EP 047: How To Make Birthdays Special Without The Huge Party

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We celebrate birthdays big time in our house! But most of the time it is in nontraditional ways. We make birthdays special without having a big party. And there's something sweet, intimate and special about doing it that way. We can get into this mindset of “if you're not having a big party then you didn't really celebrate” and that's just not true. You can totally make birthdays special without the big party! There's nothing against having parties, just keep it simple so that you enjoy it. It’s a big day. It's the celebration of the day you became a mom, either for the first time or the fifth time. It’s the celebration of a new life and it matters. We don’t need to perform or impress, we need to celebrate!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How celebrating birthdays in simpler, nontraditional ways are just as special.

  • Ways to simplify parties so they are less stressful for everyone (especially you!)

  • What it means to have a no gifts birthday party.

  • The significance your child's birthday has on you as their mom.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to really get you started on minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

In the Supermom Vault,  you will receive replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else), tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click, more than 20 audio & video trainings, and professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired! 

 


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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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! Today we're going to talk about how you can make birthdays special for your kids without the huge party.

This episode is coming out of questions that I get, like every other episode, but I also just recently had a birthday party for my son. We had gone a while without really doing a birthday party and it was nice; I enjoyed it for sure.

I also think there's something to be said about birthdays without the huge party. There's something sweet, intimate and special about it. I think we can get into this mindset of “if you're not having a big party then you didn't really celebrate” and that's just not true.

I really love birthdays. We celebrate them big time in our house, but a lot of the time it's in nontraditional ways. It might not look super big on the outside, but it's really special to us and to our family, whether we are having a big party or we're not.

I wanted to talk about some ways that we've made birthdays special without having a big party.

First of all, do something that your child really wants to do, or go somewhere that they really want to go. This can be something big like Disneyland, Legoland, the zoo, or whatever. A theme park you live around. It could be something as simple as going to the movies. Or going to their favorite park for the whole day and bringing a picnic lunch and cupcakes and just having a fun day. Kids remember those types of things.

Number two is to create simple traditions like waking up to balloons all over their bedroom floor, streamers hanging from their door, or birthday cake pancakes the morning of their birthday. Something like that.

By the way, we've done all three of those things and they're all super special. We switch between different things for different kids, but the most popular thing in our house is balloons and streamers when they wake up. They love it. It's super exciting. The door is closed the morning of their birthday and when they open it streamers are stuck to the wall above their door. It's like a streamer curtain. There are balloons in the hallway leading down the stairs and we're all there ready to wish them Happy Birthday in the morning. It's just super sweet. It's those little things that make kids feel really special.

Number three is to have some really nice focused family time. Maybe dinner out or dinner in where you make their favorite meal, get their favorite takeout, go to their favorite restaurant. Have a family game night, play their favorite video game all together. Let them teach you how to play. Play board games or watch a movie at home together. Bake a cake. Just hang out and have family time.

It can feel like you're not doing enough and that's just ridiculous. It doesn't have to feel like that. Birthdays can be so special if they're super simple. It doesn't have to be blown out of proportion.

Number four is to celebrate with just close family members. This is simplifying it for you in a way that it's like you're not hosting the big party and dealing with all the people. And I know it can get complicated. If I invite this person, then I have to invite this person, and that leads to this person – it starts feeling really out of control.

And sometimes for a child's birthday, you want to celebrate them. You want to love on them. But honestly, it can come at a really bad time. I've had birthdays come when I was having a miscarriage. When we were moving. When we found out some really difficult news about Brian's job. It was just a really hard time.

It's okay. It's not selfish for you to adjust and act accordingly to the season that you're in, where you're at in life right now. If you need to keep it to close family members, ask everyone to come over, order pizza and just hang out. Have a cake and some ice cream and sing to your kid for their birthday. Let it be a nice family night.  

Number five is have the party. Just keep it simple. Let go of these Pinterest-perfect, super, super themed parties that are inconvenient and draining for everyone involved.

I had a birthday party for Leland’s first birthday. Leland's my second born. So, this was like six years ago, seven years ago. It was superhero-themed.

I was a totally different mom back then. I went crazy, way above and beyond. I built a cardboard city. I had cut out strips of comic books to make a banner - actually out of comic books - we decorated it like crazy. We went way outside of our budget and really financially hurt ourselves that month.

