EP 073: Slowing Down In A World Of "Hurry Up" with Lara Casey

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We live in a world of right now, hurry up, and instant gratification. A world that tells us to stay busy and fill our calendars, to meet our goals instantly, and rush the seasons. But we don’t have to! We can go against the grain and slow down. We don’t have to set goals that need to be met in an unrealistic time frame. Instead, we can grow slow, be intentional with our time, and just breathe. As Lara Casey says, “it is always worth it to take the five minutes. Yes, it will add up over time. No, you will not see the fruit as fast but the fruit will be sweeter in the end.”

Lara Casey is the founder of Cultivate What Matters as well as Laracasey.com. She's such a light and is so good at challenging others to redirect their focus and minds to right where they need to be for the day.

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Lara Discuss:

  • What growing slow means, especially in a world of right now and instant gratification.

  • How you can determine the goals you need to move forward with or move away from by evaluating their value in your life.

  • Ways you can overcome challenges with your calendar and the value of getting intentional with it.

  • What PowerSheets are and how they can help you reset your focus.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. I'm so honored to show you the conversation that I got to have with our beautiful guest today. Lara Casey is the founder of Cultivate What Matters as well as Laracasey.com. She's such a light. She's just a gem. We've sat down and talked before and I always just feel the joy through the screen when I get to spend a little time with her.

This episode was hard to title because we talked about all kinds of things from homeschooling to goal setting, just random. I feel like it was really, really good. We talked about your calendar, just being intentional in different areas of life, and it's just a gem of an episode. So, join me in welcoming Lara Casey.

ALLIE: Hi Lara. Welcome!

LARA: Thank you! So glad to be here!

ALLIE: Awesome! I'm so glad we could finally connect. You guys, we had to reschedule and try again a hundred times to get here today because that's what happens when you’re business-owning, homeschooling moms of little children. I just want to dive right in.

I was saying before we hit record, but your blog is really one of the only ones that I read regularly. I love it. You are so light and you get my brain redirected right where it needs to be for the day. I love your blog posts. I love your emails and look for your name. You're just an amazing writer.

LARA: That’s so encouraging to hear! You know, I feel like it's easy to get lost in the does anybody actually read this? I'm not sure. So thank you. That's very kind.

ALLIE: Of course! So on your blog, it wasn't too recently, but maybe a few months ago you said something that I love that I really wanted my listeners to hear. It was about setting goals midyear. You've talked about that a little bit before and because of you, I will kind of do a mid-year check-in with the intentions that I had set in January instead of just dropping them in whenever and forgetting about them. I really loved it. I love talking about that and kind of helping people break free out of that like fresh start syndrome trap.

So what you said was you make a move forward list. Can you share about that idea? I just think it's so helpful and interesting.

LARA: At the beginning of the year, of course most people are in the mind frame of what can I do that's new? How can I work on what didn't work last year? And so we make goals or whatever you call them. And we get to kind of a midway point where things start to feel a little tense. Maybe there are goals that we haven't made progress on. Maybe we've changed a lot in the first six months of the year and so I think we kind of get stuck. “Well, we set those goals at the beginning of the year. I can't change them. That’s my theme for the year. That's my word for the year.”

But we grow and change just like the flowers in my garden do. They grow and change over time and we do too. And so I think there's a really wonderful opportunity, not just, you know, halfway through the year, but every few months to stop, reevaluate, and say, “Is this thing that I've been spending my time on, this currency of my heart on, is it really worth it? Am I doing it well? Am I getting sidetracked by something?

So, I feel like there is an opportunity to move forward either on the things that are worth our time or to move forward and just move away from the things that are not worth our time. So halfway through the year, and really a lot of times throughout the year, I ask myself that question. Where do I need to move forward? What do I need to let go of? What do I need to be pressing into? It’s a good opportunity to change and shift.

ALLIE: So have you done the enneagram?

LARA: Yes, I'm a one. I'm definitely a one.

ALLIE: I'm an eight and so I find myself really… If there's instructions set for something and I know it works, I have a really hard time thinking, “Oh you could go off of that though. Like it's okay to go off of that.” I just, I don't know, I'm kind of logical. It works, so why would I… I don’t even have that thought. And so, I beat myself up though. I'm an oldest child and so I kind of have to do the perfect thing. And those together, it's like “but this is what I set.” And I just think that the way you speak about that, it has brought me so much freedom and just, “but what's working right now?” I was a different person in January. It's crazy to think that way.

LARA: Yeah. And our kids, they change too. For me, a lot of it is how am I shifting to meet the needs of my family? And it's not just me changing but one child has a specific need in one season, or we're dealing with specific emotions. I think we can get (and I know I can get this way) so set on the checklist. This is the plan. This is what we're supposed to be doing right now. Instead of just looking at the needs that are in front of you and looking at the opportunities that are right in front of you.

I'm all for intentional forethought and really sticking to something that really matters to you and pushing through the hard stuff, but there are some times you just need to redirect.

ALLIE: So you talk a lot about growing slow and letting things take time. And comparing that to your gardening, which I love. I think that goes so hard against today's culture of right now and instant gratification and all that. Tell us about that and what exactly does that mean “growing slow.” Maybe an example of how you're doing that right now so we can kind of understand.

LARA: Yeah. There was a season where we had two tiny babies at once. So I had given birth to my son Joshua, and then six months later we adopted our youngest, Sarah. I mean if you even have one child… it’s not just about having two kids, but any season like that can be tumultuous. And I just remember feeling so much defeat in that season. I mean it can really break you down as a mom to be trying to balance a business and two really young kids with really strong needs. And then I had a 4 ½-year-old at the time who was going through a lot of big emotions with that transition.

And so, I just found myself in despair a lot and just thinking, “I am really just trying to survive right now.” I feel like there are these wonderful things that I want to do with our family and these qualities I want to grow in our children and I feel like I'm just complaining all of the time.

And so, this thought came to me that I don't really have a choice to grow overnight. I can't. I don't have the time for it right now. It sounds funny to say. I know it's kind of a trite thing to say, but even I can't get in the shower most days, you know? It's true. And I started to practice, truly practice out of necessity, this idea of little-by-little progress adding up. I just thought if I could just sit with Grace, our oldest, for five minutes on the floor without the other two attached to me for a few minutes, maybe that would add up.

And it takes a lot of trust. It takes a lot of faith to believe in the little-by-little progress adding up versus the overnight because overnight is easier to see. It's easier to see a result when you (this is the weirdest example, but I'm such a homeschool mom in this way) when you do the flower dyeing experiment, where you take a white flower and you stick it in the flower dye, you know? It's really easy to see a flower that goes from white to pink the next day. But the little-by-little over time is harder to notice.

And so for me, that's the practical that I learned in that season that it's always worth it to take the five minutes. Yes, it will add up over time. No, you will not see the fruit of that as fast but the fruit will be sweeter in the end.

ALLIE: What comes to mind when you're talking about that is that I know obviously you're a business owner. I know you're a working mom. For me my journey with being a working mom was very sudden, like, bam! Change! You’re not stay-at-home anymore. And it's all good. I love my business. I love what I do and I'm passionate about my mission, but a lot of the times (I'm working through this right now) I find myself feeling guilty for having that passion.

You're just so good. I know that was a total shift from what I just asked you, but it just came to mind because you're so good at being okay with things being the way that they are right now. And I think you've even talked about being a working mom and like it's okay if your schedule is full of work, you're doing something good.

And I think I'm so in need of that water on me right now and I know there's so many moms listening, but it's just a constant thing…work/life balance. I was traveling for work the other weekend and I got asked at least twice that I can think of, “Who's with your kids, though?” When my husband is traveling, nobody asks him that.

And so, it's just that kind of expected guilt (we're doing something else?) and I would just love your thoughts on being a working mom and having a calendar. Right now, my calendar is full of guest interviews, writing, and planning and there's not a lot of family stuff on there this month. There was last month. How do you deal with all of that?

LARA: Yeah, I feel like it's a complex answer. I don't really have a formula to offer people per se because I really feel like it's wherever the Lord has you in that season, that's where He's got you. I feel like for me personally, I just had this realization last week, I'm going to be in a perpetual season of saying “no” for a long time. And what do I mean by that? I mean that for many years I worked at the detriment of my family. Even before we had kids I worked 24/7 because I equated my work with my worth. And then when I had kids I was so entrenched in my work that it was very difficult for me to let go of that.

God has just been constantly teaching me that letting go is where He needs me. I could go into a whole other story about that, but for one I have full-time childcare right now, so I'm not doing this by myself. And I do believe that us as parents, we have the utmost responsibility and calling of pouring God's light and love into our children more than anybody else. But there are also opportunities for other people to be in their lives that also enrich them deeply. And so, we consider our caregiver part of our family. So there's that.

But the other thing is I really do feel like, for me personally, I just can't do it all and do it well. I have to disappoint friends when they want to get together because I'd rather just sit on the floor with my kids and play Legos. I can't go to social things all the time. We have to sometimes split even going to church family group because somebody has to be here while the kids are sleeping, you know? And so, wherever anybody is that’s listening to this, it's just the act of learning that saying “no” to one thing means you're saying “yes” to something else.

And it's a constant balance because I feel like the needs are constantly changing, not because there's some static ideal that I feel like every woman should reach. It's just again, for me personally, I feel like it's wherever God wants you to be in that season. And for me right now, the work/life balance, the motherhood, the way I get the guilt out of the way is by being obedient and sometimes that means disappointing a lot of people. Sometimes that means even saying “no” to a work project or I could go on, but it means that you're not going to be in a position of ease, but it will be worth it.

ALLIE: Yeah. For sure. And you gave me so much freedom in something you said recently where you talked about that if your calendar is full of work stuff right now, that's okay because you're doing something big. You're providing for your family. You're doing a different part of your mission. It's not supposed to all be one thing in your life all of the time.

LARA: Most definitely. And I have not just single mom friends, but working mom friends who are married, all kinds of different people in different life places who God has put them in a place where either they need to provide for their family or they've been given a calling in something that is for the Kingdom or whatever it is.

Or it could be, you know, I don't know... not to say that being a mail carrier is not something for the Kingdom, but just the first example that came to my mind. It's still for the Kingdom. If you are working to provide for your family, then there's no greater value than that. Even if it's something that's not creative or fun or whatever. Like the verse says “work hardly for the Lord no matter what you do.” (That was paraphrased.)

Again, it's hard for me to give a formula or a blanket answer, but if you're feeling the guilt, I think there's an opportunity to be curious about that. Just to say, “Lord, am I feeling guilt about this because… (like you experienced, there was a cultural pressure that pushed in on you) am I feeling this because I actually do need to spend more time with my kids or I actually do need to say “no” more? Or am I feeling this because…” I don't know, it could be a million reasons.

I think it's not just a one size fits all, like you ask that question once at the beginning of a season and then you figure out this perfect schedule and then you're done. For me it's a constant. It's like an every day, like, all right, I'm going to spend four hours with Grace doing homeschool today while our caregiver is taking the kids to the park or whatever, and then I know I'm going to spend time with them when they get back. It's just a constant balance.

ALLIE: Can I ask a practical question? How often do you usually spend on school? What's your guys' homeschool schedule like with everything else you have?

LARA: So I essentially work part-time if we're being technical. This is my first year, but we do school two long mornings a week and then Grace goes to a homeschool school for History and Social Studies two other long mornings a week, something like 9:00-1:00 or 9:00-2:00. And then Friday is a free day. So that's the way we're doing it for Kindergarten/1st grade. It may increase as we get, you know, further along. But yeah, that's how we do it. And then the other two are just about to start preschool so they’ll be in preschool two mornings a week as well. And it's during those time blocks that I'm usually going to have meetings or longer periods of work.

ALLIE: Yeah. I just like hearing how other people make it happen. I'm a really relaxed homeschooler or like very Charlotte Mason, like read a lot, talk a lot. This year my daughter's going into fourth grade and so it's starting to get a little more… legit is the wrong word. It matters more, it feels like. And you have to know all these things that are not exciting and are not going to get accomplished by reading a book. My husband and I share the load and so we just went over like, “there's like little pieces of Algebra in the book this year. How are we going to do this? How are we going to schedule and make sure we actually…?” I feel like this just now (she’s 9) is the first year where it's actually like, “okay, we need to make sure we're doing Math every day.” It's kind of refreshing though because sometimes being super free is difficult.

LARA: I totally understand that. Yes. I feel the same way.

ALLIE: It's a journey for sure. Okay. So, I'd love to talk to you about getting intentional with our calendars. And you had recently, I think really recently, you did a workshop about calendars and all that, which was amazing. By the way, is that something that people can watch still?

LARA: Yes. It’s free. It's called How To Cultivate Your Calendar.

ALLIE: So what do you think, what would you say are the major challenges that women and mothers specifically are facing when it comes to putting things on their schedules?

LARA: I think we just kind of go through the motions with it. And that's a hard thing to say because when I say “go through the motions” many times we look at our to-do list or the things that are on our calendars and we do not ever consider that they could change. We think, “Nope, I've committed to this. This is just the way it is. This is the way everybody does it. There's no way to fix this. There's no way to make this better.” And I've had that feeling and that thought probably 99% of the time, but then there's the 1% that's changed my life, which is actually maybe you could do it differently. Maybe a little intentional forethought really goes a long way.

And so rather than letting your calendar and your schedule get filled up, being proactive and looking at a year period ahead of time, like say next week you decide to look ahead at the first quarter of 2019. I just did this this weekend. I just looked ahead of the rest of year. I just literally went day-by-day and I thought to myself, “okay, I need to buy a birthday card for this, and I’m going to need to get a babysitter for this” and I just went through and cultivated the calendar.

So, cultivate means to prepare for growth and to till up the soil for good things to grow and to cultivate our calendar means to be prepared. It doesn't mean that you have to have a perfect birthday celebration plan for someone or something elaborate. It's just the act of having forethought so that you're not coming up to (and I'm speaking from personal experience here) coming up to friends’ birthdays or friends’ anniversaries and you're like, “oh my goodness, I completely forgot” or “I have no time and now I have to spend X amount of dollars to buy this last-minute gift to overnight to them” or whatever it is.

I think being prepared, and when I say prepared, I mean just slightly prepared for these things, having a little forethought helps us to feel confident about loving other people well. So, to answer your question again, biggest mistake I think people make is thinking that they have no control over their schedules. Yes, there are certain things that are set like a 9-5 work schedule or a childcare schedule or whatever it is, there are things that are there. But all the things around it or the way you even prepare for that period of time, planning lunches, I could go on.

ALLIE: For us in our family, we go into different “batch” seasons of rest and fullness (I won’t say busyness). We just came out of this really relaxed season of rest. We took a lot of fun day trips and ended up driving to San Diego and then staying in a hotel for a couple nights unplanned and just being at the beach with the kids. Now school is starting and we go thru a charter school so they kind of help us organize (you should probably start school now) and softball, baseball, piano, horseback, all the electives. We've been really careful with what we say “yes” to and what we're like, “Yeah, I know you're interested in that, but it's just not this year,” but it's busy.

It's full. It helps me, at least. I'm super introverted and so going to all these different things just exhausts me. It sounds so “Madonna” or whatever, but knowing that we just had such a restful season and I'm preparing, like you said. I have cultivated our calendar and our schedule where I know we're going into this and I can kind of gear up and then I know it's going to end. And then it's going to be the holidays and it's time to be with family again.

I think if you're not constantly busying yourself and saying “yes” to everything out of guilt or obligation or whatever it is, that having those periods of rest makes the periods of fullness so much more joy filled.

LARA: Yup. Yup. I agree. We were created for seasons. We were created for these ebbs and flows, not just in the literal seasons like fall and winter, but we were created to have a rhythm of rest and work. And I feel like work gets a really bad rap, but we literally were created to work in whatever capacity that means, whether it's raising children and being a love at home mom or it's doing that plus doing whatever part-time job you have from home or whatever it is. We were created to work, but in that we have to have the combination of rest. I mean not to just keep using that biblical example of God rested one day a week for the sabbath and so if He did that… That was really just an example for us. It's not like God needed to rest. He needed to give us that example.

I think that that's a main component of cultivating your calendar is looking ahead and saying, I know I'm going to have this season of pushing really hard or traveling or like you said, having a very full season. What can I do to combat that or prepare for that? How can I lay low after that so my batteries can recharge. And that's really loving yourself and your people well, you know? It's not being self-indulgent to say, “I'm not going to work on those Fridays after that,” or whatever. Yeah, I think it's proactive. It's great.

ALLIE: I love that.

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In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

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ALLIE: So I'm just wondering, practically speaking, paper planners, planning things out on paper versus digital, how do you handle that? Do you do one or the other or how do you do that?

