my priorities, when I am writing out what really matters, that's kind of where my list is. I think it can be really daunting to come up with that list, but I think you should do it. And they think it's important.

If my feelings about a relationship with my main people and my business are suffering, something's going to have to give, because those are my priorities. So that's one thing that I have done to simplify my life is: I called out and said “what is most important to me?” And I made that decision prayerfully and thoughtfully over time.

I've got that list. I know I can come back to it if I'm feeling a little lost, overwhelmed or burdened by all the things. I can come back and look and say, “OK, what are my priorities? What needs to be top of the heap here in this situation?”

Although it can be daunting at first, once I did it, once I decided what's most important to me in my life, it simplified my life. It simplified my decisions. And it simplified a lot of things because my calendar reflects those priorities. My heart reflects those priorities and the way that I make decisions and say “yes” and “no” to things reflect those priorities. So, simplified my life a lot.

02: Learn to say no

Another thing that I did to simplify my life is I learned to say “No.” Learning to say “no” can be so difficult for some people. It is not super difficult for me. It depends on the circumstance. There are some things that I feel like, “Oh, my heart goes out to the situation. I want to say yes, I want to be there to help.”

I am really passionate about giving. I'm getting a little personal here, but in the first year of my business our family was America's version of poverty. It was really, really, really bad. (If you want to hear our story, you can listen to episode six of my podcast.)

We came around to the other side. Our business was thriving and went as a business from zero to seven figures in 18 months. It was so exciting and crazy. I have always been passionate about giving and helping others and my difficult financial experiences in my life with my husband definitely fueled that fire.

I became even more passionate about giving and wanting to do good things with this money. I got a little bit too gung-ho about giving and gave away too much to where it was like, “Oh crap, now we don't really have a safety net here.”

We probably should have put a little bit more away because that’s what you want to do. I have a hard time saying “no” when it seems good, when something seems charitable, when it seems like it's going to help somebody else.

I definitely think that sometimes self care and prioritizing your own family can turn selfish. I think sometimes it could turn into you're not really “looking outside of your own bubble.” I never want to get to that point. It's such a hard balance. I really think it's got to be some kind of gut check that you have with your own self and a “heart thing” that you're watching and prayerfully keeping watch over I guess, and asking the Lord to point out to you if you've gone too far one way or the other.

In this case, with the money thing, I had gone too far. Too much charity, not enough being careful, wise and a good steward. I wanted to give back after I felt like we had had to take so much and we weren't able to help at all.

I've since learned to say “no” and to be wise. I'm not talking about just with money - that was just in one small example - but in little things like volunteering for something or having coffee with a friend, sometimes you just need to say “no.”

Sometimes it's not a good idea. It's not wise. It's not a moment to be giving. It's a moment to be wise is in the way of, “I know what my family needs today and this isn't gonna work for us.”

There's a lot of talk, from me as well, about self-care and having time away, taking care of yourself, having girls’ nights, going to get a Mani-Pedi every once- in-a-while. That's so great. But sometimes it's the opposite and while this girl's night that I just got invited to is so fun and a great idea, it's a really bad week for me to leave my family and do that. It's going to end up not serving me and actually stressing me out. You may need to say “no.”

I've got a blog post about saying “no” and it has really simplified my life to have that skill to know how to graciously say “No, I can't do that right now.”

Unapologetically having your boundaries in order is such an act of simplification and it's a habit that will serve you well.

03: REMOVE DISTRACTIONS

The third thing that I have done to simplify my life is I turned off the things that distract me from my life. I'm talking about Facebook, phone notifications, all those types of things. There's recently been a podcast episode about that and I'll link to that in show notes for you guys as well. It's literally called “Phone Settings For A Present Life” and that is exactly what it is. How to physically set up your phone to stop beeping to you and distracting you from your actual life. It’s so funny, especially being a blogger, there's this pull and this almost expectation to share every moment and to not actually enjoy very many of them.