And I was a mess. I was a psycho, you guys. I was in such a bad mood. I was yelling the whole morning of the party. A couple of close friends come over to help me set up. I was on the verge of tears. I was snapping at everybody. I was just not myself. And that's what I remember about my son's first birthday party. It really wasn’t fun.

He doesn't even remember it, thankfully. It really sucked. It wasn't fun.

I don't know if you guys can relate to that story, but I never wanted to repeat that again. That was actually right before my minimalism story kind of started. So, I decided, “You know what? I think simple is better for everyone.” And so, I started to keep things simple.
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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.

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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?

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We just had Hudson's birthday party and it was great. It was super simple. He wanted a theme.

And on that note, while we're talking about this, we have been out of doing birthday parties for a while. We haven't had an actual big birthday party in a few years. It's been a really nice break. We were traveling. We had lived out of state for a little bit. We weren't really around friends and family. We took a nice break from the traditional birthday parties and this is how we came to have all these different ways to make birthdays special without parties. It was just a really nice break.

But this year Hudson just said, “You know, mom, I really want a party. Is it okay if I have a party?”

And I said, “Of course, what do you want to do?” He wanted to have a Ninjago-themed party. For those of you who don't know, Ninjago is a Lego thing. It’s a movie and a show. It's these little Ninja guys. The boys (Bella too) just really love it.

And so, he really wanted to have a Ninjago-themed birthday party and I said, “Sure.”

And it was actually really fun. We ended up doing a “no gifts” birthday party. I haven't done that since Hudson turned one. There's a blog post about that. I'll link to it if you want to read about how to do that the right way without seeming like a jerk. Why you would or wouldn't want to do it. Why we never really do it; we did it this one time and haven't done it in five years.

It was just really simple, really good and wholesome. He had a really great time. He knew about the “no gifts” thing and had just wanted one or two things. My mom got him one thing and I got him the other thing. It was really great.

We did do a themed party. I ordered a couple of themed decorations from Amazon ahead of time. They came in the mail and were hanging out in the closet way before his party, which is really not stressful for me. We ordered a simple-colored, themed cake at Target and put a couple little Lego Ninja guys on the cake to decorate it. It was super simple.

We hung lights in the backyard and had some balloons. The kids jumped on the trampoline, played games and ran around while the adults hung out and talked. It was a really good time for everybody.

I think if you stop thinking about it as a “birthday party” and feeling the need to provide all of this entertainment, candy, gift bags for the end of it, piñata, and amazing Pinterest-worthy cupcake tower and all of that performance anxiety that comes with it (just let it go), and think of it more like hosting a barbecue in celebration of your child being born, it kind of shifts your perspective.  That's what we do now.

So, we grilled, had food, drinks and punch. We didn't really have anything “themed” in terms of games and stuff. We just let the kids play. They were allowed to show their friends the Nintendo Switch and they played video games for a little bit. They played outside a ton on the trampoline. They ran around upstairs. They built Legos at the table together. We had cake and food and everyone just played.

The kids were creative and played together and the adults talked and hung out in the backyard. It was just so fun. It was just like having a summer barbecue. It was really wholesome and good.

I think sometimes if we step outside of the “birthday party performance anxiety mom mentality” and just let ourselves plan a good time, it's different and it's better.

There's nothing against having parties, but just keep it simple so that you enjoy it.

It’s a big day. It's the celebration of the day you became a mom, either for the first time or the fifth time. It’s the celebration of a new life and it matters. It's big. Somebody new was born into this world. A World Changer was born and we're celebrating that. We’re not performing or impressing and I think that's the key.
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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!

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Ep 042: The Importance of An Evening Routine

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What you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. I'm telling you, it's not about you personality type. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day, so you can handle what the rest of the day throws at you. So why wouldn't you want to set yourself up for success, right?

It's really important to make all your routines work for you and your life. What works for someone else may not work for you. I hope that through hearing what my (very flexible) evening routine looks like, you find what works for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How an evening routine will help ease your morning routine.

  • The importance of making your routine work for you and your life. Don’t feel pressured to copy what works for someone else, because it may not work for you!

  • What a general evening routine looks like in the Casazza house.

  • Simple decisions you can make during your evening routine that will help relieve stress for the next day (What to wear, how to do your hair, when to work out, etc.)