LARA:  In our office we use ical, just the regular apple calendar program because it syncs with everybody's phones and their desktops and stuff. Then for our family day-to-day things, not for necessarily like planning on the calendar, but day-to-day they have music class at 2:00 or whatever it is, we use a paper calendar and that just stays down in the kitchen all the time. That's more to look at what are the needs for this specific day. And then I use my Powersheets, the goal planner that we created from Cultivate to inform my calendars. And so that's really where I have my list, if you will, of all of my priorities and I transfer action steps from that into both the digital and paper things.

ALLIE: I love them. I use them. I have mine right here. It's in my desk. All the time.

LARA: That's awesome. I love it!

ALLIE: First of all, the work that you have us do in the beginning, before the year, is so deep and amazing. You ask questions and I'm like, “I never would've thought of that” and it matters so much. I noticed a lot of changes in this year’s from the one before and you're always making them better somehow. But you leave a lot of space, too, for it's almost like encouraging notes for myself when things might get a little hard. Sometimes you’re looking ahead. What's going on this month? What do you have going on this month or whatever. What are your goals? And sometimes I get overwhelmed beyond all belief and you give us permission to slash and say, “Nevermind. Actually, I can't do that. I'm not God. I can't do that.” And to write encouraging notes for myself like, “This is going to make your stomach turn. This is a big interview or this is a big thing. It's okay. You got this. Remember to breathe.” Just little things that seem silly. Just having that in front of me on my desk all the time is, it's really a gift I love your Powersheets.

LARA: I'm so encouraged to hear that. That's awesome. I think it's just easy to get lost in the woods, you know, and feel like you don't have reminders of where you're going. So whether it's Powersheets or a note you put on your desk or a post-it note on your refrigerator or whatever it is. I have my Bible here on my desk, or a note written in the margin of your Bible. Having a reminder of where you're going and what's most important. That is the key to cultivating your calendar and doing all the work/life balance.

If your “yes” is not super clear then it's going to be very difficult to say “no” to things that are going to get in the way of that. But when you're “yes” is super clear, it is very easy to say “no.” So yeah, it's a good reminder of where you're going and what your real priority is.

ALLIE: Yeah. So, kind of jumping back to homeschooling real quick, (I just thought of something) I feel like in the homeschool world there is so many things that claim to be “the thing” you need to do or to have in order to succeed and it is scary and no matter how confident you are or what you believe, there are times where it is scary to be educating your kids. It’s a big load. And so, I feel like sometimes homeschooling feels like an area where I'm not doing enough or it could be better. Is this the best thing for them? And that's exhausting. And also homeschool progress is slow progress. It’s such a life lesson. It's reflective of a lot of things, but homeschooling is just really slow. There’s frustrations and they're not sitting still.

We were doing a doing Joan of Arc the other day. First of all, I didn't know all this stuff about Joan of Arc. The lesson that I learned was very watered down. She was amazing. I've got three boys and a girl and my boys were like obsessed that she got burned at the stake. They're fixated on this. How did they do that? And I'm like, okay, can we focus on the part of her faith please? It's just frustrating to teach little kids.

So anyway, all that to say, and this is really general, so take this wherever you want, but how have you gotten intentional in your homeschool and how are you patient with Grace and how have you gotten intentional with what you say “yes” and “no” to? How do you kind of guide yourself in that?

LARA:  I feel like I'm so new to this and so green to it that I am learning all the things that you're describing right now, but I don't know if I could say this really well, but homeschooling is essentially like constant parenting. I mean it's like a concentrated form of having to deal with all of your own insecurities, your own challenges, your own patience and also your child’s in a big melting pot. So, if you just amplify all the hard things about parenting, they all kind of surface the moment homeschool starts.

So, I think the one thing that I have to do, and I know this sounds general, but I have to pray because I feel like if I go into a homeschool day with my brain elsewhere or with my brain on here's all the things we're going to check off our list today, I miss so much good stuff.

Like today, we have this great book we use that’s a hymn study book and it's a pretty academic book. It basically tells the stories of the different hymns. Then you get to go through the hymn. We were reading about Joy To The World and if I were following a (yes we follow some sort of checklist) really hard-line checklist, I would have missed the amazing conversation that we had today about different translations of the Bible within that whole thing. And we read my grandfather's obituary and talked about family history because it all related to the story of the song.

So, all that to say I feel like the days where I really pray and let go and I realize that it's not about what Grace learns in her brain, but how I am cultivating her heart, then I get more okay with a little-by-little learning. And, like you said, I feel it's the biggest lesson I've ever experienced with not seeing progress and feeling like, “Is this actually working? Are you retaining anything that I'm teaching you?” We've gotten through four pages of this book in a month. But then out of the blue kids will surprise you and I'll be like, “You really listened to that? You remember that from that day?”

ALLIE: You learned more than being burned at the stake?

LARA: There's so many things I could say. One is just to trust that our kids are probably smarter than we think they are. And to trust that your little-by-little effort will add up even though they are whining and complaining and all the stuff in between. This is not a statement about home school versus public school or any other school, but for me homeschool is the best opportunity I have for sanctification with Grace right now. It refines my heart. It challenges my faith and I think it's opening her eyes in that way too. So, I just can't imagine a better opportunity for that. I mean you don't learn a whole lot through easy things. You'll learn a whole lot through hard things and it's through the hard stuff that good things come. That was a long answer to your question, but the answer is I'm learning.

ALLIE: Recently this year I learned that I don't have to be the best. The best option. Everything I choose is the best. Yes, this is it. Actually stopping that thought and instead I'm showing up. I'm showing up and this looks great. It feels right. I feel peace about this choice for this curriculum or this book or whatever. We're going to go with it and just letting go of that need to be better than school. It's not a competition.

LARA: It’s not. No. And I think our kids feel that when I feel that way. I know Grace feels that when I think, “Oh, she's behind in reading” and I'm operating from that place, she doesn't learn, you know? But operating from a place of hope, trust and belief and seeing the good in all the hard stuff too. It makes it so much more fun.

ALLIE: This episode is going to be difficult to title because we're talking about so many amazing things.

LARA:  It’s a hodgepodge of topics.

ALLIE: I'm obviously fangirling because I know all the things that you do, but I would love to ask you about your Write The Word Journals. Is that something that you did in yourself and then those came out of it, like how did you come to create those? I love them.

LARA: So the answer is yes. I have a, I don't know another way to say this, but I have a difficult attention span, I guess. I guess you could call it a creative attention span where I'm a visual learner. I have a really hard time sitting down with a big chunk of text. I feel like I have to hear it or I have to see it or I have to do something with it for it to come alive. And so, I remember just praying one morning and thinking like, “Lord, I really want to connect with your Word and I really want to make it real in my life. I want to plant it in my heart.” And this idea came to me of writing the scriptures. I thought, well, my intention can't go anywhere if I'm writing it out and I feel like I will meditate on it more if I'm literally using my messy handwriting to write out Bible verses.

And so, I started doing that for myself. I now, many years later after having created the first Write The Word Journals, which is basically a blank journal that has a preselected portion of scripture based on whatever the theme of that journal is that just leads you into scripture and obviously the journals tell you to read it in context. It's just a great way to get directly into scripture, but then also to slow your brain down. Not just quickly digest it but really let it sink in.

But here I am now on the other side of this realizing there's so much research and science behind writing the Word, whether you get The Word Journal or not. Just pick a verse and find a scrap piece of paper and you will see this fact come to life. There was a study done where they took a group of students and the students that took notes on a laptop or an electronic device did not retain even half of the information that the students that hand wrote their notes out did. I don't know if you're like me, like I remember loving writing notes in college or in various classes or even sermon notes, but I hardly ever go back to them, but there's something about the act of writing them that solidifies the information in our brains and so it's the same with Writing The Word.

ALLIE: I love that. We have the Write The Word For Kids Journal. I just have to tell you. Your team sent it to me and I was so excited and I gave it to Bella, she's 9, and I just kind of left it. I didn't say anything to her. Her light was on at like 10:00 p.m. the other night, so I just went in to turn it off and she was awake. She's so dang creative. She’s got that down. So her brain was just going and she's like, “I'm having a hard time falling asleep so I'm using this.” And it was your Write The Word Journal. And it was halfway full. She was using it and going to her Bible and just doing it.

Then yesterday we got back from a trip and we have one of those letter boards downstairs and it was knocked over. All the letters were off. And I was like, “I think we should put a new message on here from a new season. She was like, “I have one about the Lord that I want to do.” I’m like, “That’s fine. Here's all the letters.” And half an hour later I come in and she wrote her own little version of some scripture that had meant a lot to her. I asked her about it and she said she had gotten it from the Write The Word Journal. She put “rise upon the lord and your spirit will not get tired.”

It was so cute. I know what verse she was thinking of and she put it in her own way. Honestly it was like, “What an amazing version! We're going to have to come out with a new Bible version.” It was just really, really neat to see. You’re creating things that are so impactful, that matter so much, that are guiding people and little kids and doing something that really matters. So, I just think that's so “me” and I had to tell you that story. It happened yesterday.

LARA: That is really awesome to hear. The Write The Word For Kids I think has been my favorite thing we've ever created. Probably because I have a daughter who's going to be 7 soon and it's right up her alley, but I mean just the idea of planting The Word in kids' hearts and letting them have fun with it. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that story. That’s so cool.

ALLIE: Okay, so where can people find more of you if somehow they have never heard of Lara Casey and Cultivate What Matters, where do you want to send people to kind of read more and find more about you?

Yes. You can find me at LaraCasey.com and at Cultivatewhatmatters.com.

ALLIE: Yes. Okay. Thank you so much for being here. It was really an honor to talk to you. I just love you and everything you do.

LARA: You know this was such a joy. Thank you so much for having me.

Hey friends. I'm so glad you were here to listen to this episode with Lara. If you want the link to anything that we talked about including her calendar Webinar where she teaches about having an intentional calendar and how to plan your schedule out (it's so, so good) go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/073 and you can get all that stuff. We linked it all up for you, so head over there to get anything that we've talked about today.

Hey friend, thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Purpose Show. If you loved what Lara and I talked about and you want to find anything that she mentioned or I mentioned that we linked to, you can find everything you're looking for at alliecasazza.com/shownotes/073.



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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 072: 5 Super Honest Things I'm Afraid to Share with You

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With the growth of my podcast and my business, I have come to this point where I really want to make sure I can be myself. I want to let that guard down and be who I am without fear of what people will think or say about me! It's easy to accidentally misunderstand somebody and think of them as a perfect being with all these beautiful photos on Instagram. And recently, I've been feeling a lot more comfortable with being vulnerable and it's making me more authentic, which I hope is making you guys feel more connected to me.

I hope this episode just breaks it down and makes me real. I'm here with you. My kids are young. I'm still figuring this out. I'm just always reworking things and trying to be the best version of myself so that I can help you guys and connect with you. I don't want to just teach you things and make you think I'm perfect, my family has it all together, and I have it all figured it. Because that is not true! And so, cheers to a lot more connectivity, a lot more honesty, a lot more fun social media posts, fun podcast episodes that are still super helpful, but help you see me as human.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The standard and pressure she faces because of her message and what she teaches.

  • How guilty she feels for being exhausted at times when it comes to her business and having to turn things down.

  • Why she chooses to delegate certain responsibilities in her home and business to other people.

  • The reality of mom guilt and having to push through not wanting to do things with your kids.

Mentioned in this Episode:


10:10 CHALLENGE

If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even.

I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days.

It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family.

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful listeners! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. I'm so glad that you're here!

I don't know how you found me - if you've been here from the get-go or if somebody shared this with you or you found it randomly, but I do believe you're here listening for a reason and whatever that reason is, I'm just really, really glad to have you and I want you to know that.

This episode could be really fun for you guys. I am getting vulnerable and messy today in this episode and I'm sharing 5 super honest things that I'm afraid to share with you.

So, let me preface this episode with something. I'm not really a person who reacts or acts out of fear at all. I am kind of a risk taker. I think that's one thing that makes me a good entrepreneur.

I don't typically care what other people think. It can be a strength and also a weakness in that I can come off as insensitive sometimes. I just don't tend to kind of worry and act a certain way, just in case, because I don't want to be perceived as something. I just tend to not really live my life that way.

But recently, just with a lot of the success and growth that's come my way, I've been kind of freaked out by just larger numbers, more people and that always leads to more comments and messages. It's not all negative. It's not that people are messaging me terrible things or anything. I mean, sure, that happens every once in a while and that's just part of the job, but it's more so that the questions that come in kind of have undertones of expectations for me.

And that's been really weird for me and hard. I don't know if that even makes any sense, if you understand what it is I mean by that, but things like, “Hey Allie, here's my situation, and I was wondering what do you do about _____? How do you stay on top of this thing?” All of those questions, while they're perfectly fine questions and I always welcome your guys' feedback, questions, messages or whatever, they have this underlying tone of “You’ve got it all together, so I wanted to know how you do this.”

And a lot of the time the question is something that I either don't really think about. I'm very, very much not a Type A person. I don't overthink. I don't plan everything. Routine and structure is something I've had to teach myself because I'm very spontaneous. I can be organized in certain ways, but I'm just not “super plan-y” and I don't analyze everything that I do, so sometimes I just don't really know an answer to that.

And it's been weird for me because I kind of subconsciously, just like automatically wanted to come up with an answer and I'd be like, “Oh my gosh, why don't I know the answer to that? That seems like something that I would have an answer to, but I don't really know.” And I've had to really learn to be okay with, “I don't know” or “Hmm, I haven’t really thought that deeply about it. Now that I'm thinking about it, I guess I usually do this or if that was my situation I might do this.”

But really, if you've ever messaged me on Instagram and you've been one to ask me one of those questions, you'll find that a lot of the time my answer is kind of like “I would maybe do this, but to be honest it's not really something that I worry about or focus on.”

I'm prefacing this episode with this before I get into the honest things because I feel like I fell backwards into this life where a lot of things that I do and say are analyzed. And sometimes it feels like I'm living in a fishbowl.

It's not that there's fame or anything. I'm just a blogger with a small platform. But there are some people looking and it feels weird and it's vulnerable and difficult. And I know how mean people can be. And I don't want to let anyone down. I think that's a big issue for me. Just being a stereotype oldest child, I don't want to let anyone down, and I feel the need to carry the load. And so, I do. And I kind of try to hold it all together. But honestly, guys, sometimes I just don't know.

And that thought, and just journaling through that thought a couple months ago, has really empowered me to be more “me,” especially on social media. And it's been a really neat journey. I've just been letting down my guard and opening up and be like “this is who I am and if I rub you the wrong way or I say something that you don't believe or you don't like the way I answered something, that's okay. You don't have to stay here and I'm not here to make sure you stay.”

I'm here to serve the person that I can serve and I can't serve somebody who I rub the wrong way. I can't serve somebody who doesn't believe in some of the core things I talk about and that's okay.

So things like just being myself. The way that I parent my kids. And I love Jesus, but I cuss a little. Things like that. I can't care anymore. And just letting that guard down and being who I am has been so huge for me. And I hope it's shown up. I really do hope it's shown up lately. I've just been feeling a lot more comfortable and it's making me more authentic. And I think it's connecting me more to you guys. Those of you who are my people and are the ones that I'm supposed to serve.

So, in journaling through some of these “heart issues” a couple months ago, I started to write down some of the things that I would just struggle with sharing, that are kind of a part of the facade that I haven't really like consciously built up. Like, “Oh, I gotta be put together. I got to be fake. I got to make sure they see me as this.”

I'm not about that. I've never been about that. But it's almost just been this like automatic subconscious thing that I've built up like, “I need to have an answer to this.” I have just kind of worked it down and broken that down.

I'm going to share a few things that I noticed came up a lot when I was just kind of working through this, praying about it, journaling through it, and asking myself, “What are the things that I feel like I need to uphold that are just total B.S. and not me at all?” And so, I thought, after I made that list, that it would be a good episode and just kind of challenge me to step out even more and share with you guys with those things are.

So that's kind of the basis of this episode. That's where it came from and it's just something that I'm working through. And The Purpose Show is about a lot of things. It's about motherhood and life, trying to find balance and living an abundant, full, good, happy life, right where you're at.

Not waiting for your kids to get older and not waiting for your money to increase. Not waiting for everything to be perfect, but enjoying it right now. And so much goes into that, that it's hard to kind of put my finger on what is The Purpose Show?

And so, The Purpose Show is about what I'm going through. What I'm learning. What you guys are asking and me sharing what I know with you and just connecting with you. And so, I think The Purpose Show will ebb and flow, like the rest of my blog and my business has, as I've evolved as a person, as we all do.

I think that this is just kind of a step in a new direction. Just vulnerability (and pronouncing words correctly) and just getting real and sharing this is who I am. It's easy to accidentally misunderstand somebody and make them up to this perfect being with all the beautiful photos. I'm sharing helpful tips and tricks and I think that can easily be misconstrued as perfection and that's not what I want at all.