I feel like I have struck a really great balance of sharing plenty, sharing the fun stuff, the silly stuff, the serious stuff, the family moments, the business moments, the processes behind the scenes, but also really not feeling like I always have my phone. I found that balance I feel like. And I'm really happy with the balance I've struck. I want you to feel like that too. Turn off the things that distract you from your life.

I do not have the Facebook app on my phone. Facebook is on my computer and I can log in and do what I need to do there for work or pleasure or whatever. And then I'm done. It's not carried around with me all day long. I don't think it should be.

Your texts, your phone calls, your social media app alerts. All those things are only in the way how much you let them be in the way. I decided to prioritize (back to #1) and turn off the things that distract me from living my actual life, from being present for my God, myself, my husband, my children, my business, my friends, my family, and all these other things.

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04: TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

The next thing I did to simplify my life is I started spending time alone. This was another thing that totally came out of my 20’s, of me figuring myself out.

I say this a lot, but I'll say it again. Extrovert and introvert is not being hyper or super high energy, or loud versus quiet and shy. It's actually where you get your energy from. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people and introverts get their energy from being alone. There's people that are both, and that's called ambiverts. I don't know many of those but I know they're out there.

I am an introvert, and learning to give myself alone time, oh my gosh, it just restores me in such an amazing way. It's unbelievable what less than 10 minutes of being alone will do for me.

Even if you're an extrovert, being alone is so good for the soul.

Just being quiet for a second. Get the kids in bed, check in with your hubby and make sure he's good, and go for a 20-minute drive. Get a Chai latte and go for a drive with the windows down. Don't even turn music on, just be by yourself. It’s so nice to see what good company you are and where your thoughts go. What worries, fears, dreams or joys come to mind?

05: simplify your home

Another thing I did to simplify my life was I simplified my home.

I got rid of the clutter. I let go of the drawerfuls of junk and crap that was taking up all the nooks and crannies in the closets, under the bed, wedged in between couch cushions, crammed into nightstand drawers and kitchen drawers. Multiple spatulas, spoons, and bowls that were mismatched. Magazines and random clutter.

I got rid of all of it and I've kept it all away by ruthlessly being the editor of my home over the last six years. It has transformed my entire life more than almost anything. It's been huge.

You probably already know this is what I do. This is what I'm known for. This is where my signature course, my e-course, Your Uncluttered Home came from- this has been my process and my journey and I now teach other mamas how to do the same thing.

Simplify your home, watch your life transform. You wouldn’t even believe it if I told you all the different areas of my life that have changed just from simplifying my home.

My marriage improved.

Relationships improved with myself, with my kids. I was a lighter person, much happier, less stressed out.

I found it so much easier to stop yelling and stop reacting to my life because I wasn't living in this place of constant stress. My life no longer reflected the way that my home was cluttered. It reflected the way my home was uncluttered.

Studies show that the way that we have our homes is a reflection of the way we have our lives. And I really believe that.

It's been true for me and true for the thousands of students who have gone through Your Uncluttered Home. I definitely, definitely would say that one of the biggest things I did to simplify my entire life was clearing my home of clutter.

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Stop cleaning up after your kids' childhood. Start being present for it. 

Your Uncluttered Home has been globally praised & taken by thousands of moms who changed their lives!


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06: Establish routines

There's a podcast episode about this! Listen here.

My morning ritual is very important to me. I hate when something is going on that causes me to miss my morning ritual.

That happens very rarely because my morning ritual begins pretty early in the morning. It's only when we're traveling and I have to get up early to leave for the airport for a trip or something like that that gets in the way. I feel a big difference when that happens, and it's not a good difference!

My morning ritual has transformed my life so much. It has simplified so many aspects of my life.

07: DOWNSIZE

Another thing we did to simplify is we started living in smaller homes. Back before all of this, before I decluttered, before this part of my story began, we lived in a pretty large house. It was definitely big for our family size at the time. It was about 3,000 square feet and we only had two of our kids. In my opinion and experience, it was too much for us. 