  • How to create your own evening routine.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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WANT TO SET YOUR MORNING UP FOR SUCCESS?

What you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. I'm telling you, it's not about you personality type. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. I created a FREE guide to help you figure out what you can get done during your evening routine so you can make the next day easier! And you know I am all about making my days easier! 


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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! I am going to be talking about having an evening routine in this episode.

I personally think that the morning routine has the most impact. I guess I feel like it's the most important thing when it comes to your routines, because no matter what happens at night, you can always start over tomorrow. Also, for the current place I am in my life, a lot of the time evenings just don't go exactly as planned, and a lot of the time it’s because I'm exhausted. There was a lot going on. I'm running a company and homeschooling. I find that mornings are more in my control.

I've heard some people say the opposite and I used to feel the opposite, so I really think it's just about where you're at in your life. But what you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. So why wouldn't you want to set yourself up for success, right?

It's not that I don't have an evening routine or anything; it's just that I'm really, really big and really rigid with my morning routine. My evening routine is becoming more rigid, but it's definitely something that will ebb and flow a little bit more than a morning routine.

But I've been asked about what our evening routine looks like a lot of times. We do have one, so I'm definitely going to open up and share what that will look like with you today. And then also I am going to get into a little bit at the end of what you can do to create your own evening routine.

This is one of those things where, depending on what type of learner you are, it really helps to look at this on paper and write it out for yourself. I put together a free download for you. You can fill it out on your computer or print it out, depending on your preference. It has a checklist of what an evening routine can do for you and also has some space with prompts to help you brainstorm out loud with yourself what your routine should be. Because everybody's life is different.

And that's the other thing I wanted to say before diving in. I think it's really important to make all your routines work for you and your life. You have a different schedule than I do. You have different things on your plate than I do. You're in a different season of life than I am most likely. But I think it can help to see what someone else is doing and then to copy some things and gain inspiration from other things. I always liked to learn this way, by hearing what someone else does, because it gets the wheels turning for me and helps me find a place, a jumping off point, of what to do for my own self.

Let's dive in. I am going to share what our families’ typical evening routine looks like.

Our evening routine starts after dinner. After we eat dinner - whether we got takeout, cooked a big meal from scratch, or we just ate leftovers, whatever it looks like - after we eat dinner, we start with meal cleanup and the evening routine keeps unfolding from there.

One thing that's important to note is that everybody in our family helps. When our kids were very, very small babies and really, really little toddlers it wasn't this way, but we also didn't really have a super rigid evening routine at that point. It was like survival mode. Now that we have a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old, a six-year-old and a three-year-old, things are different.

Our evening routine starts with cleanup. Everybody pitches in. Even Emmett, the youngest, helps pick things up. (For those of you with really little ones, it gets better and you're not always going to be the one doing everything.). So, like I said, we start with our meal cleanup - dishes (dishes are the kids’ job, I don’t do that anymore, which is amazing) or utensils or throwing away packages if we got takeout that night - whatever it is.

And then general pickup, wiping things down, going through the house and doing a general cleanup. I've shared before that we have a few different times in a day where we do a once-over of the house a 5/10-minute clean sweep because we're a home all the time.

Brian and I work from home and run the business from home. We have a home office. We even work out at home; we've got a gym in the garage. We homeschool the four kids. We're home all the time and there's a lot happening in our house.

For those of you who don't work at home, or homeschool, you don't realize how much mess and life is happening outside of your home when are doing the typical job and school thing. When everything is happening at home, it makes for a lot more mess, so we definitely have normal times of picking up throughout the day. I like to center those around meals, so pretty much every time we eat a meal or the kids will get a snack around 10:30 in the morning. Anytime there's food involved, we'll say, “Hey, I’m setting a timer for five minutes. Everybody pick up what you see,” and everyone picks up.

But at night it's a big, “Okay, let's get the house cleaned up for the next day.” It's mainly the kitchen, the floors, things that might have slipped under the couch, or been set down by Emmett that should have been put away, our entryway and our bathrooms.

It's not like we've got cleaning supplies out and we're wiping down the baseboards, detailing the bathrooms or anything. It's just a pick up. I'm straightening things up so that we're starting the next day with a clean slate. After the kitchen, the dishes are done, the kitchen is wiped down and general pickup is done, we also do the downstairs bathroom one more time.