And so, if there's any chance that I have accidentally done that, I hope this episode just breaks it down and makes me real. I'm here with you. My kids are young. I'm still figuring this out. I'm just always reworking things and trying to be the best version of myself so that I can help you guys and connect with you. I don't want to just teach you and be above you and I'm perfect. I don't want that.

So, that's kinda where I'm at and let's dive in to 5 super honest things I'm afraid to share with you.

So, the first thing is that motherhood is hard. It's dang hard. Life is messy. It isn't perfect and I never said it was for me. But that's the standard I feel like I'm being held up to a lot of the time because of what I do, what I talk about, and the picture that social media and the internet puts in front of you guys, no matter what. I love beautiful photos but I feel like in my captions I'm pretty real and pretty honest. I share a lot of my flaws, mistakes and things that I'm learning. But even with that I feel like I kind of get put on a pedestal. And I do it. I do it with influencers that I admire for sure.

But I feel like what I want to say to you is I change my mind all the time. I'm a normal human being and what works for me in one season doesn't work as well in the next. For example, waking up at 5:00 a.m. I haven't been doing that for a couple months. I did that for maybe two years solid. And at one point (I've shared this before) I woke up at 4:00 a.m. when I was starting my business while Brian still worked at his job.

So, I've changed a lot. Now, I've been waking up a little bit later, maybe around 6:45-7:00 a.m. and just letting my body wake me up. Having a different type of productive morning because my kids are older and they don't wake up at 5:00 a.m. and need me. I don't have to quick, jump up and be ahead of them. I can send them down for breakfast and have my daughter pour cereal. They do the dishes and they start their busy work for school on their own without me. I can come down and get my coffee, check that everyone's good and then come upstairs, shut my door and have my quiet morning time without it being dark outside still.

And it's funny because people talk to me like I never change anything. Like I'm a robot who always does the same thing that I shared before and never, ever changes. It's a really weird pressure. And then when I openly share, “Oh actually I don't do that in this season, but when I did, here's how I handled it,” people act like I just shredded a Bible or something. Like I shocked and offended them and I have betrayed their trust.

It's funny and also really terrible. It's kind of an awful pressure to feel. But what I've realized is that I don't need to live by that pressure. That pressure doesn’t need to be on me. If somebody else is putting that on me, that's their issue, not mine. It's okay to change and to go with the ebb and flow of your life. We're made for seasons. God created the seasons on the earth and there are so symbolic of us as human beings. We're created for seasons. We need seasons. We’re made to not stay in the same thing for very long. Things change. Kids grow up. Schedules shifts. You get busy and then you get less busy. I talk about that all the time too. We just are leaving a really calm, fun season of no calendar commitments, lots of fun day trips and travel, and kind of coming into, okay, we've got baseball, softball, piano lessons, Spanish class. Homeschooling is back on. Theater class on Thursday nights. We're doing all these things. It's busy and full and very regimented.

So, you know, maybe as we head into this season, I might start to wake up a little bit earlier again. I don't know. But I haven't been in that season. And if I still was, if I was forcing myself to be a robot and just keep waking up super, super early because I said I would and everyone expects me to – man, what a joyless life. And in a weird way I’d actually be being really hypocritical and not living my abundant life in this specific season because I feel like I have to be upheld to what I once said worked for me.

So, I feel like it's a weird situation. It's definitely specific to what I do in my job, but it's so funny. Anytime I say like, “Oh, I don't really do that anymore,” people just act shocked and it's just put a weird pressure on me. And so, one of the things that I'm super honest with you about today is that I'm not perfect. Motherhood is hard. Things ebb and flow. I'm always changing and always looking for what's going to work next and I feel like it's like a weird thing that I'm not allowed to do that.

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If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even. I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified.

It's email based so you can open the emails and take it at your own pace. And even the emails are a few sentences. It's really, really simplified.

This is designed for the really overwhelmed mom who wants to kickstart her house and build some momentum, because as I always talk about - momentum is where it's at to making progress, actually taking action, and having that longevity of action that's going to change your life in the long run.

So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days.

It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family.

To take this challenge, (it's totally free by the way) go to alliecasazza.com/1010.

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The second thing is I want to share that what I do is friggin’ exhausting and I struggle with feeling guilty that I'm exhausted by it because it's a huge blessing.

So, things like being an introvert and hosting a podcast. Hosting my podcast entails coming up with content ideas, outlining what I'm going to say, thinking of, okay, I want to make sure I don't miss this point, and really focusing - even meditating - on a topic to make sure that I don't leave anything out that could come out of me that would serve you really well for this particular topic.

It involves talking to celebrity guests, people that I admire and deeply look up to. That's a lot of stress and pressure. That involves reading their books. Researching them. Getting to know them. Making sure I've got down how many kids they have. If they're married, who they're married to. What are some of their likes and dislikes? What's a way that I can connect with them when they first get on the call and we're recording? Prepping for those interviews is completely nerve wracking and just don't even count the anxiety leading up to that interview. I think about it every day. It's a lot of pressure.

My job also involves live streaming and being very “on” and vulnerable. That's my calling. I know it's my calling. I know it's what I'm supposed to be, but it takes a lot out of me. Sometimes I feel guilty, based on some of the looks and responses I've gotten expressing how exhausting my job is. I feel guilty sometimes that I'm exhausted by it because I'm really blessed. I get to do what I love. I get to help other moms. I get to sit behind my desk and write from my passion, about my passion.

I get to talk to authors that everybody looks up to. And it's all good. But it is exhausting. I work so hard. I'm constantly coming from a place of servitude for you guys because I love you so crazy much. You would be weirded out by how much I love you. You specifically listening. I adore you and I am here to serve you. That's why I create my courses. That's why I do this podcast. That's why I go out on a ledge and make myself a nervous wreck to interview these amazing guests to bring on the show for you guys. I adore you and that is freaking exhausting.

There was a situation recently where I was around some people that I know and I had to take a phone call from Ashley, who does my podcast work for me, and she had texted me like, “Hey, I know you're busy, but I really have some time sensitive things that I need to go over with you. Just two seconds. Can I call you?” I said, “Yes.”

We got on the phone and I stepped away from the group of people that I was near. I was on the phone and I was just trying to deal with the issue, talk to Ashley. I had said the sentence, “Yes, that's fine. Just make sure that you don't schedule a guest interview on the same day as I have a webinar because that would be completely exhausting.” I overheard somebody in the group of people that I was near… I know these people. I was related to them and they are friends. I heard one of them say, “Oh my God, that does sound exhausting. Doesn't it?” And the other person was like, “Yeah, super exhausting! Oh my God, I’m just so exhausted even just hearing about it.”

I overheard that and I'll never forget it. It just wrecked me. It really, really deeply hurt my feelings because that's one of my biggest fears, that I would come off as annoying, ungrateful, I don't know, unrelatable I guess.

These points that I'm going through, they really don't have any wrap up. I'm just sharing. There's no end-all, be-all point to this episode. Just complete vulnerability and sharing with you that I'm a human being and these things happen. They’re big fears of mine.

So that is the second thing, that what I do is exhausting and I struggle with feeling guilty that I'm exhausted by such a huge blessing that I get to do for you guys. It's one of those things like runners in the marathon. They bleed. They hurt their legs. They bust their knees. They wreck their bodies for it. They don't have to do it, but they do it because they love it and the pain is part of the thrill and the passion. That's how I feel about what I do. I'm not going to ever stop because of these things, because it's exhausting, because I get anxious before I talk to a guest, because I have to be “on” all the time and I'm an introvert.

I know that I am right where God's called me to be and I am fulfilling my passion and my purpose and I get to do that and I get to get paid for that. That's incredible. I believe that's abundant life. That's where the sweet spot is for all of us. But I get exhausted from that and that's okay.

The next thing that I want to share with you is I don't want to do a lot of things and I feel guilty about not wanting to do those things. Do you see how these things, a lot of them are centering around guilt? I think we all struggle with guilt in some way and this is one way where it's just really been hitting me hard lately. What I mean by that is I don't want to do a lot of things. Playing with my kids, cooking for my family, homeschooling my kids.

These are all things that I do that I talk about all the time and I don't really want to do any of those things. I don't really like cooking. I have ways that I can create an atmosphere that I enjoy more, like putting some music on, lighting a candle, cooking a meal that’s not going to take me more than 30-40 minutes, maybe having a glass of wine while I cook, but I really don't like cooking.

I really don't want to play with my kids. Unless it's Super Mario brothers, I don't want to play with my kids. And I talk a lot about being a present mom who's able to sit and play with her kids instead of showing them a way to go play so she can clean. I'm trying to make a point about your time, your life and your joy, but I think because of that, people think that I want to play with my kids all the time and they're like, “What happens if you don't really want to play with your kids though?”

I don't either, but I want more for them to have memories of me being with them, so I do it. I don't really love homeschooling my kids. I shared this on Instagram recently. I really don't like homeschooling. I really don't. But I love the benefits of the lifestyle of homeschooling. The flexibility. The freedom. The time that I get to pour into my kids. It's seven hours more per weekday that they're with me instead of away from me, and I think that's really huge for my kids specifically.

So, there's a lot of things that I talk about that I do that I don't want to do. I have no passion for sitting on the floor and building Legos, that's for sure. And sometimes I feel guilty about that, but I'm throwing that out and calling it total B.S. Nobody wants to play with their kids all the time, but it's something that I work towards, that I do and that I talk about because I think it's important, and I want the results of that more than I want the thing.

So, anyone who's ever heard me talking about playing with your kids or saying, “let's play” instead of “go play,” I'm talking about having a life that allows that for you, and doing it every once in a while because you love your kids and you want them to have memories of you being present with them, not constantly cleaning and maintaining a life that you didn't get to live. I don't want to play with my kids, so don't feel guilty if that's you too.

The next thing is I want you to know and just be super honest, that I don't do it all. I am such a huge believer in delegating you guys. I think because I help other moms simplify their lives and streamline their roles so that they can do it all easier and enjoy the process more, I think because of that, everyone assumes that I do everything in my own life myself and I don't.

I've shared about this before, but I have a housekeeping team that comes every week and I would gladly sign up for three times a week if I could. I order predetermined meals from a food service and then I cook from what they send me and half the time Brian's the one that cooks them. I have a personal assistant who makes returns and runs basic errands for me. They even went to the DMV for me the other day and I signed a form that gave them the right to make decisions about my vehicle for me. I have a team of people, there's like 9 or 10 of them now, that are full time contractors who help me run the business. I don't do it all.

So, if you've been believing that… I've haven't been afraid to tell you that one. I feel like I'm pretty open about it, but I always want to take the opportunity to say again I do not do it all. I believe in delegating.

If I did it all, I wouldn't be able to be here talking with you. There is absolutely no way that I could homeschool my kids, run this business, keep a perfectly clean house, be caught up on the laundry, run all my errands, make sure my target list is always checked off, make sure that I've got all the cleaning supplies that I need, make sure that the groceries are shopped for and everything is stocked. Make sure my husband is happy and we're good. Our relationship is good. That I could show up and be present for our once a week date nights. There is no freaking way.

If that is your life and you're trying to do at all, please stop. Find something to delegate. Just something. Get a VA, get a personal assistant. You don't have to work to have one. Hire a college kid and have them run your errands for you. Do something. I don't do it all.

The last thing that I want to share with you is that I'm a businesswoman and I love that side of what I do. I don't want to talk about mom stuff all the time. I am so passionate about my mission to help other moms lighten their load, but I am also super passionate about entrepreneurship and running a business.

I would rather talk about marketing than motherhood most of the time. That's something that's been really heavy on me lately, and just feeling like the stress and guilt of, man, what is this gonna look like? How am I going to transition this? I feel less joy when I'm in my business talking about motherhood things. How would I bring in entrepreneurship and what I do? I don't know how it's gonna shake out you guys, but that's just one of those things that I always feel weird about. It’s starting to come up in me as I evolve as a person.

Again, just like waking up early in some seasons and not in others, I'm evolving as a person. And the fact that I would mostly like to talk about marketing, branding, blogging and creating courses, creating a life that you love and crazy amazing revenue in a business that you could start from home with almost no overhead. That is amazing to me. That is something that I am very passionate about and I really never get to talk about it. I do some like private coaching with friends just because I love it, for free, which usually when you're doing something like that, it means that you should start doing that as a business and charge for it. We'll see what happens there, but that's just one of those little secrets about me that I always feel weird about and I just felt like I wanted to share it.

So, there you have it. 5 super honest things that I'm afraid to share with you. I hope that this episode was just fun for you to hear. I hope it humanized me a lot because I'm pretty sick and tired of not feeling that that's how you guys see me. I love you guys and I want to connect with you for real. Cheers. I'm holding my Starbucks coffee up right now because my coffee machine broke this morning and I've got Starbucks. Cheers to a lot more connectivity, a lot more honesty, a lot more fun social media posts, fun podcast episodes that are still super, super helpful, but help you see me as human.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 071: Simplifying Your Budget with Sami Womack

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Budgeting, debt, and all the other financial-terms can make you shrink back and bring up a swell of negative, overwhelming emotions. Let me encourage you, it doesn’t have to be that way! We have the power to take control of our finances and our mindset towards it. Sami Womack is really great at taking the concept of living really well, living fully, and living abundantly and applying that to finances. She has this very realistic approach to budgeting, being a good steward of your money, and getting out of debt. Her family has an amazing story that I am really excited for you to hear!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Sami Discuss:

  • How changing your mindset about your worth can change your finances.

  • Simple tips for starting a budget and examples of a budget for the average family.  

  • The most common misconceptions that (mothers in particular) have about money and budgeting.

  • Ways you can approach budgeting positively and deal with all those heavy overwhelming emotions that come with finances.

Mentioned in this Episode:


 

 

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

 

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and it's a really good, simple place to start.

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey ladies! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show. I'm here with my friend, Sami Womack. I'm really excited that she's here.

Sami does a lot of bouncing off of the idea of living really well, living fully, and living abundantly, but definitely more geared towards the financial aspect of what that would look like.

She has this very realistic approach to budgeting, for lack of a better word, (I really don't like the word budget, but it is what it is) and just kind of I guess being a good steward of your money and getting out of debt. Her family has an amazing story. So, we're just going to dive in.

ALLIE: So Sami, tell us about your family before we get into the finance stuff.

SAMI: Okay. So, me and my husband, Daniel, have been married almost 10 years and we have three daughters. Our oldest is 7. We have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. All girls. We are also a homeschooling family and we are from East Texas. My husband has an offshore job, so he's gone for three weeks at a time and then he's home for three weeks at a time. So, it's amazing with homeschooling and living so minimally we have so much free time and we can really use all of that time when he's home.

ALLIE:  Yeah, that's awesome. I understand that too because for us, when we put the kids in school temporarily, we had worked so hard to get out of the typical 9-5, everyone vacations at the same time schedule, and school puts you right back in that. So, I can imagine if he was gone and then he comes home and you're like, “Okay, girls, bye!” That's awesome.

Okay. So, I want to get in with you to how and why did you start sharing about money and budgeting and kind of start spreading this message. You really reach everybody. You're not really specifically women. How did you get into that?

SAMI: Well, I do kind of focus a little more towards women and a little more towards families. I do have a lot of women who are readers and even students who are single or married with no kids, which I think that's still a family, whatever you consider your family.

I do everything kind of family-based and usually for the women who take care of the money in that part of the household chores, because I think it's just another part of your household duties really.

We started getting out of debt about four years ago now and then I've been blogging and coaching for almost two years now. And really why I started doing it was because I just wanted to share, you know? I just wanted to spread this message. This had literally saved my life, saved my marriage. It saved my motherhood and it saved me. It brought me closer to God. It brought me closer to myself, like literally every single aspect.

And so, I was just like, more people need to know about this, you know? I don't see a lot of young women, young family type people, talking about this. Everybody knows Dave Ramsey and I love Dave Ramsey. A lot of his teaching is kind of where I started because I didn't know anybody else. There wasn't really anybody else.

But you know, he's an older man. And I was like, “I kind of want to hear it from a fellow mom, you know? I want that mom perspective. I want somebody who understands what it's like to budget in formula, and two kids in diapers. My youngest two are 20 months apart. They literally were both in diapers while we were paying off debt.

ALLIE: I had three in diapers at once and for a period of time. It was crazy and it was so expensive. And I think too, not just your season of life as a mother and with young kids, but just your season of life from your age is so different. He’s amazing. I love Dave Ramsey and he can speak to that, but there is something about hearing it from somebody really in it right now. And I love that you're a woman. I love that you have young girls. I love that you've gone through what you've gone through. And you’re right. A lot of our age bracket or even “millennial” women are not thinking about money because we're not at the point where it's like, “Oh, you have to start thinking about retirement” or it's kind of forced because of your age. You talk about getting there now, dealing with that now, getting financially secure now. And I really liked that.