It was so much maintenance and cleaning and it wasn't really worth it at the time because I was so overwhelmed. I was fighting depression and was pregnant with our third baby, Hudson. We couldn't even afford to furnish all of it, so it just felt empty, dull and high maintenance. 

We ended up downsizing and started to live in smaller houses. Nothing super tiny or anything, just smaller. Small enough to where the potential landlord would say something like, “Are you sure this house is big enough for you guys?”

Friends and family would comment regularly on the fact that we were living pretty small. It didn't feel too small to us but small enough to where it got comments for sure. It was a little bit against the norm, even now when we have four kids. And now that we're going to be adopting, our family is going to grow even more.

Our house is about 2300 -2400ish square feet andthree bedrooms (plus our office). We work from home, we’ve got an office that's an extension of the garage. So even now our house really isn't that big for a family my size. It's definitely the biggest house that we've had since our big downsize.

I can handle a little more square footage now. I've got less stress and I'm not in a crazy season of struggling anymore. My kids are older, they help out a lot, my husband's here to help, we have a housekeeper that comes once or twice a month and helps. 

We still live a little smaller than most people with our family size, and it's great. I love a small house. I think there's something really beautiful and there's something to be said for small living. And I love when people message me and they say, “You know, I've got two kids and we live in a thousand square feet and we just love it. We're outside all the time.”

It's so true, you get out and you start to live. You enjoy the outdoors. You really make your little home count, you know? It matters to you more. It's more important to you. 

08: GET MOVING

Another thing that I did to simplify my life was I started walking. This might sound silly and you might wonder what that has to do with simplifying, but it really does.

I started walking as a way to simplify my health. I think that the health and wellness industry is a money hungry industry of unnecessary advice, and I got sick of it. I just wanted to feel better. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to feel like I had more energy.

I wanted to get moving, but I really didn't like to exercise, so I just started to walk.

What I found was that, first of all, I love taking walks. Whether my kids come along or Brian's home and they stay with him and I go by myself, I love to walk.

I started to let my thoughts wander. I started to get really grateful. Then I started to intentionally think of things that I was grateful for while I walked. I call those my “gratitude walks.”

Sometimes I do that, sometimes I listen to a podcast or an audio book, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I pray, sometimes I have absolutely no agenda and I just go for a walk and see where the Lord takes me. But walking simplified my health. I lost weight. I feel better.

I do more than just walking now, but I still walk almost every day. It's a simple practice that I am really fond of that's really changed my life.

09: IMPLEMENT A NOTHING DAY

Our "nothing day" used to be once a week. Now I guess I still have a “nothing day” once a week, but really a very intentional, absolutely zero things on my calendar day, once a month for sure.

Sundays I like to turn off social media, at least for the most part. I don't look at my phone much. There's no work, unless I really want to because I love what I do. Sometimes I getting inspired and want to jot down a blog post or something. It's just rest, whatever rest looks like that day for me.

“Nothing day” is when you feel pulled really thin and you just need a break. “Nothing day” is no phone alerts, no phone at all, maybe. No capturing things for social media. I just unwind. Maybe we'll go out and do something fun as a family, maybe we'll just hang out and do nothing at home. That's usually what happens, but the point is it's just a day of “vegging out” and just “being.”

It's something that is so overlooked and not very often scheduled and it needs to be. It's so good for the soul. 

10: SIMPLIFY YOUR EATING

This goes back to the whole thing about the health and wellness industry- it's overwhelming! We eat at least three times a day and making food can be so complicated. It can really take over your day.

A friend of mine, Amanda Wilson, is an incredible Instagrammer for the health and wellness industry. I had a couple coaching calls with her about two years ago, and among other helpful things, she taught me about food prepping instead of meal prepping.

Food prepping is when you prep basic foods so that you can put plates together for meals, instead of deciding what you're going to eat way ahead of time, making the meal, and putting it in the fridge.

Because what was happening for me was I eat by mood, so I would make a meal and put it aside and I wouldn't want that later. What if I didn’t want leftover spaghetti or whatever it is when it came time to eat it? I was wasting food and opting for convenient takeout far too often. 