That bathroom takes a hit, let me tell you. There's a man and three boys in this house and I'm singling them out because I don't care what you say, they are messier than girls. It's the main bathroom. It’s the only bathroom downstairs. If guests are over or if Emmett has to go potty, his little special potty seat that goes on top of the regular toilet seat is in there. There's a lot going on. I definitely, definitely give it a wipe down every time I'm in there because it's always taking a beating.

So, we give the downstairs bathroom a wipe down, switch out the hand towel with a fresh one, and give it another once over to make sure it looks good before we head upstairs.  

Once that's all done then we head upstairs and it's time to get the kids ready for bed with showers, baths, and brush their teeth. For showers and baths, Emmett in particular always needs a bath. He needs a bath every day. If we ever do skip it it’s because we were out and he fell asleep and it's past bedtime and he just goes in bed, but he pretty much needs a bath every single day. He's very dirty. He's just a really wild little guy. He's constantly climbing under things and getting into stuff and he's just a dirty little guy.

Usually, though, I have the older kids on an every other day rotation. Bella will shower while the younger two bathe. And then the next day, Leland will shower while Emmett bathes. Everyone's getting cleaned every other day and that works for us, for where we're at right now. We'll see what happens when they're teenagers and we’ve got all that going on.

The kids use my bathroom. Although we have two bathrooms upstairs, they use my bathroom because our tub is amazing and huge. I put them in there and then I can clean our bathroom. It doesn’t usually need it very much, but I'll run the Swiffer Vac and pick up any hairs that fall on the floor. That’s one of my pet peeves. It's super gross to me when there's hair on the bathroom floor. I'll wipe down the counters. Sometimes we'll get into the cabinets and do a little purge, make sure everything looks okay. It's something productive to do while the kids are getting clean.

If the bathroom is fine, I will fold that load of laundry that I started early that morning if I haven't gotten it done yet. Like I shared in the laundry episode (which I'll link to in the show notes) I start a load of laundry in the morning and then by the time I go to bed that night it is dried, folded and put away. That’s how I stay on top of the laundry.

After all the showering and bathing, laundry or bathroom cleanup is done, the kids get ready for bed. We do teeth and all that.

Then usually we choose tomorrow’s clothes so that it's one less decision in the morning. The kids like to get themselves dressed. I don't care if they match perfectly all the time unless we are going somewhere where it matters. I'll let them choose their outfits. Then we get ready to get tucked in. Story, prayers, conversation, catch up over the day.

Sometimes I'll feel like one kid in particular maybe had a rough day. Maybe they just couldn't get things right, were in trouble a lot, or felt a little disconnected. Then I'll go in there and specifically spend a few extra minutes with them and help get their hearts back where it belongs with me. Speak life over them, pray with them, and whatever's needed there.

Honestly a lot of the time this kind of gets skipped over. We always pray with them, but sometimes it's just been a day and I just need to be alone, so we'll skip the story and just pray together and talk about the day real quick. And then it's “good night” and lights out.

But usually we do spend time at bedtime and it's a really sweet time.

The younger kids go to bed at eight. The older kids go to bed at nine. We have that difference of time and usually though everyone's in their room. I'll say goodnight to the older two, even though they’re not going to sleep yet. They usually go together in Bella's room and read books, talk a little bit, or build Lego's quietly. They have this unwinding time for about 45 minutes to an hour before it's time for them to go to bed. Then Leland will go into the boys' room, with his brother already asleep, and climb up to the top bunk and go to bed at his bedtime and Bella will stay in her room and go to sleep at her bedtime too.

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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!

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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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If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Once the kids are in bed, Brian and I will either finish anything that's lingering in the house if for some reason there's still something left over that needs to be done.

Every once in a while the workload will get really heavy, especially during launches. When there's a launch in our business, it means that we're releasing something new or something not new, but that's been closed. Some of my courses are not available all the time. Maybe they've been closed for months and then we'll reopen it. Different weeks like that in the business are a lot heavier workload. Sometimes the house just gets a little extra behind during those times because we're both working and balancing school, and things get behind for those 5-10 days, depending on the launch.

Sometimes we need to finish up some things in the house or the business. Sometimes we'll pull out our laptops and just sit on the couch together, have a glass of wine and talk, play music and wrap up any work.