SAMI: Yeah. And it's a lot of the same things you teach about being intentional with your family and being intentional in your motherhood. We say “budgeting” for kind of lack of a better word, but it's really just intentionality with your money. It's being intentional.

And I throw in a lot of positive thinking. I'm a Christian so I throw in prayer and a lot of  different things. So, it's not just strictly budgeting and money mindset and all of that kind of stuff because I think it's also important.

One of the things that I really speak to a lot of my ladies about is that worthiness and we feel like we're so young, we feel like, “Oh, I'm just a mom. Who am I to have aspirations to be a millionaire? I'm just a regular person.” So, I kind of try to break that and speak to those women about their worthiness, their mindset and all of those kinds of things.

ALLIE: And so much of anything that we want to do or anyone we want to become is a mindset issue, so I think it's really good that you don't ignore that or just “I guess they can figure that out for themselves.” You really equip people. I've seen your affirmations and all of that and you know I'm big into all that.

You're dealing with the “root” important things and the surface things like “Yeah, you're in debt. You have a credit card problem. You have a shopping problem. You have an income problem. But those all came from somewhere, so let's get to the root and fix what's going to make this last.”

I know that your family has pulled out of how much debt in how much time?

SAMI: $490,000 in about 3 - 3½ years.

ALLIE: And I'm sure that you are aware that mindset is such a big part of that because you went through that and that is what really led to you falling all the way through and creating that lasting change.

SAMI: Yeah. One of the things that I always like to share is that my husband has had the same job for 11 years. He's had this job longer than we've been married. We've been together the whole time, but he has only gotten gradual little tiny raises. He basically is making the same amount of money that he was making 11 years ago. So it’s just like when we had no kids, we weren't married, we were renting a little apartment. The job didn't change. What changed? It was our mindset, it was our spending habits, that we weren't being able to make it with basically the same income. Now we're able to be out of debt and keep three kids fed. It was all our habits, our spending habits and our mindset because the income wasn't the issue, which it is for some people, but it's not always the issue.

ALLIE: Right. And that's the thing that everyone always says too. You think, “Oh, if I just had $500 more a month, then we could make this work.” Then you get that, and it's not enough. You increase as your money increases. So no matter if you have a six-figure income a month or way, way, way less than that, almost at poverty level, you have to make it work with what you have. It's always never going to be really enough if you choose to have that mindset and you can change that.

So, what would you say is maybe one of the biggest or most common misconceptions that mothers in particular have about money and budgeting?

SAMI: I think that they feel the guilt and they feel like they're going to be depriving their kids. “I can't not let them do that extracurricular or I can't send them to school without Nike's.” They don't want to put them in a little house. They want the best for their kids. As a mother, I feel that way too, and I've totally dealt with all of that guilt and that kind of “show” and that “materialism” kind of thing. But you know, as a mother that is so important and you want the best for your kids, but the real question is, “Is that really the best for your kids?” Or is showing up and actually being able to be there for them, have more quality family time, rather than parents who are working, working, working (which if you're in debt you're going to have to kind of hustle) but do you want to live in that hustle forever?

Focusing on the quality time - that's way more important. Saving for them to go to college one day or getting your money right, so parents aren't fighting in front of them about money. They're not getting divorced over money. I think that is ultimately the most important thing.

ALLIE: Right. And when you look back, your kids are not going to care that you didn't give them designer shoes and send them to school in that. They’re going to remember that you always argued about money.

I know that you're a fan of Jen Sincero’s books and a lot of what she says is that you want to deal with your money mindset issues. Think back to when you were a kid. What was going on about money? You got to deal with the root stuff. And we're forming that for them whether we realize it or not.

It's so much more important to give them that stability, live a good life, debt free or close to debt free, and un-tense life financially, than to “buy” them love. And I think especially if people come from poverty, that might be a big trigger for them and they feel lead to just kind of “buy” their love, buy their contentment I guess. And I love that you talked about that. I think it's really common.

SAMI: That’s kind of a lot of how we got ourselves into debt. Neither one of us came from money. My husband has a pretty good job. And so he was like, oh well that means we've made it. So now we have to have the big house to show for it. We have to have the nice vehicles and the nice clothes. We have to go out to eat to show that we're successful. And that's actually what ended up getting us into debt.

Now we're in a tiny two-bedroom rental house and we're much happier. We don't really care what anybody thinks now because we know what our savings account looks like. Back then it was “fake rich” and now it's like actually growing wealth, not all materialism. And what are we showing our kids? We’re showing them that how you look on the outside to society is the most important thing or what you're actually doing inside and at home is really what's more important?

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And you're living within your means. It's fine to have a bigger house and the nice things if you can do that and have both. But you realize status is nothing. It's not something that we're going to care about anymore. So, here's what's within our means. Would we rather have more of this or more of this? And you made that choice. I love that.

SAMI: It's also an abundant mindset kind of thing. We're still on this journey. We're still working on it. We're working to get away from that “scarcity” mindset. We are being really intentional with our money and we don't want to have to be forever. We're helping our kids and we're helping ourselves realize there's so much more. And so, we're working on that abundance mindset with them as well. It's not like, oh, we're stuck in this little house and we're going to be stuck here forever. Get into that more abundant mindset.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I just wanted to ask you, because I've experienced this so many times and I was just curious, maybe Texas is different, but when you guys were moving out of your big house and into this tiny rental with three kids, did the people renting it say “Why do you want to live here?”

SAMI: The current landlord that we have didn't, but we did go and do a walk-through with a house that’s almost twice as big as this one. It was actually a three-bedroom house that was quite a bit bigger. The guy found out that we had three kids and he was like, “Oh well you don't want this house.” They almost wouldn't even show it to us.

ALLIE: I know! You know we have four kids and our house is three bedrooms, then we turned the garage into an office and gym. And the guy was like, “why?” And every single time before our houses have always been even smaller. This one at least has two levels. Our houses are always so small and they just didn't understand it. We would get turned down because it was small for us, they were deciding it was too small. It was just funny.

SAMI: Those people basically pushed us out. We did go walk through it but they didn't want to rent to us. But the guy we actually ended up renting this from, he was like, “Yeah, I raised my three kids here until they were teenagers. We bought a bigger house because they couldn't all share room anymore.”

ALLIE: That’s awesome. There’s a funny quirk about being minimal and living simply.

SAMI: We’re fine. We're so comfortable in this tiny house. We're totally good.

ALLIE: People don't understand - the bigger the house, the more stress. We're at a point where Bella is 9 now and we're probably going to grow our family this year, and we do need a little more space. It’s good. We need it. And I kept it as small as I possibly could, but it's more. It’s more work. It’s more stress. It just is. So if you can get around it until you feel like you can’t or until you feel like it’s not worth it anymore, do it.

SAMI: And it was so cheap. We were like, “Yes! This is so cheap!”

ALLIE: You can go and do things. Or pour money into making the house decorated where you really love being there.

SAMI: And then you have a lot more wiggle room.

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Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out!  It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes? Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  allialliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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ALLIE: I don't know if this is something you can pull off the top of your head, but what is a sample budget for an average family? Maybe if you could give some percentages? How much of a percent is a good starting point for things that they can have control over, like rent and car payments? I feel like you're kind of set for awhile there, maybe you can have a long-term goal of changing those things, but right now like with groceries, what kind of a percentage of income should be spent on things that you can control?

SAMI: Well, I try not to put exact percentages on people because I feel like it really goes a lot with your priorities. It goes a lot with what is important to you with your house, what is important to you in your diet. A lot of people's groceries are gonna look a lot different. Deciding on what size house you want is going to look a lot different. The part of the country you live in can be way different.

So, I try to get away from that because I try to really tell people it's your budget and it should really reflect your priorities. Like for example, this  whole debt free journey we went without satellite TV to save the money. But yet we never took our daughter out of dance class and most people would be like that would be the first thing to go, but for us it was a priority, so we could make it work. It slowed us down $50 a month on getting debt free, but that was our priority.

I think it's really about laying out your budget and looking at does this really reflect our priorities? Is our priority eating out $800 a month? Probably not. Are we spending too much on our house? Which is kind of where we were in our big house. It was too much. I really feel like it's kind of a personal thing. I try not to do too much percentages.

One of the best outlines that I do is I tell everyone to start with your bills. You have to make sure your bills are paid. Then go into what should your spending money be second. Because you can always scrimp on groceries, get a cheaper brand or have a meatless dinner or do something a little bit cheaper.

And then what is leftover? Whatever's leftover is what you apply to your debt or you save depending on where your priorities are. If there's no money leftover, if you're negative, work backwards. Reprioritize. “Yeah we do need to get rid of the satellite TV” or “Yeah, our house is too expensive” or “Yeah, we are spending too much on groceries.”

So, I do bills, spending and then savings. I keep those all three in separate bank accounts which is so, so helpful. We have a debit card for our bills account and we have a debit card for spending. We keep them separate so you never accidentally spend the rent money on groceries, that kind of thing. Or the electric bill is still pending and you go to Target and you think you have that much money and you really don't. That keeps it separate. And your spending money, that’s what you're allowed to spend until payday and when it's gone, it's gone.

ALLIE: And it's very simplified, which is what you need when you're overwhelmed.

I'm speaking personally (if you guys have listened to episode six of the podcast, you know, Brian and mine’s money and business story), but how do you handle if you have a client or if you yourself have really heavy emotional attachment to money issues? We just recently worked through this. I'd love to even do a second episode or something with you about this, because I think it could be a whole half-hour on its own. But we hired CFO’s because we were very overwhelmed by dealing with our money and that was something we just chose to delegate to bring yourselves more peace. And they were like, “Okay, so let's go over your personal budget.” Even just the word made me go back to the past (I’m poor!), almost like PTSD.

So how can somebody who doesn't have CFO’s, who doesn't have all that, just a normal person with a budget kind of approach it? What I'm saying is I think you want to avoid when you're scared, when you're scarred, when you've been through something or even if you haven't, just avoidance is such a cop-out for just not dealing with it. And then when it comes down to like, okay we have 200 bucks left and we're not getting paid till Friday. How can we make this work? And that's a bad cycle.

So how can somebody approach budgeting positively and deal with all those heavy overwhelming emotions?

SAMI: Yeah. That is the root of what I do and why I do it. I say that a lot (PTSD); I say that all the time. Our debit card got scammed a couple of months ago and it was just that PTSD of like, oh my gosh, we don't have any money, I can't use my debit card. And then I'm like okay, you have another account. It's okay. But it really is like that - PTSD.

Honestly the way you work through that is just the way you work through any other traumatic experience. It's going to take time. I think it's a lot of really diving in and dealing with the heart issue behind it, dealing with the guilt or the PTSD-like stress from it.

That's why I try to infuse a lot of motivation into what I do and a lot of mindset into what I do, because it's so much more than just the numbers. It's so much more. And then the spouses are getting back at each other – he spent this, so I’m going to go spend that. That root where you’ve hurt each other with money before. Or you've lied to yourself and you can't forgive yourself.

That's how I was. I had told myself, “Okay, I'm going to get serious, I'm going to budget, I'm going to do this.” And then I just kind of taper off. Like a workout program that you’re going to do, then three months later – what workout program?  

I would do the same thing with budgeting and I lied to myself so many times. It's just like dealing with any other heart issue. I suggest affirmations and journaling through that and looking for what are your triggers. Noticing, “Okay, I can’t grocery shop at Target because I can't trust myself. I'm going to go in there and come out with new shoes. I'm supposed to go in for groceries.” If that is a trigger for you, then don't grocery shop at Target.

There are people who tell me, “I can't even trust myself with a debit card. I've got to go all cash.” Do what you’ve got to do. You've got to pay attention.

And it's not going to be the same for every single person. It's not cookie cutter. Every person's story is different. Every person's money situation is different. Everybody's childhood has been different, their marriage is different. So, you've really got to dig in.

If you're married you’ve got to just rip that Band-aid off and have that really painful first conversation. Somebody's got to get the ball rolling. If you can just take a deep breath, jump in and just be like, “Hey, I think we need to sit down and talk.” One of the best things that we did was we sat down when the kids were in bed already. It was a late night, kind of like a date night kind of thing at home. A “dream” date is what I call it. We sat down and we shared our dreams and we ended up writing it down. That became our first goals list.

The thing is when you're in survival mode and you're just like payday, payday, payday, and that tunnel vision, oftentimes you haven't talked about your dreams in a long time. You've talked about there's not enough money for groceries, you're arguing and you're stressed. When was the last time you sat down and got excited about life together and dreamt about the future together?

That is a great first step if you're married. Get excited about life. Dream. Write some things down. Then say, “Hey, if we want to accomplish these dreams, we're going to have to work together.”

ALLIE: Focus on the positive goals, not the punishing budget.

SAMI: Exactly. And if you're single, then get your best girlfriend, your sister, whoever you know is going to be a positive reinforcement for you, and do that with whoever that trusted person is in your life.

Definitely notice those triggers. Journal. Do all of those mindset things that you have to do to grow.

ALLIE: Yeah. For sure. Okay. If somebody is listening to this and they want to find more of your resources…I feel like you have a lot of really great free resources just from what I've seen pop up from following you. Give us your website. I know you also have a budget course and some other things going on, so share where they can find you.

SAMI: Okay, so my website is asunnysideuplife.com. I'm on Instagram with the same name and Facebook. I have a really great Facebook group. It's growing and growing. A Sunny Side Up Life Community is a private group for women only, so it's a safe environment where you can share your wins, your struggles, all that kind of stuff.

And yeah, I do have a lot of free content.

I'm on Pinterest. I'm on Youtube. Every Monday I do a motivational Monday video, so it's basically 10 or 15 minutes of here's your little pep talk for the week, here's your little dose of motivation. Those are a lot of fun.

I blog. I have a free email course which is five days. It’s Take Control of Your Spending and it's very, very basic of getting your feet wet with budgeting. It's not overwhelming, it's just one simple email a day for five days. You start tracking your spending, figuring out where your money's going and all that to kind of just get your feet wet because it is a little scary at first, but you don't have to be overwhelmed by it.

Then I have my full budgeting course. It's called Your Sunny Money Method and it is 30 lessons. It's 10 lessons on the “why” where we walk through the mindset behind it. All those questions like, What if your husband's not on board? What do you do with your kids? How do you talk to your friends and family? All that stuff. Then 20 lessons on the “how.” It is so simple that we literally have one lesson on what to do before payday for your bills. One lesson on what to do on payday, one lesson for what to do after payday. So it's very, very broken down, very simple, very beginner-friendly. You can just do one lesson at a time. You don't have to get overwhelmed. You're not going to leave crying “oh there's one more chore.”

I'm really proud of it and we've had a lot of success with our students. All the ladies are doing amazing things. We also have a lot of bonuses. We do a live monthly group coaching, which is so great. We do it on zoom so everybody can come in with their little videos and we're all just hanging out. You can ask questions. That's included in the course. It’s worth the price of the course just to get that community and that access to me.

ALLIE: That kind of brings peace to talking about money and I love that you bring community into it because it would be very easy for you to not do that because talking about money is kind of taboo and it's really not done. People just have such high emotions attached to money. They just don't want to talk about it, especially with other people. So, I think it's really neat that you do that and I think that is incredibly valuable. And how much inspiration would you get from going to something like that, you know, spending 30 minutes talking to other women about what they're doing too.

SAMI: Yeah. And I just try to be really open, really honest and share “Guys, I've screwed up. I'm just a normal mom. I have three crazy kids. My house is loud. I spend money on diapers. I'm a normal mom like you.” I try to share where I've screwed up and that if you screwed up too, it's okay. We all make mistakes and we can all still grow.

ALLIE: Yes. I love that. Well, we'll link to all that for you guys in the show notes, Sammie's website and her courses, her free course and all of that.  I have your paid course and I have gotten your free course and it's all very DIY. It's very, very, very, very DIY. The format that your stuff is in, video and audio, and just the way that you talk about it… you give examples and you're really good at talking through it to where I feel very intimidated by money and I feel like, oh well that is easy. Then I can do this. And it's like I can do it myself. But you walked me through it to the point where it's like I feel unintimidated and really capable. You definitely have a gift for what you do.

SAMI: That's why I have a couple of intro videos and the first 10 lessons are just my face, just video talking and it's kind of like, “Hey, it's okay. We're just friends. I'm going to get you through this.” Then by the time we get to the last 20 lessons where we're actually setting up your budget, it’s slides and everything, but by then you're like, “Hey girl we’re just hanging out. We're good. It's not scary, I promise.”