Instead, I started prepping basic foods that I know I eat all the time. For example, grilling up some potatoes, grilling some chicken and seasoning it lightly with salt and pepper so it can be used for any recipe, making some cauliflower rice and putting that in the fridge... things like that. Things that could be made as part of a meal but aren't already a designated meal.

That really helped me and it simplified my meals. 

I would encourage you to find a way that you need to simplify your eating, if that's feeling like a point of stress for you. I have a really good friend who just absolutely loves food. She loves everything to do with the creation of food. She would never want to simplify this area of her life. She loves cooking from scratch. She is amazing at it. But that is not me.

While I do enjoy cooking from scratch, I don't want to do that for every single meal. This is an area of my life that it served me greatly to simplify. I found a way that worked for me and our family. I would encourage you to do that if that’s hitting home for you.

And there you have it: 10 things that I've done to simplify my life. I hope that this was inspiring in a fresh way because I'm really just telling you something that I've done and not really telling you exactly how to do it. I think that can give you creative space to make it your own and apply this to your own life. 

Happy simplifying!

 


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.

 


How We Use Sundays to Hit Reset + Prepare for the Week

I love Sundays so much. Sunday is the day our family rests and recharges.  It’s the day we set ourselves up for success before the new week begins.

Every Sunday morning I wake up early, have a cup of coffee, read whatever book I’m currently digesting, and let the kids pour themselves cereal. We take our time, we talk and listen to acoustic music, they play in the backyard while I read more and Brian makes avocado toast for the two of us. Sunday mornings are my favorite.

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As a mama with a fairly large family, Sundays are more than just restorative - they’re a key part of running my household. It’s important that I look ahead at the coming week and prepare. I want to wake up on Monday and know that my fridge is stocked, my work is pre-planned, my homeschool lessons are laid out, and I am ready to be intentional and show up for my role. Sundays are huge for us!

Since I’ve been getting questions about our Sundays every week on Instagram (I use my InstaStory as a vlog, so people see what I’m doing most days), I thought I’d take some time to share a written version of what a typical Sunday in our house looks like. I know I get inspired reading things like this from other people, so I hope it does the same for someone reading this!


A Typical Sunday

After our leisurely morning, we clean up and head upstairs to get ready for church.

After church, we usually go out to lunch with friends and then grocery shopping.

Once we get home, everybody helps clean out the cupboard and fridge of anything that’s gone bad. We wipe it all down and make way for the new food. I prep our food before storing it away to save myself time during the busyness of the week.

I like to set the tone for a quiet day of resetting even as I’m working to prepare for the week by playing music and diffusing oils while I slice berries and the kids help Brian carry in groceries and prep the fridge.

The rest of the day is usually lazy and peaceful. Maybe we’ll play board games or take a nap. Maybe Brian and I will Netflix it up while the kids play in the backyard. 

Later, after dinner’s been eaten, it’s clean up time. We all help clean up the house, start the week with a sparkling kitchen, wrap up any laundry that’s been abandoned in the washing machine, put clothes away, run our robo vacuum, basically just our normal nightly routine. The kids are included in the clean up too (bath time, yo).

Once we’re done, the younger ones go to bed and our two older kids hang out in Bella’s room with books or toys and quietly play til they’re bedtime. This is the time when Brian and I have our weekly “meeting”. We love our Sunday night meetings!

We pour some wine, snuggle up, and look at what’s coming this week.

 

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Here are some of the things Brian and I cover during our Sunday night meetings:

What’s happening this coming week?

What does he need & how can I help him?

What do I need & how can he help me?

What’s going on with the business?

What’s going on with the kids schooling & acitivities?

Are there any phone calls that need to be made or emails that need to be sent?

When will we need to drive separate and tag team stuff?

When will we have quality family time?

Where do we want to go for our weekly date night?

What is he worried about?

What am I worried about?