But usually we're pretty done and all the stuff during the day has been done. Usually it's very rigid and the same, where we work in the morning and then we balance school. Brian does science, math and history, and I'll do language arts, reading and creative writing and all that with the kids in the afternoon.

Typically, we're all done with everything and we will sit and spend time together, watch Netflix. On Sunday nights, we have our weekly meeting where we go over everything together. So, it just depends on what night it is and what's going on in our lives during that month.

Before I go to bed I usually pick out what I'm going to wear the next day again, just because it's reducing morning decisions. I've shared before - and I feel like it always sounds a little dramatic, but I'm just being honest - I'm really, really an introvert. Dealing with decisions, people, and expelling energy, really has an effect on me. I have to be really, really careful with my energy levels and my emotional wellbeing. I've learned that I am kind of a sensitive person in that way. I have noticed since I turned 30 (I'm 31 now) I really started to just become “okay” with that about myself. I'm just careful with myself.

I try to make as many decisions as I can the night before, so that I start the morning out really well, not having to make a bunch of decisions and things like “What am I going to do with my hair? What am I going to wear? Am I going to work out this morning or not?”

They might seem trivial or like they don't matter, but they are decisions and those kinds of things just drain all my energy. The last thing I want is to make decisions, a bunch of decisions, in the morning and kind of dive into my day, and then before I even really start my work day, I'm already depleted. That's happened before and it's a bad feeling. So, I like to pick out what I'm going to wear the next day and sit it on top of my dresser.

I set my alarm. I make sure that my Bible, my journal, a pen and whatever book I'm currently reading is laid out for me downstairs in the area where I have my quiet time.

I also put my exercise clothes right by the toilet in my bathroom because when my alarm goes off I always get straight out of bed to avoid sleeping in. I go pee and then I will slip on my workout clothes before I head downstairs just because it helps wake me up a little bit more when I'm out of it.

Then I'm ready for Pilates later in the morning, which is a part of my morning ritual most days.

That's pretty much it. I usually go to bed around 10, but it just depends. This past week I have been extra tired. I don't know if you have your husband or kids around, so sorry if you do, but during PMS I am always really extra tired and I just listen to my body during those times. In the morning when I'm doing Pilates, I'll usually choose “stretch” workouts versus “feel the burn” workouts. I listen to my body and just stretch it out, do lots of breathing. It's definitely more like yoga than Pilates during that week. And then I'll go to bed really early.

Actually, as I'm recording this, last week was “that week” for me. I was really tired. I really listened to my body. I hydrated a ton. I didn't have a drink on date night. I'll usually have a drink on date night or a glass of wine here and there at home during the week. I didn't have anything extra. I loaded my body up with water and ate really healthy food choices, even though I wanted to eat junk because “PMS” and I just went to bed really early every night.

I was so tired. One night I went to bed at 7:30. I don't know what it was other than just that PMS time. I was just so exhausted. I've really learned to listen to my body. I'm definitely more of a night owl by nature. I've talked so much about that before. I still feel that tendency. To me, staying up till 10:00/10:30 when I get up so early, is staying up late. When I'm rhythmically getting up early, I can't stay up later than that. It's really hard for me. I don't enjoy it anymore.

I enjoy my quiet time when the kids are in bed. I still get that time with Brian. I can watch Netflix and be alone. If I want to get something done, I can. I can still get that time, but just every once in a while, I don't want it. I'm so tired and I just want to go to sleep.

So, that was last week for me. It just depends. I really believe in listening to your body if you can. If there's not stuff that you have to do, listen to what your body needs and just go to bed if you're tired.

But I will say my evening routine is huge for me because it helps me. It helps me want to wake up in the morning. That leads me into my next section of this episode, which is how you can create your evening routine.

I encourage you to get the free download that comes with this episode. It's Your Simplified Evening Routine. It's a free download. It's really straightforward and it's going to help spell this out for you so you can work through it on your own, instead of just listening to this.

But the biggest thing is to think about what's going to set you up for a successful morning. What do you need to get done before your day gets going? Is there anything that you could do at night instead of using your morning time for it?

I used to get up in the morning and find my workout clothes, get my workout shoes on, look for socks, put deodorant on, groggily go downstairs and then not really know where anything was. I didn't want to be fumbling through drawers trying to find my Bible or trying to find my headphones so I could listen to my audio book. I didn't want the kids to wake up. It made me not want to get out of bed.