ALLIE: I love that. Okay. Well thank you so much. This was really empowering. It's hard. People don't want to talk about money, so I'm going to encourage everyone. Click this episode even though the word “money” is going to be in the title. Just dive in and get to a point where you feel capable, enabled and empowered to handle this important area of your life. Avoiding it just really doesn't serve you at all. So thank you so much.

Okay guys. Once again, we'll link to everything in show notes for this episode and we'll catch you next time.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 070: 6 Things I No Longer Purchase Since Becoming A Minimalist

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As you know, I am all about simplifying things and making things better and lighter, making things work better for me and the season that I'm in right now. And through that, I have been getting really intentional with the things that I'm buying. Really questioning what's coming into my home and (like Nate Berkus says) “becoming a ruthless editor” of what I allow to take up space in the space that I live in. That matters and that's something to guard!

My goal is just to encourage you and show you that there's so much out there we don't really need to be buying. To encourage you to question why am I getting this or why am I buying anything not just things on this list. I really hope this episode will inspire you and make you think a little bit!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The value in changing your perspective from filling everything in your life “for now” to waiting until it's the right time with the right item.

  • Why you should walk away from purchasing those items you want to use, but never actually end up using.

  • How to avoid buying things you like but don’t serve a purpose in her home (you know those things that suck you in at Target!).  

  • Why it is better to purchase things that cost more and are better quality instead of items that are cheaper and don’t last a long time.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop.

It's not this joy-sucking horror show. It's life-giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love, what you really need and creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. 

The Minimalism Starter Kit will walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it for moms, written by me, for you.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Don't have time to listen_ (2).png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hi beautiful!  Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show!

This episode is kind of fun. I'm going to tell you a few things I don't buy any more since I became a minimalist.

I have been really detaching from the label minimalist lately. I just feel like people assume so much when you call yourself that or when you say that something is the minimalist way of doing things. I don't know. It just seems like so… maybe it's just me but it's been feeling really perfectionistic and bare minimum and I'm just really not about that and I never have been.

I just am more about simplifying things and making things better and lighter, making things work better for me and the season that I'm in right now.

But I don't really know what else to call this episode so I'm regretfully using the word minimalist for lack of a better one. I have just been getting really intentional with the things that I'm buying. Really questioning what's coming into my home and becoming like Nate Berkus says, “becoming a ruthless editor” of what I allow to take up space in the space that I live in. That matters and that's something to guard.

There are definitely a few things… there's a lot of things but I tried to choose things that I think a lot of other people buy that I don't anymore, just because I've been more intentional in this area.

So, this episode is just fun, kind of light. Maybe it will just inspire you and make you think a little bit. And if you are spending money on these things maybe it will help you be encouraged, “Oh, I can do without that.” Or maybe not and you'll think that that's ridiculous and you want to buy these things, and you do you. But my goal in this episode is just to encourage and kind of show that there's so much out there that we don't really need to be buying. To encourage you to question why am I getting this or why am I buying anything not just things on this list.

So, the first thing that I no longer purchase since becoming a minimalist is my kid's school and sports photos.

So, we're homeschooling right now, but my kids have been in school before, and we definitely are an athletic family. At this point, all three older kids are in sports and when you do that there's always picture day and you can buy all different sizes and amounts of those sports photos. You can get “buddy pictures” if you have siblings that play on a team or you’re friends with another kid on the team. They're really expensive too. It's pretty crazy.

I actually have my kids partake in the photo just for the team photo, so that anyone else and the coach who wants to buy the photos… my kids are on the team so they are in the photo. To me it's just like part of the whole team spirit thing, but I actually don't even fill out the form for those.

I don't purchase them ever anymore. The reason is they're not necessary. They're not my style. I don't need to have those posed, super professional images of my kids holding their bat like that. It’s not even theirs; it’s just there for a photo prop with their hat propped too high on their heads so you can see their face. It's not them. It's not them playing baseball or soccer or whatever it is. It's just not real. It's not my style and it's not worth it to me.

I take so many great photos of my kids actually playing their sport. Bella's in softball right now. And Leo (Leland, we call him Leo) and Hudson are on the same baseball team and they have played baseball for three seasons now. Actually, I think 4, so you know at this point we're kind of a baseball family.

I've got so many great photos of them sliding into home, them hitting their first ball, videos and photos of them squeezing each other with their little baseball bag slung over their shoulders, smiling super huge after a good game with their little snack bags in their hands. I've got so many great photos. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen them. I don't need those super posed professional photos. They’re just clutter to me.

I don’t like them. I don't frame them. They never look like my style. I don't want them in my house because they're a bunch of other kids and them too, and they're just fake. Honestly, those pictures of my kids by themselves and their solo professional photos, they just feel fake to me and unauthentic. And I've got so many other great photos, so I would rather spend my time being intentional to snap a few great pics each season than get one of those fake photos because I feel like I'm missing out on something if I don't. I'm not missing out on anything except for clutter. So to me, that's one of those things that’s just really become not a priority at all.

The second thing that I no longer purchase since becoming a minimalist is things that are  cheap junk that doesn't last, like crappy shoes and clothing. That's been a really big journey of mine over the last year or so. It's pretty rare now. I used to put my outfits together and tag everything from Target. And now, occasionally, sure I'll get something from Target but it's way rarer now. It's actually pretty friggin’ rare now.

I've been shopping at places like Z Supply and Madewell instead, not just because my budget is bigger now than it used to be, but because I want things to last a little bit longer.

I've got a pair of Lucky Jeans that I've had now for five years. I have even gotten them tailored when I lost weight and they fit great. They are very flattering. I love them. My Madewell jeans are my favorite ones too. I love those.

I’ve just been getting things that are a little bit better quality. I still shop at H & M. It's one of my favorite stores. I like them because of the styles, and for super basic things that I can just get dressed for the day and do housework, run errands or go out to dinner. It can be dressed up or down and it's just really functional. That's not really my point. But just really, really, crappy shoes and clothing. Like going to Target and getting tennis shoes is not my game anymore. I will invest in a good pair of Nike's.

And kind of underneath that same topic, things that are like “for now.” I used to always say, “I’ll just get this one for now.” Like a piece of furniture that I don't really love, but I really want to fill that empty space that’s bothering me. I won't do that anymore. I'll wait until I find the right piece and I have the money in my budget to spend, get it, and bring it into my home.

I stopped filling everything in my life “for now” and I wait until the it's the right time with the right item, whether it's a piece of clothing or like I've actually been needing a really great classic coat for a long time. And I live in California where it's not really like, “Oh! I need to get a coat. It's winter.” You know I have jackets and stuff that work fine, but I've been wanting a really great camel coat to have, especially for travel.

I've been traveling a lot more lately because of my career. And sometimes I know I'm going to travel in the winter to places that actually have winter, and I'd love to have a beautiful neutral camel coat that I can wear. (If you don't know what a camel coat is, you can google it. They're amazing.) I've seen so many but it just hasn't been the right time. I want to try it on. I don't want to get it online. It's just been something that I've been thinking about and I didn't just go and get it because I thought of it and winter's coming and I need to get it. I've been waiting for two years and just not getting one because I haven't been in person and found the perfect one. That’s something that matters to me and those are expensive. Those are expensive it's going to be an investment. So just things like that. I hope that example helps you see what I mean.

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Hey girl, real quick! Let me tell you about something that I've created that is totally

free and amazing and that I am so excited to have you get your hands on! It is called my Minimalism Starter Kit.

Maybe you've been just feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home and letting things go that you don't really need.

Maybe you’re simplifying your lifestyle, but you haven't really done much. Or you've tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well. Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. Maybe you're constantly cleaning and you just feel like the house is actually never clean.

I can totally help you! And it can be simple to get started! I have put together the Minimalism Starter Kit to basically build some serious momentum for you. To help just launch you forward into momentum and success in your minimalist journey.

And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show.

It's life-giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love, what you really need and creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. Because that's what really matters, right?

The Minimalism Starter Kit will basically walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it for moms, written by me, for you.

It goes through why would you want to do this? What's it gonna do for you? Where's it going to take you?

It helps you find your “why” and has you answer some questions for yourself. It's fillable on the computer or you could fill it in like a journal, with a pen, old-school style.

It will walk you through decluttering your laundry and dishes. The two biggest time suckers for moms, right? It will also give you a list of 15-minute, quick and easy decluttering projects for the busy mom who doesn't know where to start. It also includes a list of 20 things that you can get rid of right now.

This is a serious momentum builder. It's about getting started in just making decisions and just letting go of stuff right now. It empowers you and will help you keep going.

It also includes a 10-minute declutter challenge. And it will help you keep going after you're done with the Minimalism Starter Kit. It has resources and some just really punchy words in there, from me to you, that will help you keep going.

It's got resources like my top blog posts and other things that I have put together that are totally free for you to keep going, so go check it out. alliecasazza.com/starterkit.

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The third thing would be things that feel like I'm capturing a memory, but I'm really not. And one great example of that is tourist items from gift shops when you're on a trip.

I was in San Diego recently. I live about an hour outside of San Diego. And I go there often to catch up on work and get a little break. Whenever I'm in charge of where something is, like for my team or I have to fly somebody out for a meeting or something, I'll always try to get it to be in San Diego because I love it there. There's this great little place called Seaport Village right next to the hotel that I always stay at. And they've got this “swag shop” and it's really just full of sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, magnets, keychains, things like that that are basically just San Diego swag just to say that you were somewhere.

Why do we always feel that pull to get something like that or bring something back for somebody like that when you can get so many great photos of the trip and have the memories that way where it actually matters instead of bringing clutter into your home just to show or remind you that you went somewhere that you know that you went. So that's one little thing that I just feel like everybody always gets suckered into, that I haven’t bought.

I think the last thing I bought like that was…Brian really likes…(and this is so funny because it's very unminimalistic and he's actually stricter than I am with keeping things simplified) but he really likes those travel mugs from Starbucks. When you're in a new city and you go to the Starbucks there they'll have Oklahoma or Texas or Los Angeles mugs for wherever you are.

And he really likes getting those in all the places that we've been together, even if the mug is ugly, which is not my favorite thing about him. But I was in San Diego and I realized we actually don't have the San Diego one. San Diego has been a really special part of our story and we’ve had some really great memories there, really big business things happen there, and they came out with a new San Diego one. And so I picked that up for him. I was shocked at myself. I never get stuff like that.

So it's not like, “Oh, I never get these things now. I'm a minimalist.” I didn't even want to use the word minimalist. I don't want to seem annoying. It's just that typically those swag shops, it's just pointless clutter and you feel like you're capturing a memory by buying something from there but you're really not. Photos do it justice way better than that.

The fourth thing that I no longer buy is DVDs. I always think who buys DVDs anymore? But apparently people do because they're still all over the stores and I see some of them gone off the shelf like somebody bought this.

We use something called Vudu (not like the witchcraft). It's an app on your TV and you can create an account and then you can buy movies on there. And they have pretty much anything. We haven't found anything that we wanted to buy that they didn't have.

So if something is not on Netflix and it's a new movie that we really wanted to watch the kids, we really wanted to see it as a family, or we really loved it in the theater and we wanted to have it in our home, we'll get it on Vudu. It's really just like a digital DVD holder, which is awesome.

And then of course we love Hulu and Netflix, so we have accounts to both those things, but no DVDs. It just kind of feels pointless.

The fifth thing is things that I like at the store but have no place or purpose for. So I’ve really learned the art of being in the store (let's use Target as an example because everything at Target is amazing) and seeing something that I just think is the cutest thing I've ever seen (Oh my gosh I love it so much!) and then thinking, “What's the purpose of this? Where would I put this? Why would I get this?” And if I can't come up with anything, I don't get it. I just appreciate how cute it is. Maybe it's something that reminds me of a friend so I'll take a picture and send it to her and be like, “Oh my gosh look what I found at Target. Thinking of you. Love you,” but I won't buy it.

Maybe it's something really cute that’s meant to go in an office. If I can't think, “Oh that's perfect to fill that spot that I have on my gallery wall in my office I'm going to buy this and then my gallery will be finished.” If that doesn't happen I won't get it.

So I've really learned the art of appreciating the beauty of something that's been created and not having to buy it just because I loved it and it felt like it was made for me. Sometimes I'll see something that’s the shape of a cat or the shape of a cactus. And I love those two things so much. But just because something is like, “Oh look, this reminds me of me! I love this,” it doesn't mean I have to buy it.

And the sixth thing that I no longer purchase are things that I want to use but never actually do use. And one funny example for me is hair clips.

I used to constantly buy cute little hair clips. You know that section at Target? They have barrettes, ponytail holders, bobby pins, and then they've got a section of cuter things like headbands, clips with a flower on the back, barrettes with pretty designs so that when you clip your hair into it you see the pretty design? I used to get those kinds of things all the time and I never, ever used them. I wanted to use them. I wanted to be the type of person that would clip my hair back and put a cute barrette in it. But I just never did. I don’t know what it is, but I just never do it.

So, I went through a round of decluttering in my bathroom recently and I got rid of all those things. I have one that I kept that I actually really liked and I have only used it once in all these years.

Things like that. What I mean by that specific example is not like, “Oh, don't buy hair clips; hair clips are pointless,” but they're pointless for me because I've proven time and time again that I'm not the type of person that pins my hair back with a really cute clip. Whenever I do pin my hair back I just use a bobby pin and hide it underneath my hair so it looks like nothing is holding my hair back. I never use barrettes or pretty things like that. I appreciate them and admire them and I always think they look so cute on other people but I just never tend to grab for them. I don't know why. So I don't get those things anymore.

Another example would be like certain styles of clothing that I really love and admire, but then when I buy them I never end up actually grabbing them, wearing them and putting an outfit together with them. They just kind of sit there.

This happens a lot in boutiques. I'm a normal person. I shop at H&M, and Target and stuff, but I do really like supporting small businesses and I make a point to do that. First, whenever I'm looking for a specific item, I'll go to small shops in my area or the area that I'm staying in if I'm not by my house. I look there first. There's a couple of boutiques, especially in downtown in Oceanside and San Diego area near where I live, that I really love and I will browse whenever I'm out there.

Sometimes the things are just so unique, beautiful and I really appreciate them. It's a small shop so I feel like I'm supporting them and I'll get something that I really liked. But it ends up never, ever getting worn. I've really stopped doing that because, again, just like the hair clips, it's like I'm purchasing something that is somebody that I want to be or that I admire. Like, “Oh I like that they put a little barrette in their hair instead of just leaving it plain with a bobby pin. That's really cute.” But I never actually do that. Or, “I really like that this person dresses that style. I really like the idea of being a person who would wear that sweater.” But I never actually grab for the sweater. So it's not serving me. It's pointless and it was a waste of money.

Another example of this is homeschool stuff. Homeschool supplies and curricula - Oh my gosh, it's so easy to get sucked into the warp, the vortex and feel like you need something or you're doing your kids a disservice by not having a certain type of something and want to get it. “This is the answer for my home school organization! This is why I haven't been able to explain fractions to Hudson. I'm going to get this program!”

And sometimes those things are really helpful but I've really learned to think it through and wait and ask myself, “Am I trying to solve a problem the fast way? Is this really going to serve me? Am I really going to use this? Am I really going to wear his hair clip?

So basically things that I want to use or would like to be the type of person who uses them, but I never actually do use. Things that are quick fixes, like the homeschool supply example, things like that. I've just really learned to say “No.”

There's been maybe once or twice in the last year that I have said “no” to something at boutique or something and then left the store, gone back to my house, thought about it and wish I really had bought that. And what you can do is you can go back or get it online. Or ask yourself why do I feel like I really want that?

And then think, “Well it's because I need a black blouse, but that black blouse just felt a little bit too eccentric. I wouldn't actually wear it.” OK. Go find a plainer black blouse that you think you'll actually wear.

So just checking in with yourself. I really think it comes down to mindfulness about the things that we buy. And that's the whole point is just being intentional and being mindful about the purpose behind your purchases.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

EP 069: The Benefits of Early Mornings For Parents with Lindsay McCarthy

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I wasn’t always a morning person. In fact, it wasn’t until I discovered The Miracle Morning that I decided to ditch my night owl tendencies and start to wake up earlier. Morning routines really just set the tone for the rest of the day. If you wake up and you're already feeling hurried, that energy takes you throughout the whole day and you never really feel like you catch up. But if you start the day intentionally and say, “these are the six things that I'm going to do to start my day” and get those done, you already feel so accomplished. You feel like you can take on anything for the whole rest of the day.

Lindsay McCarthy wrote her book, Miracle Morning For Parents and Families because once she really started implementing a morning routine, she saw how much it worked and all the benefits that came from it. And she has just really taken charge of her mornings for her family, not just for herself. After speaking with her, I think I'm going to start some “miracle morning” stuff with my kids as well and not keep it just for myself. I hope you take action to do the same for your family too!