It’s important to us that we are on the same page before life happens. I think this is one huge thing that really helps us respond to our life rather than reacting to it out of stress.

And that’s pretty much our Sundays!

Why This All Started

A few years ago, God really laid Proverbs 29:18 on my heart when I was seeking ways to get organized and run our family with intention.

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

Our Sundays (among lots of other things) were born out of my conviction from that verse.

Think about it - even if you’re not “of faith”, if you don’t look ahead and get some vision for where you’re headed, you’re going to flounder and probably fail, or at least struggle a lot. If we can avoid hardship, stress, tension, and a week full of yelling parents losing their minds, why wouldn’t we?

If you feel like your life is happening to your family and you'd like to pull it together, I totally get it and have been there. And you know what? I'll get there again. Because life is crazy and things ebb and flow and with that, you have to adjust. But I would encourage you to try choosing one day a week, even if it's not Sundays, to look ahead, plan a little, and prepare. 

You can do it, mama! I'm rooting for you!

Tools I use to plan our week:

Simplified Planner from Emily Ley

Google calendar

Asana

 

 


 

 

Why A Family Mission Statement Is So Important

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our family mission statement:

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

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

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

Steps for Writing Your Family Mission Statement

  1. Grab a journal and jot down your priorities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Words matter. 

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

 

You Don't Come This Far - Allie Casazza


 

 

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is NOT luck.

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

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

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

Our Story

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

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

Want to hear the cheesiest story ever?

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

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

Awwwww!

Awwwww!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So we said YES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our life got dramatically worse.

Our family in California, who we missed so much.

Our family in California, who we missed so much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That gave me a little bit of hope!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I ran straight ahead, full force. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was a machine!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was scary. No, it was TERRIFYING.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I believe that prayer changes things and your words matter. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How could this be?

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

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

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

TWENTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is so good.

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

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

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

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

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

DON'T YOU DARE GIVE UP. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now it's your turn.

Learn how to turn your blog into a business!  

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

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

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

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

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

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


I get asked about capsule wardrobes A LOT.

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

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

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

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

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

I love clothes!

I am a person who loves getting dressed!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


The Power of Words and Your Kids

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


 

I’ve always had a love for words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Science shows us that words are powerful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I chose to speak life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NEED HELP GETTING STARTED?  GRAB THIS LIST OF AFFIRMATIONS!

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

5 Steps for A Purposeful Morning Ritual

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steps to My Morning Ritual

1. Make Coffee and Get Quiet

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

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

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

2. Meditate

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

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

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

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

3. Pray

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

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

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

4. Morning Pages

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

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

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

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

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

5. Read the Bible and Read Personal Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's Time to Start Loving Your Body Better

 
 

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

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

What if we changed our approach?

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

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

THIS, is what I want for you, mama!

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

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

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

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

Start considering the following:

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

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

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

How we FEEL affects us greatly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Write what you love about your body.


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


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

2. Taking action from a grateful place.

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

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

Don’t overcomplicate it!

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

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

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

Set Goals With Purpose This Year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Steps to Goal Setting Success

1. Decide where you want to go.

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

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

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

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

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

2. Write your goals down.

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

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

Write your goals down!

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

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

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

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

4. Write down each action step.

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

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

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

5. Reverse engineer all of your goals.

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

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

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

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

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

3 Steps to Prepare for a Merry & Simplified Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

If that statement sends you into a panic...

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

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How to Get Started

1. Be frank and honest.

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

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

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


ARE YOU SICK OF BEING STRESSED EVERY YEAR WHEN THE HOLIDAYS ROLL AROUND?

Girl, I was too. That’s why I created “A Merry Little Christmas”

A NO-STRESS WAY TO HANDLE MORE STUFF AT CHRISTMAS

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2. Remain Gracious and Selfless

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communication is the key here!

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

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

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

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


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HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS… FOR REAL!

A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS IS a GUIDE TO A simplified holiday for moms pursuing less.

If you’re ready to put a lot more purpose in your family’s holiday, you definitely want to sign-up for this course!