 
 

In This Episode Allie and Lindsay Discuss:

  • The importance of morning routines and the benefits of taking advantage of your mornings.

  • How following the S.A.V.E.R.S routine will benefit your mornings.

  • Ways you can include your kids in your morning routine and ways they can stay occupied while you go through your routine.

  • The power in teaching your kids about morning routines and how to help them form their own.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you

 

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Don't have time to listen_.png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful Mama's! I am really looking forward to sharing today's interview with you!

I sat down and spoke with Lindsey McCarthy. She is the author of The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families and this book is sort of a branch off of the original book that was written by Hal Elrod called The Miracle Morning. And that book is really special to me. It was the start of early mornings for me probably about three years ago when we had just moved to Arkansas. It was during a time in my life when I was such a night owl, had a lot of stress and anxiety and just changes coming. It was at a point where I could feel God just pulling me to start the business, get more serious about blogging and turning it into something bigger. I didn't know how I was going to get all that done with Brian working at his “then” job and with the kids, homeschooling, and being away from all of our friends and family. I was kind of lost and wondering why the Lord had brought us out there and what for and The Miracle Morning plopped right into my lap, as I was listening to a podcast where the author, Hal, was interviewed. And so, I ordered the book. My mom had said, “Yeah, I read that book. It's great; you should get it.” I ordered the book on Amazon and dove in and it just really changed everything. It really inspired me.

So, The Miracle Morning is kind of what started me on my passion for ditching my night owl tendencies and waking up earlier. And by “night owl,” I mean I was staying up till 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, often. I was the legit night owl and it was really unhealthy. While I still have nighttime tendencies and I like to stay up, it's more like 10:30 and not like 1:30.

So anyway, I just want to encourage you guys. Lindsey is awesome. She wrote this book for parents and families because she was practicing The Miracle Morning and having her children practice it as well. She has just really taken charge of her mornings for her family, not just herself, which I find fascinating. So, I wanted to have her on and share her take on this with you guys in case you wanted to start doing that as well.

And after speaking with her, I think I'm going to start some “miracle morning” stuff with my kids as well and not keep it just for myself.

So, I just want to encourage you to listen, to take action, because waking up early is life changing. I always say, and I will always say if you want to change your entire life in one small change, wake up earlier.

And again, as always in my disclaimer when I'm talking about this, if you're in a season of pregnancy, newborns or breastfeeding sleepless nights, I want to encourage you and just have you know that this is not your time, girl. Your time will come. Those babies will grow up. The pregnancy will be over and things will shift. You will know when it is your time to start getting your ish together and kind of systemizing your day better. And if you're in a season like that, it is just not your time. And that's okay. Soak it up. I know it's cliche, but I remember being in that season and I wanted it to end so badly and I wish that I would have just soaked it up.

So, I want you guys to know that there's a thing called “S.A.V.E.R.S.” in The Miracle Morning book as well as The Miracle Morning For Parents And Families. It's basically an acronym for what makes up your morning routine. Each letter stands for something. Lindsey goes over it. She mentions it a couple of times in the beginning in passing, and then I have her go over it in detail for you all.

I just want to encourage you. My morning ritual has changed and progressed over the years as I needed it to. It started out with just straight up hustle. I woke up at 4:00 in the morning for almost a year and I worked for a few hours before Brian would go to his job so that I can be present with the kids during the day because I didn't have any babysitters or help. Now it's the opposite. It's very much about self-care and quieting my soul and focusing on where I want to go and what I want my life and my day to look like before the day even starts. I like it better now, but there definitely was a season where it needed to be work.

So, it's about making it work for you and where you're at right now in your life and who you are as a person, but I love the idea of S.A.V.E.R.S. and I love the idea of the specific things that it stands for.

So, listen with an open mind. I encourage you to do some journaling, maybe after you listen to this episode. Jot down what you liked about it, what you don't think would work for you, what you're thinking of doing, and take action on this. So, let's dive in.

ALLIE: Hi Lindsay! Thank you for being here with us!

LINDSAY: Thanks for having me on today, Allie!

ALLIE: Of course. Okay, so The Miracle Morning is a book that was originally written by Hal Elrod and you actually met Hal in person, right?

LINDSAY: Yeah. We first heard him speak in 2014 and then we actually met him in 2015.

ALLIE: Okay. And then so through that meeting you kind of build a connection and that's how you came to author the parents and families’ version of Miracle Morning, right?

LINDSAY: Yeah. So, when we met him in 2015, I kinda just went up to him and said, “Hey Hal, I want to thank you for writing The Miracle Morning. We've been doing it as a family for the past year and it's really made a big impact on our lives. And he was like, “Whoa, your kids do this? My kids don't do it. This is cool. Tell me more.”

And so, we got into a conversation about how we've been teaching our kids pieces of the S.A.V.E.R.S. and what they've done over the last year. And I was like, “Actually, my son is here if you want to meet him.” And he's like, “Yeah, bring him to breakfast.” So, we brought our son, Tyler, to breakfast and he's saying his affirmations to Hal Elrod. He has this little homemade book that we made. Hal is mind blown. He's like, “Can I take pictures of this? I want to feature you guys on something.” And I said, “Yeah. Totally. Whatever.”

ALLIE: Yeah. It’s impressive and sweet that you guys brought your kids into it. The Miracle Morning is the book that kind of started me. I read it when we had moved to the Midwest and I was starting my business. Before that I had just been a stay-at-home mom and I got up before my kids but it wasn't so intentional. I didn’t have a bunch of stuff to get done as much as I do now with the business. And so, it was the answer for me.

I'm like okay, this is how I can add length to my day. And I didn't think to bring my kids into it at all. Actually, I wouldn't have wanted to at that point because it's like you just do your thing and I'll do mine. But yeah, I think it's great.

Tell us a little bit, and this might be a little vague, but tell us in your words why mornings matter so much, why it's important to show up for them.

LINDSAY: I think it just sets the tone for the whole rest of the day. If you wake up and you're already feeling hurried, that energy takes you throughout the whole day and you never really feel like you catch up. But if you start the day intentionally and say, “these are the six things that I'm going to do to start my day” and get those done, you already feel so accomplished. You feel like you can take on anything for the whole rest of the day.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. In The Miracle Morning For Parents And Families book, you talk a lot, I think it might even be a full chapter, about the benefits of taking advantage of your mornings, what it does for your psych benefits, and health benefits. Can you talk to us about that?

LINDSAY: Some of the practices in The Miracle Morning include the acronym is S.A.V.E.R.S., so silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing. So like I could go through all six of those and tell you all the benefits, but one other thing that Hal suggests is the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is drink a big glass of water. Just the benefits of that alone are staggering. It helps your skin. It hydrates your whole body. You have this energy boost from drinking that water. And then if you add exercise to that you get that serotonin going and you get your adrenaline pumping. If you add mindfulness or meditation that slows your heart rate down and the health benefits of that alone are incredible. Once you start adding all these little pieces together, it's this compound effect where you're just ready for the day.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. That was my next question about the S.A.V.E.R.S., the acronym of S.A.V.E.R.S. for what you're doing in your morning routine. One of the things that I'm sure you get asked a lot is “Well if I get up early, what do I do though? What should I do with that time?” And it is a problem because there's so much to do and you woke up early, like a lot of the times, especially because of how early I get up and my kids are still asleep, it's almost a timer of pressure, like this is precious time. What do I do with it?

And the S.A.V.E.R.S. really just gives us a little bit of each thing to where at the end of an hour you feel like a different person. You feel ready for your day.

So can you go with us one more time through what S.A.V.E.R.S. stands for, kind of like an explanation of each thing and what is the whole deal with S.A.V.E.R.S. for people who haven't read the book?

LINDSAY: Yeah. S.A.V.E.R.S. stands for silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing. I always encourage people to play with those and find what order works for you. So, my personal morning, I wake up before my kids a little bit and I usually try to get my meditation in, so silence or reading. We encourage read something that's not like a romance novel, but maybe something more for personal development or something about history that you're really interested in. Make it a learning time, not just like, “Oh, I'm just going to read.”

ALLIE: Yeah. It's like bettering your mind or bettering your growth, not just for the sake of reading something.

LINDSAY: Right. After I read I like to journal or scribe. For our kids we've kind of adapted the scribing piece to just be anything creative, so they will draw, paint, play with play dough, make up a skit, or create an obstacle course. That one's really wide open for them. If you play music, if you do something creative, or you like to paint, have that be your journaling time. There's no rules.

ALLIE: Yeah, I like that. As a parent, you're encouraging them to be their own person. Not everybody likes to journal. Sometimes I find that it stresses people out a little bit to feel the need to journal. But yeah, it can be anything. Paint or draw something. Yeah, I love that. Especially for little kids. I think it's so expressive for them and what a great way for them to start their day.

LINDSAY: Affirmations. You know, a lot of people get hung up on affirmations, especially adults, because they feel like they're lying to themselves. So Hal has this formula of how to create an affirmation so you don't feel like you're lying to yourself. It's really important, the words that you use to put it in the “I am” form – “I am willing to” or “I'm capable of.” You can put these “starter” words in there so you don't feel like you're lying to yourself because if you're dirt poor right now and you're like, “I'm a money magnet…”

ALLIE: And I think it’s about changing it to be positive because so often our story, whether conscious or subconscious is negative and focusing on what's going wrong. I got over that for myself and I would just do typical affirmations that weren't really true right now, but I was visualizing that happening for me. And so, I was okay with it. But I know a lot of people are like, “I just feel so weird. It's not doing what it's supposed to do.” Changing it to be positive.

I don’t know where I read this, but somebody once said I am the type of person who (just changing mindset about yourself) who makes healthy food choices or whatever it is. I really liked that kind of stuff.

LINDSAY: Yeah. Actually, my coach just taught me another way to do it too. Instead of saying “I'm interested in being a great mom,” instead say, “I'm interested in being the type of mom that is always there for their kids to celebrate their wins and that they can come to me with any challenge that they have.”

ALLIE: Yeah. And that's more specific and helpful. I love that. So are there any S.A.V.E.R.S. left?

LINDSAY: Visualization. Personally, I love vision boards so I have a whole big section in the book about how to create your own vision board. For me there's not a lot of material things on my personal vision board. It's more about what you said, like the affirmations, who I want to be as a person, not the material things that I want.

ALLIE: Yeah, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the point of the visualization part is that our minds are so powerful and what we think about we tend to get, and so let's use that even just for five minutes a day. What kind of person do I want to become? What kind of kids do I want to raise? What kind of marriage do I want to have? What legacy do I want to leave behind? Just focusing on that.

When you start every day, really thinking about that every day doing that, that's going to have some kind of positive effect. That's really powerful.

LINDSAY: Totally. Because then you're not just on autopilot like, “Oh my gosh, here's my to do list. I have a million things to do.” It's like, “No, what am I really trying to create in this life?”

ALLIE: I think too, it can help those mundane day-to-day things fall underneath this umbrella of is this aligning with where I want to go? Does this really matter? It can help the little things like being late to baseball practice, or missing it altogether one practice a week or something like that. It's okay because in the end this is what I'm trying to go for and meeting all of these check marks on my list doesn't really matter in the long run. It's kind of a graceful relief from the stress of the day.

LINDSAY: The last one was just exercise. I save that one for last. Some people like to do that first thing in the morning to get their blood pumping. There's a million ways you could exercise. I like to try to include our kids in our exercise portion because by that time they're usually awake. We just do the 7 Minute App. That's another thing - it doesn't have to be this huge long workout, especially first thing in the morning. I look at it as the goal is just to get our heart rates up, to get our blood pumping to start releasing those endorphins.

ALLIE: Yeah. You're not doing like P90X or anything.

LINDSAY: Especially with the kids, no.

ALLIE: And again that's such a relief to think like that. Because when I first was reading The (original) Miracle Morning and going over the S.A.V.E.R.S. thing, I was thinking (because I hadn't read the rest of it) “What the heck? This is going to be five hours.” Because I'm so all or nothing, I think exercise is a two-mile run, weights, squats. But it can just be a five-minute yoga video or just taking a walk. So yeah, I love that. It's very freeing to let go of those expectations that we often have in ourselves and just say, “Well I could just do seven minutes of something to just get my heart rate up and just get my endorphins flowing and to start the day off positive in this physical way.” It's so much less than “I’ve got to meet my weight goals” and stressing yourself out.

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ALLIE: I disliked getting this question because the days are different in our house and even the mornings are different and the order is different, but typically what does it look like for you? What time are you waking up? What part of the S.A.V.E.R.S. do you do by yourself and what part of it are the kids doing? How do you get them to do it separately? What does it look like in your house?

LINDSAY: Right. My kids are 9 and 5, just so people are clear. Tyler, our 9-year-old is very independent. He has a little checklist of C.H.A.R.M.S. tracker that you can actually download online. It's a miraclemorning.com/parents and you can get a free tracker. We've laminated ours, so then he just uses a dry erase marker and he wipes it clean at the beginning of each week to start over. So, he's fully independent on his at 9. We have been doing this for three years now, so he understands these are the things we do in the morning.

Our 5-year-old, on the other hand, she still needs a little encouragement and help with hers. She's great on creativity. We have a little section in our kitchen that's their craft area. There's little drawers with all the stuff that they might need or want for that.

So typically, when she gets up in the morning, she'll come into my room. I'm usually still in bed actually. I wake up at 6:45, and I start my miracle morning in bed. I meditate in bed. I read in bed and I'll start to journal. Then when she comes in, that's when we go downstairs. I'll bring my journal with us and then we might start with story time. If she's super hungry, I'll make her breakfast or she might start with creativity while I finish up my journaling. Then we all eat breakfast together.  

So something I didn't say, too, is the kids actually have a different acronym, so theirs is slightly different. For adults it’s S.A.V.E.R.S. But for kids it's C.H.A.R.M.S., which stands for creativity, health, affirmations, reading, meditation and service.

She'll be doing creativity while I'm journaling and then we all exercise together after breakfast. It might be a dance party in the kitchen, it might be Simon says, it might be a 7-minute app, it might be cosmic kids yoga, it runs the gamut. If it's nice outside, I might just send them outside to exercise and I'll exercise later on my own. We have a big swing set in the backyard and they'll go play swings. So like I said, it isn't really a typical morning.

ALLIE: I totally understand. Yeah. But I mean it's kinda like one of those things where you have a guideline in your head of like, this would be great, but we're flexible. More often than not, for me at least, it doesn't go that way. My morning is pretty much the same every morning. But once the kids wake up, sometimes we'll have morning like that and other times we need to get homeschooling done because we got to go.

But yeah, I like that you're so flexible. It's inspiring and kind of discouraging at the same time when somebody comes here and they're like, oh, this is exactly what…

LINDSAY: Give me the formula.  

ALLIE: So yeah, it's encouraging.

LINDSAY: And were homeschoolers too. So, I kind of follow this thing of structure plus flexibility. And I think that’s why I attached so strongly to The Miracle Morning because the S.A.V.E.R.S. and the C.H.A.R.M.S., they're just these loose frameworks. But then you get to make it your own.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I love in The Miracle Morning community how people will totally change it and they step outside of the S.A.V.E.R.S. exact thing. Hal Elrod even says it's not supposed to be this terrible rigid thing that makes your mornings awful. It's supposed to be helpful.

I remember seeing one woman that said, “I actually find that I do really well getting some work done in the morning so that I'm not worried about it.” I used to do that because I had to, but it makes me not want to wake up. And I love how you say that the way to get up in the morning is to want to do the thing that you're going to get up for and set yourself up for that success.

Go to bed thinking I'm going to get up at 6:00 and I'm going to do a meditation and it really works. And so, when I stopped getting stuff done, let that be on my task list for the day, focused on self-care in the morning and doing the S.A.V.E.R.S. stuff, it totally changed. I started to wake up at 5:00 and I was totally good and ready to jump out of bed ready to go. And that's very unlike me. So, I love that you can make it your own.

And speaking of that, that was another thing I wanted to cover because not everybody has read the book and I'll link to it so hopefully they will. But can you talk to us about people who maybe they work and they want to get this stuff done before they go to work and they have to get up really early and right now they are a night owl. What would you say about getting up early and how to make that happen for yourself?

LINDSAY: Yeah. I would say start small and just wake up 10 minutes earlier tomorrow and implement whichever of the S.A.V.E.R.S. you're most attracted to. Start with that one.

And then the next week wake up 20 minutes earlier and add two of them. I think once people get into the rhythm they start to see some changes in their life, like “Wow! Meditation is really powerful. I had no idea.” or “I actually loved journaling and I didn't know that.” When you start to see these little changes in your life, you'll want to do more and you'll want to wake up earlier. And so that's my advice is just start small and start with the one that you liked the most.

ALLIE: Yeah, that makes sense, especially with what we were just talking about to make you want to get up.

So my last question for you is do you notice anything different about your kids and your family dynamic from having this intentional time in the morning, most mornings?

LINDSAY: Yeah. I think the biggest change that I've seen in our household is the conversations that we have in the morning. It used to be “Where are your shoes? Why are we so late? Hurry up!” But now it's calm in the morning and the questions are different. It's, “Hey, what did you do for creativity today? Hey, is that a healthy choice? What can we affirm in your sister that you see or yourself? How can we encourage those behaviors?” My favorite question is “What did you do for service today?”

ALLIE: So what does that look like? What is the service?

LINDSAY: Basically, we wanted to instill in our kids that it's not all about you. We are here on this earth to help other people. So we have built that into their miracle morning.  A lot of times it looks like chores, but in our family we've reworded it to call them “family contributions,” which I think Amy McCready first coined that term.

So it's like, how can you contribute to the family today? Hey, let's look outside of our house. How can you contribute at your homeschool program today? How can you contribute to the community? Wherever you're going, how can you be of service there?

And it just kind of gets their wheels turning and you're like, “Oh right. It's not all about me.”

ALLIE: Yeah. I really liked that because it's so easy. It's just so easy for us as adults to divide and get caught up in our own calendar and to do list. You have your boundaries and you protect your time and your own stuff and it's easy to get sucked up in just that and forget we're here to serve. We're here to help and be a light and lend a hand when it's needed. I see it in my kids, because kids just naturally are self-centered, that's how we are. And so, you have to kind of like, “Okay, I see that you're very concerned about your horse lesson this week because you're planning your whole week around it, but we have other things going on. There’s other people in the house.” So it's funny to see to see that and not punish it, but just how can I redirect it? How can I show you that there's other things too? Let's be servants in this life. I love that.

I think for me the miracle morning stuff, and the C.H.A.R.M.S., I love that whole idea. I think it's about taking these big things that we want to end up being when all is said and done and breaking them down in a tiny bite size pieces that happen every single day, which is how you end up with this life aligned with your intent. Instead of saying, “Oh, when I'm 80, I want to have a close relationship with my kids. I still want to be married to my husband.” I want all these big goals, but we do nothing towards them. So yeah, I love that.

Thank you so much for spending time talking with us about this. I am sure that this episode is going to bring a lot of questions, more questions about morning stuff, so I will send everybody to your book. We'll link to it in the show notes and do you have anywhere that you want to send people to find more about you or social media or anything?

Yeah, well I have a Facebook group. It's the same name as the book, The Miracle Morning For Parents And Families. I'm literally in there every single day, so it's probably the best place. We have a website too called gratefulparent.com and there's a bunch of resources on there like books that we love, coaches we've worked with in the past, or friends.

ALLIE: Awesome. I love that. You were really inspiring and it was really helpful and tactical advice. People like that and they're gonna want to find more about you.

Thank you so much. This was great. We'll link to everything in show notes for you guys.

Thank you, Lindsey, so much for your time and we will talk to you maybe again someday.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Bonus 004: How I Planned + Organized Our Homeschool This Year

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Our homeschool year has officially started! Since it is the beginning of the school year, I wanted to share this bonus episode to help any of your homeschoolers who are trying to figure it out. Maybe this is your first year; maybe it's not, and this will still help you. But I have been really wanting to share a couple of things about how I'm organizing our homeschool year this year because a couple of the things are new and they seem to be really helping me so far.

Over the last few months, I have been figuring out how to make my homeschool work better and more streamlined, more fun, and more enjoyable. I am excited to share all kinds of things with you in this episode! From the homeschool schedule we built to the curriculum we are using, and tips on how to make your homeschool schedule feel lighter so you and your kids can breathe a bit. I'm really excited about what our homeschool year looks like this year and really hope this helps you get excited about yours too!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why she is trying year-round schooling and how she hopes it will help her overall family schedule.

  • The platforms and curriculum she uses to plan out and facilitate homeschool.

  • What a typical homeschool day looks like for her kids.

  • How rotating a few subjects each day creates breathing room in the school load and routine.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even. I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified (and totally FREE by the way!). 

This is designed for the really overwhelmed mom who wants to kickstart her house and build some momentum, because as I always talk about - momentum is where it's at to making progress, actually taking action, and having that longevity of action that's going to change your life in the long run.

So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days. It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey friend! Oh my gosh, I am so drained. It's 9:00 at night right now. I did a webinar today. We had a full day of homeschooling. I recorded three other podcast episodes today. I'm super tapped out. Brian is too. The kids are in bed but they're not all asleep yet and Brian's like, “I'm just going to put my headphones in and listen to a podcast because I'm so done.” He's inside folding a load of laundry for me and we're both just super tapped out.

But I'm out here in my office/studio recording this little bonus episode for you because I've just really wanted to share this with you since it’s the beginning of the school year and get this out to you to help any of you homeschoolers who are trying to figure it out

Maybe this is your first year; maybe it's not, and this will still help you. But I have been really wanting to share a couple of things about how I'm organizing our homeschool year this year because a couple of the things are new and they seem to be really helping me so far. I'm really excited about them

I think the podcast, in this way, is a lot like a blog and I like to share whatever I'm learning, whatever I'm doing right now. That will change and evolve as I do and as life goes on. Right now, I'm figuring out how to make my homeschool work better and be more streamlined, more fun and enjoyable, and I think I've made a couple of changes this year versus last year that are going to accomplish that. So, I'm going to share them with you

I'm going to go over all kinds of things. I'm going to go over the homeschool schedule we're on this year, which is different than usual. I'm going to share a couple of changes that I've made to the way we're formatting our year.

I'm going to show you a picture of the online program that I use to organize our homeschool, and kind of use it as our homeschool schedule. It's called Trello and it's a free platform. I've talked about it quite a bit. I also have a blog post and a video tutorial where I show you how to use it to organize your life and I can link to that in the show notes of this episode for you.

I'm gonna show you a picture of our homeschool board and kind of talk you through it. And then I'm going to talk about the curricula that we're using and share our schedule, kind of like a typical homeschool day for us this new year.

We have already started our year. We pulled out a couple of things a little bit early because it was like 120 degrees here in southern California in the summer and the kids were just getting super antsy. Too much technology. They weren't able to play outside. And so, we pulled out some things and created a little bit of routine and order early. So, our new school year has officially started for us.

We actually homeschool through a charter school and they don't start quite yet. They have another week, but we have started officially. We've been going strong and doing good so I'm ready to share what we're doing.

One new thing that we're trying this year is hopefully going to help us with our year- round scheduling. So far, we've really been fans of the year-round school schedule. Year-round schooling can look a lot of different ways. But basically, you don't start and end when everyone else does. This year we are starting when most schools do. But we're going to school through the summer and we'll be wrapping up our last semester when everyone else is on summer break just because we keep finding that we want to do school in the summer at least a little bit.

So, if we're wrapping up a couple of the core subjects and we could have a little bit of a lighter schedule in July, I think it will actually really help my kids because like I said, it's really hot. They can't really go outside. They can't swim all day, every day. When they play games and we let them have a video game summer, it’s all fine until it's been too much and they're freaking out and their moods are terrible.

So I think that having some time in the summer to do a little bit of school will be really helpful for everybody and keep us structured. I can honestly say that parts of the summer were pretty miserable because we lacked routine completely. So, I'm definitely wanting to really follow the year round schedule this year. We kind of did last year but it was just really lax and we didn't totally do school over the summer even though we probably should have. So this year I'm planning to really stick with it.

We're trying a schedule that I actually saw online on a different blog. I think it's pretty common. It's six weeks on with school and then one week off and you stay in that pattern. I actually found it last year before we started last year, but I just wasn't sure. I didn't commit and I didn't do it.

I'm going to do it this year because I noticed that we seem to desire a lot of breaks. As a family, we travel a lot. That's one of the biggest perks for us of homeschooling and owning our own business, that we can do things, have family trips, and take breaks whenever we want, not when we're told to. And I think that six weeks on/one week off will also help with the burnout that typically comes around the month of February. I think that would help to have a lot of breaks coming up, knowing we've always got a break around the corner, and we can plan little family vacations, trips, and things like that.

We've got friends and family sprinkled all over the country and we would love to go and visit them and six weeks on/one week off gives us plenty of opportunities to do that. So I'm really excited to try that schedule out this year.

I don't remember exactly how it breaks down, but basically instead of our school year ending in May or June, it would end in July. And then we'd be ready to start up again in September. You can do whatever you want. A lot of people their new school year starts in January and it goes until December and they have a lot of breaks within that. You can make it work however you want.

But for us, we’re starting our year at the same time as everyone else does and we're just not really taking the full summer off because it doesn't seem to serve our kids very well. I hope that makes sense. So, six weeks of school and then one week off.

And then we're also doing the same thing that we did last year, which is four school days per week instead of five. Monday through Thursday is our normal full school days and then Friday is a really light day for reviewing anything that was difficult for anyone that week. And also to give us a little wiggle room to catch up. So if we maybe didn't get to finish all of our history that week, we can finish it on Friday. It's just nice to have some cushion.

That's also what I like about the six weeks on/one week off schedule is that it ends up giving you a decent cushion. So if you guys get sick or you just need to have a big break that was unplanned, you have the wiggle room to do that. And I feel like the four school days per week schedule gives us that wiggle room as well.

Friday mornings are the mornings that I always have all my team meetings. So I'm usually in meetings from about 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. So Brian can go over and review anything that the kids need to be reviewed or catch up on anything that didn't get finished. I can come in if he needs me to and help after my meetings. But pretty much the rest of Friday after my meetings are done are open and we can do whatever we want to do and our weekend starts early, which is great.

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If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even. I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified.

It's email based so you can open the emails and take it at your own pace. And even the emails are a few sentences. It's really, really simplified.

This is designed for the really overwhelmed mom who wants to kickstart her house and build some momentum, because as I always talk about - momentum is where it's at to making progress, actually taking action, and having that longevity of action that's going to change your life in the long run.

So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days.

It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family.

To take this challenge, (it's totally free by the way) go to alliecasazza.com/1010.

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Another thing that we're trying is we're rotating History and Science to create more breathing room in each school day. We find that it's really hard to get everything done each day without school taking forever. And Science and History are two things that are time consuming for the curricula that we use, which I'll share in a second.

History takes about 90 minutes most days, sometimes just an hour. And then Science is pretty much the same. There's a lot of hands-on stuff, a lot of experiments and really taking time to explain everything to the kids and answer their questions. And when we're doing that every day for both subjects, or even just a couple times a week for both subjects, it just becomes too much. And then the kids get antsy and the day is too long.  It's just not how we roll. So, we're rotating History and Science.

So, what that means is instead of doing History a couple times a week and Science a couple times a week and trying to squeeze those both in, or I think it ended up being a few times a week that it was needed. So, at some point they both landed on the same day and that day was always really stressful. So instead we're doing a few rounds of the six weeks on/one week off school schedule and we're just focusing on History and just busting out that curriculum. Getting through the whole year's worth curriculum because we're doing it all four school days.

And then when we're done and we go into the second round of six weeks on/one week off, we're gonna focus on Science and do Science four school days a week and then be totally done with Science. So, we're going to try that out. I'm not sure if we'll like it or not, but I'll keep you posted and we'll see how that goes. I know quite a few people who do that and they've said good things about it. So, we'll see.

So basically, we're working on every core subject, every full school day of the week. And the kids have signed up for a couple of elective classes through the homeschool campus that we have, so they actually go to a homeschool campus in our town. And actually, it's perfect. I didn't even do this on purpose. It just worked out that way. I wish I was this savvy. Hudson goes to piano, the same location, the same day and the same time as Bella and Leland go to Spanish. So, on Mondays at 1:00 we will just all go to the homeschool campus. Emmett can run around and play at the park. For an hour Hudson's in piano and the older two kids are taking Spanish. That's something that they're learning that we're not having to teach them. It kind of breaks up the week and it's electives that I feel are going to be really, really good for them.

I'll show you a picture of our homeschool board. I use a platform called Trello. Trello is free and it's an online platform. It's also an APP. We use it in my business, my team and I use it for communication to keep up on different projects. You can share Trello boards with different team members. So, the homeschool schedule board is shared between Brian and I.

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I'll link to the video tutorial I've made for this and the blog posts that I wrote about how I use Trello for everything and all that good stuff. But basically, if you go to the show notes for this episode, which I will link to (alliecasazza.com/shownotes/bonus04) you'll be able to see a screenshot of my homeschool Trello board with our schedule on it.

Basically, what I've done is I've decided to ditch the paper homeschool planner. I just found it really irritating, and time consuming too, to have to fill out each student's name, the subject, what we're going to be doing that week over and over again every single week, for every kid. It was just really time consuming. It didn't seem worth it to me.

So with Trello and the way I've laid out our schedule to where we're doing all the core subjects every school day, it's pretty cut and dry. It really, really simplified me looking at like, “Okay, what are we supposed to do today?” Now we do all the core subjects every day and I just look at the Trello board and see like what are we supposed to do next?

Instead of spending time organizing on paper what everyone's doing every week, I spent time really, really thinking through what is going to be the best format for our day. Now we've been homeschooling for a while, and last year we did it. The kids are a little older so I was able to get familiar with what's working and what's not working and I noticed if we started with something that's really interactive and makes everybody feel positively or there's really no wrong answers and everyone can just kind of talk and be involved, then that would be really good.

So, we do our Bible lesson while we have breakfast. Then everybody cleans up and does their chores and gets ready for the day. So chores are out of the way. The house is clean. Everybody's ready, everyone's fed. We started with Bible which puts everybody in a good mood. Then school starts around 9:00 and then we go into History, which is similar to Bible in the way that it's really like a conversation. They call it a “couch subject.” So everybody does History together at the same time. There's no grade differences for History with our curriculum, and again, I'll share all that with you in a second. So we all sit on the couch and just go through our History lesson. Then the kids go to the table and they do any of the worksheets that go with the lesson for that day and it's just a really good start to our day.

And then we do a split-up time and that's with Math and Reading. So, what that means is Bella and Leland are actually doing the same math even though they are two years apart. Bellah is in fourth grade and she's actually doing third grade Math because that's just where she's at. And Leland is doing a year ahead. He's advanced in Math. So that worked out to where they're doing the same Math and it's much simpler.

So, Bella and Leland do Math together and Hudson sits and has this quiet reading time for 30 minutes. And then we switch. The older kids go and they have their reading time and I sit and do Math with Hudson. Then we do read aloud time. Then we have lunch, clean up, and then we do another split up session with Language Arts and Handwriting.

So same thing. I do Language Arts with Hudson; Bella and Leland work on their Handwriting books, and then we switch. Hudson does Handwriting and I do Language Arts with Bella and Leland. Bella and Leland are in different Language Arts, but they are more independent workers so I can help and oversee them both at the same time. Bella's doing her fourth grade one and Leland's doing his second grade one.

Next, we do Vocabulary. I just help Hudson. The older kids don't really need help with that. And then at the end of the day, if we have time and everything's going well, we'll do Music and Art practice.

The boys are musical and Bella's artistic, so Bella will do an Art lesson or just have free draw time, free painting, whatever, and the boys will practice piano and guitar. Sometimes we don't do that though, and that's okay. I don't require them to do it every single day, but usually they do it.

That's Monday through Thursday. Friday is a lighter day and we'll just have review in the morning or catch up on anything that we didn't get done in the morning. And then they're done and our weekend feels like three days, which is awesome.

And then I've also used the labels that come with Trello to mark, like what's a core subject, what's a group subject that we can all do together, what needs to be done individually, what are their electives to keep everything really organized. It's really, really helpful to have a clean, simplified area where I can see this all in one place. I love Trello for that. And because I do use it for my business, I'm really used to it.

And then what I do is I use Trello in place of a paper planner for what everyone is doing every day. I just put a post-it note on the lesson that we're on in their curriculum books. I open it up to that day and we do the next lesson. And when we're done I write in a normal, basic journal that I got from Target, and every day I would put the date at the top and then I put Bella, LA for Language Arts, Lesson 31, and just keep track of what we did get done.

That helps me with the school records and it just helps me know what are we behind on and what we need to do still. And also in the thick of it, in that day, sometimes I'll forget what we actually did and what we still have left to do, so I can look at that and know.

But it's better and less time consuming than me sitting down once a week and planning ahead and going over every day - “Okay, this Tuesday we're going to do Lesson 29…” Then what if something changes? What if we don't do it? Then I have to erase and the whole plan is shot, so I find that this just works better for me.

The curriculum that we're using is called The Good and the Beautiful. We used it last year. So far it is the only homeschool curriculum that we have reused. I've always wanted to try something else after I have purchased something but not with this. It's beautiful. Very, very image heavy, which my kids really love. I absolutely love it.

It's definitely a Christian curriculum so if that doesn't float your boat this won't be for you. But it’s not in an annoying way and I mean that in the best way possible. I just really, really like it.

And then for Math we're actually using Saxon this year and so far I like it.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. That's how I've organized our homeschool year this year. If you're not a homeschooler, I don't even know why you listened because it's a super snooze fest and it's kinda boring anyway, so thanks for listening if you got to this point.

Again, if you want the links to anything that I shared and all the Trello stuff, just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/bonus04 and you'll get it all there.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 068: Ask Brian + Allie Anything! Anniversary Edition

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Welcome to this month’s Coffee & Questions segment here on The Purpose Show! In this version, I have Brian with me because we are celebrating 11 years of marriage this month! We get asked a lot of questions about our relationship and we thought this was a fun way to answer some of them. From how Brian proposed to what we are looking forward to in the next 11 years of our marriage, if you asked a question, we may answer it in this episode! So, sit down, cozy up, get a cup of coffee, and let’s chat!

 
 

In This Episode Allie and Brian Discuss:

  • Their favorite features about one another (hint, Allie has a thing for Brian’s muscles!).

  • How their awkward proposal story reflects their fun relationship.

  • Ways they handle differences in their marriage, personalities, and parenting styles and how they use those differences to strengthen their family.

  • Why they cannot play board games (anyone else super competitive?).

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Hey friend! There is no transcription for this episode. Thanks for listening!

 

Brian's Avocado Benedict Recipe:  

Prep the hollandaise sauce. I use this recipe: http://www.pinchmeimeating.com/easy-hollandaise-sauce/

Toast a slice of sourdough, or English muffin, or sweet potato “slice” for a Paleo version. You can put a little olive oil or grass-fed butter on the toast before you toast it if you like.

Make guacamole out of half an avocado (salt, pepper, little bit of lime juice, little bit of garlic powder & diced onions)

Poach an egg or two for about 4 minutes

Sizzle up a slice or two of bacon

Put a layer of the avocado mix, a little spring mix or arugula on the toast, a slice of bacon, followed by the poached egg(s) on top of your choice of toast. You can sprinkle some salt and pepper on top if you like

Drizzle the hollandaise on top and enjoy!


Here are some of my favorite photos from our wedding day. I cannot believe this was 11 years ago!

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Ep 067: How I Simplified Meal Planning + Grocery Shopping

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Just being honest, this is not my favorite topic. I have an adult-long-life struggle with the whole shebang of preparing food and planning to eat. But, something I have learned is that there's so much power in your thoughts and the way you look at something. So when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping, I started to look at it as a positive thing and something that I get to totally bless my family with. I also realized that with everything going on in my life, I have no choice but to meal plan and food prep. It works best for me and my family! Trust me, I don’t have it all together. We still eat out, order in, and all the other things that happen in the business of life. But I have found these tips truly simplify my grocery shopping and meal planning that make food prep so much easier and enjoyable!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The difference between food prep and meal prep.

  • Choosing a few pre-planned meals and how it will help relieve the pressure of knowing exactly what you will be serving every day of the week.

  • The value of meal planning one day and grocery shopping a different day (and why you shouldn’t do it all on the same day!)

  • How removing the fear of repeating meals will make meal planning so much easier on your and your family.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is                   The Purpose Show.

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Hey beauty! Today we're gonna dive into 10 ways to simplify your groceries and meal planning. Just being honest, this is not my favorite topic. I get asked about it all the time. I've been forced to figure some hacks out for my own life, but man, I have an adult-long-life struggle with the whole shebang of preparing food and planning to eat. And why in the sweet name of the Lord do we have to eat so many times a day? Like I can't. I feel like it would have been much more organized for us to not need to eat as often, but whatevs.

So, I've grown to like cooking a lot more this year, but I still just…it’s just not my thing. Some of you might message me later today like “yes, me too” and others might send me a virtual slap across the face for saying this, but I truly would rather get my Nike's on, get my hair tied up and clean all day than do meal planning, prepping, cooking and all that. It's just not my favorite thing.

However, I have learned that there's so much power in your thoughts and the way you look at something, and I really had to come at meal planning as a positive thing and something that I get to totally bless my family with. Brian does help me now too now that he quit his job about two years ago now. (Oh man, it's crazy that it's been that long.) And so we do tag team things…we both work, we both homeschool, we both help with house stuff. So that helps. But really, the meals are on me. If I don't plan it, organize it and say “this is what we're going to eat and this is when we're going to go shopping for it,” it's not going to happen and we're going end up having takeout. So, this is still totally on me.

It's just something that I've had to accept. It's just the way that my life is. But with all those things I just mentioned - running the business, homeschooling the kids, running the house, being a person who likes to be busy, likes to be social and do things (I'm really active and my life is full) - there's no way I can do all those things without planning ahead for my meals.

So, these are just some things that I've figured out that I've simplified the area of groceries and meal planning for me. Not really talking about like actually cooking and all that, just talking about like planning. Maybe we'll do another episode about those other things. So here we go. 10 ways to simplify groceries and meal planning.

Number one, choose a few pre-planned meals and just get staple ingredients for the others. Here's kind of what I mean by that. I think that a lot of us feel the need to know exactly what we'll be serving for dinner every day of the week. And if that works for you, girl stick with it! I am no expert here. But for me, I’m a little sporadic and that doesn't work for me. And whenever I plan my week that way, we end up not cooking one or two of the planned dinners and groceries get wasted.

So now I only choose about 2 or 3 exact specific dinners. This is where I'll try new recipes. Full disclosure: I could eat the same meals all the time forever. Brian is a very picky dude and he's a food snob. Which is why in the past, one of our biggest, most common arguments was, “Well, then you cook!” But now we've just compromised, we've talked it out and this is where we've landed. He does help with the cooking. Man, he loves to cook and he's a great cook. But for planning and all that it's gotta be me or it’s just not going to get done.

He just gets bored and we've got to mix it up. So, I do 2 or 3 specifically planned dinners. And then I'll get basic ingredients like chicken breast, organic bacon, sweet potato and other veggies to make spur-of-the-moment, throw it together, simple meals the other nights. I might also make those other nights repeat meals that we have all the time, like lettuce wrap tacos. That's something that's a staple. There's a Thai dish that we have with pork and cauliflower rice and Bok Choy. That’s something that is a way to get veggies that the kids love. So, we'll make that a lot. Everyone has their staples.

So just 2 or 3, really specifically planned, “Okay on this night we're going to have this recipe from Pinterest,” but the other nights are just like there's basic ingredients that we can make anything out of. And that's kind of how we do the other meals.

This is basically just my alternative of pre-planning every single meal. Very specifically getting the recipe, writing down the ingredients, going shopping for it, just doing every single meal like that doesn't work for us.

Number two, get all your planning done in one day each week. So every Sunday night I pour myself a glass of wine and sit down with a notebook and a pen. I choose our 2 - 3 meals and the basic ingredients that I'm going to get for the others, I make a shopping list and map out what we will be buying for breakfast, lunches, dinners, snacks, all of it. I make sure that I'm planning all the way through till the following Monday, which is usually the day I shop and that leads me to my next point.

Number three, choose another day for all the shopping. So, this has ebbed and flowed, so I don't want you guys to be like, “Why aren’t you meal planning? It’s Sunday night,” if I'm on Instagram stories and I'm sharing that I am doing something else, because that happens. And it's like, “whoa, relax.”

Typically, Sunday nights I plan our meals and our grocery list and I get it all written down and typically Mondays I'll do the grocery shopping, but this ebbs and flows. Basically one day plan, another day go get or have it delivered if you have Instacart or whatever. Basically you're splitting it up so you're not doing it all in one day and that lightens the load a lot.

I will also say too, I've written a blog post about this and I'll link to it in the show notes, but Sundays are a preparation day in general for us. It's not just grocery lists.  Brian and I have a weekly meeting on Sunday nights. I do my grocery lists and planning. I look at my calendar and look at like what do I have going on this week? And I kind of just mentally get into that headspace.

So I'm kind of “batching” my tasks. Grocery planning is like planning my week, so I do that all in one night. But grocery shopping is totally different. That makes me leave the house, so I do that on a different day. Again this is just what works for me. You might try this and be like, “I'm a mess. This isn't working for me at all. I hate this.” That's totally fine. I'm just saying all the other tips out there are totally different than this and they never worked for me, and these are the things that have helped me.

Number four, prep immediately after shopping whenever it's humanly possible. What I mean by that is instead of bringing in the groceries and putting them straight in the fridge, I've started to wash, slice and prep everything as soon as I'm home from errands. So, when I get home from the store I will bring everything in, set it on the counter. Then I will get the raspberries, wash them, dry them, store them in an airtight Tupperware. Same thing with the strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. The potatoes will get washed and sliced up and I'll saute them with a little bit of grass fed butter and garlic and then I'll put those in an airtight Tupperware.

And this is awesome because then everything is literally grabbable. In our house we definitely do get a few packaged snacks, but really our snacks are fruit and veggies. So, if everything is prepped, it's like grabbing a bag of goldfish for the kids as a snack on the go, but instead I'm grabbing some sliced berries or carrots, whatever it is. Everything is snackable and prepped and ready to grab. This reduces the waste so much because the stuff is already prepped and it's more likely that we're going to grab it and actually consume it.


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Hey friend! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming free online class: 3 Weeks To Minimalist Motherhood.

In this class, you are going to learn the secret to not living your life in a state of constant overwhelm. It's minimalism and it's going to have you cleaning, yelling, stressing, and nagging a whole lot less. I'm also going to show you how you can take a bite out of this secret process and start right away.

We're going to go over the three biggest time and energy sucking areas of your home and I'm going to show you how to get started in those areas – Now!

In 3 weeks, you will have a much more minimal motherhood and you'll be feeling a lot lighter.

I'm also going to give you an exclusive discount on my course, Your Uncluttered Home, and show you the next step after you get started so you can go all the way and change your home and your life for good.

These online classes are always in serious demand and they don't come around too often, so I want you to snag a spot. Make sure you get one and sign up.

You can go to alliecasazza.com/freeclass. It's totally free!

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Number five, food prep; don't meal prep. So, I've shared this before. This incredible tip changed my life and it's from Amanda Wilson of A Wilson Wellness. I will link to her Instagram. I actually did a couple of coaching calls with her about a year and a half ago and this girl changed my life. She's been on the show before. We’ll link to her episode as well. It’s incredible. She gives doable tips and you know, that's my style. I love that.

But she told me that it's okay that meal prepping doesn't work for everyone. We've found that food prepping is much more doable. Food prepping looks like sauteed potatoes, sliced fruit, cooked and shredded chicken, baked sweet potato fries, all stored in the fridge, ready to use. It's pieces of meals that you can grab, reheat and eat based on what sounds good now and how much time you have versus preparing the whole meal. It just doesn't work for everybody. So food prep; don't meal prep.

Number six, base it on your schedule. So, if you know that Wednesday nights are super crazy for your family, have that be a crockpot or take out night every week. Know what works for you.

Number seven, keep a running list of everything you're out of. This is huge. I think this is the thing that I'm the worst at practicing in real life out of this whole list and it's so frustrating. I can't even tell you how much easier my life is when I actually do just keep a running list of everything that I'm out of and I'm really diligent about it instead of trying to make the list from scratch every week. It takes me forever. It's a huge waste of time.

It's worth it. I'm just so bad at practicing it and I'm constantly working on it. You can keep a list on your fridge and one on your phone so that you have one physically when you're looking in your fridge and you notice you took the last of the raspberries, and when you're out and you think of something you can have your phone with you. Then you check both lists on Sunday nights when you're making your shopping list and you can say, “Okay, we're out of this, these things and these things. I'm going to add it to my shopping list.”

Number eight, subscribe to some sort of grocery delivery service, if there's one in your area. If you live somewhere really rural or it's just not available to you, I totally understand. Amazon Fresh was in my area and now it's gone, which I guess is okay because sometimes the stuff wasn't so great. But things like Instacart, it's usually like $20 to $30 for me to pay somebody to go and pick up my shopping list for me. That's money well spent in my opinion, because that's time that I'm not leaving. I'm not having to pack my kids up and schlepp them to the store and do the whole thing.

I've got my list. I can sit on the couch and shop online while the kids are doing their homeschool stuff and then somebody comes and delivers it to my house. It's amazing, so that has been huge for me. We do it often. It's just really, really a huge time saver. There's  few things that are really worth it for a family on a budget to really spend money on, but I do think that's one of them because not only is it time you're saving, but it's energy that you're saving. It's not those frustrating trips with all your kids that it's hot outside, or freezing outside depending on when you're listening to this. And it's just a lot getting everyone ready, having them go through the store, you forget things because you're telling the kids to stop pinching each other and it's just chaos. If you can save yourself a little bit of that for $25 bucks, I say do it.

Number nine, don't overthink it and know what works. I think so much of the time we overcomplicate things for ourselves. Big Time. Don't overcomplicate meal planning because it's daunting or you don't like it. I've been there. Trust me. Streamline. Simplify. Cut out the things that aren't working and stick to what is.

And number 10, stop being afraid of repeating meals. There is no shame in repeats my friend. I have a friend who rotates like 10 meals exactly that way all the time. They never eat anything else. It's been that way for years and her family has no complaints. It’s easier for her too, which is a huge win, win. So, if that works for you and you don't have a food snob husband, like I do, embrace it and count yourself as one of the lucky ones.

That was my top 10 things that have helped me simplify groceries in meal planning.

Here are a few other random things that work for our family. Just a few tips that I am going to spout off that I've learned recently and I just hope that it maybe will help someone else listening.

Okay, the first thing is prepped food becomes lunch plates that we can fix up in less than 10 minutes. What I mean by that is when we do our food prepping, for lunch we don't really like make a meal. We put together a plate of things, I call them protein plates. The kids are always asking, “Mom, can we have protein plates for lunch?” We'll just put a little bit of shredded chicken, some sliced carrots, some fresh sliced fruit, a little bit of salad with some leftover homemade dressing all together on a plate and just kind of nibble at that. It's almost like a protein snack plate. Maybe a hard-boiled egg or something like that. And it's awesome.

We don't even have to think about lunch, which is huge for us because we're home all the time. My kids are here for lunch, my husband's here for lunch, so we're all here and lunch could basically become another dinner which is stressful, and it's not because we do like “snacky plates” like that.

Another tip is for breakfast, we keep it so simple and the same meals are rotated because nobody really seems to care if breakfasts are the same all the time. So maybe like a coffee and a protein bar for me and Brian. Actually, Brian doesn't eat breakfast and I don't usually either, but if we are going to it'll be something like that, and then maybe cereal for the kids. So we have like our super simple, bare minimum day. Then smoothies are big for us.

And then we call them “big healthy plates” which is like eggs topped with avocado, uncured bacon, grilled tomatoes with salt and pepper and sweet potato hash. These are for the weekends or days where maybe we got up super early. The mornings that Brian and I get up at 5:00 to bust out a bunch of work before the kids get up, we’re usually pretty hungry for breakfast. So we'll do that.

Then also a weekend meal, pancakes, bacon, eggs. We've got our fun meals and we've got our super basic, get the day going meals like coffee and a bar, cereal for the kids, smoothies, things like that.

Also take note of prepped foods that work on the go. So like fresh sliced fruits, grilled chicken cold in a Ziploc baggie, snackable veggies. I actually really like cooked steak, just lightly seasoned, cold. I'll take that with me if I know that I'm going to be out and I'm going to be hungry and need some really good protein.

Also we always have a couple of really easy frozen meals on hand for emergencies like when the babysitter shows up on time and we were so excited for date night that we have kids that we need to feed and we just want to go. So like Annie's mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, frozen pizzas. If you don't want to feed your kids that stuff ever, that is your thing. Go ahead. You do you. But for us we do like to have some of those basic frozen things on hand for emergencies to make our lives easier. We try to pick our battles and sometimes that battle is not dinner for the kids.

And also, I try to always, always, always have kid and adult snacks as well as water bottles in my bag or in the car. We have this leather backpack that is just kind of like our family bag. We don't have babies right now so I wouldn't say it's a diaper bag, but it's like our family bag and I always have a couple of water bottles in there, some bars, like an Rx bar for me or Brian, a couple of bars for the kids, things like that, just in case. It really cuts down on quick drive-through trips and it makes sure that no one's cranky or freaking out because they're starving when we're on the go or when we are out later than we realized. You know, kids are going to get hungry.

I think that pretty much sums up what I've been doing to keep meal prep, grocery shopping and food stuff simplified.


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