To get out of bed at 5:00/5:45/6:00 in the morning, whatever time you wake up, it takes a lot. I do get up usually pretty early. I get up between 5:00-5:45 every morning, depending on the need, how much time I want in the morning and what time I go to bed. And that takes a lot.

And so, I need to want to get out of bed. What's going to do that for you? For me, waking up and making decisions, searching for things, scrambling, that's not going to make me want to get out of bed in the morning. I think that is the biggest misconception about waking up early, that people are not setting themselves up for a morning where they're excited to get up for what's going to get you up.

For me, it’s having that quiet time when the kids are asleep or at least they're upstairs, because we have that boundary set where they need to be in their room playing until it's time for breakfast. They don't decide when my day starts. I decide when my day starts. I decide when their breakfast is served too.

Having that parental boundary, I know that I'm going to get that quiet time. I know that I'm going to get to read. I'm going to be in the Word. I'm going to get time to pray. I'm going to be able to take a walk. I'm going to be able to read a book for 20 minutes uninterrupted. Are you kidding me? That's amazing. Of course, I'll get up for that.

So just write it all out. What would you love to do? What do you need to get done at night to give yourself that gift of a great morning? And again, like I said, what's going to help you look forward to the morning?

For me, another thing is knowing that I'm going to wake up to a clean house, an empty kitchen sink, a cozy space with a blanket, my books, and journal waiting for me to have alone time in the morning and that early morning “quiet” is huge. So, I set myself up for that.

I have a blanket that I got at Target, just like a throw blanket. It's my favorite blanket in the house. I have it slung over the arm of the couch downstairs in the front room where I sit and have my quiet time every morning. It's waiting for me.

I get my mug out and I set it next to my coffee machine. I put a fresh coffee pod in there as well. All I have to do is push the button in the morning. I lay out my workout clothes. I have the house picked up. The bathrooms are clean. Things are put away and picked up. The kitchen sink is empty. The kitchen is sparkling white, clean and ready for a fresh day.

There have definitely been times where I have skipped it and for some reason or another it didn't get done. Maybe people were sick or I was just too exhausted and I chose to go to bed and neglect that. Life happened. It really sucks and I totally, totally feel the difference in my entire day. It’s not just like, “Oh, what a bummer. I woke up to a dirty house.”

It's that my morning didn't get off to the right start and that affects my mood, my mentality and what I do in my morning time. It affects the whole day. It's like a domino effect.

This really matters. I'm telling you, it's not about being Type A because I am for sure Type B. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day, so you can handle what the rest of the day throws at you.

If your kid throws up on the way to your doctor appointment. If a kid is playing baseball in the front yard and they break your window. If you get a call that changes everything. If you just end up having a crappy day and nothing really bad happens, at least you had a great morning.

At least you gave yourself that “center time.” And the evening is that catalyst for that great morning.

So, go to the show notes for this episode. It's alliecasaza.com/shownotes/42 and get yourself that free download.

Sit, knowing all of this, having listened to this episode and just work through that free download. Get your own simplified evening routine because it really does matter.

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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 041: 10 Things I've Done to Simplify My Life

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Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are. And once you decide what is most important, you will naturally experience a more simplified life. What matters most? What can you remove from your plate? What is no longer serving you and your family well? These are all great questions that you can think through to help simplify your life. I am excited to share with you the 10 things I have done to simplify my life and how they have impacted me, my family, and my business.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How prioritizing what is important to you brings simplicity to your life.

  • The power of saying “no” even when it is difficult.

  • How having boundaries in order is such an act of simplification.

  • Why alone time is healthy, no matter if you are extrovert or introvert.

  • The ways established routines encourage simplicity.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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WANT TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME?

You buy stuff with your time, not just your money. Less clutter equals less stress and more time. It's as simple as that! Your Uncluttered Home is my most popular, globally-praised decluttering course, designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they clean up after it. It's truly the A-Z of minimalism - every room, every area of your house, totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist mama who's able to be a lot more present for what matters most. This truly is the ultimate when it comes to my philosophy and implementing it into your own life. 


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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! Welcome to The Purpose Show.

I don't know if this is your first time listening or if you've been a faithful listener from the beginning, but either way I want to say that I'm really glad that you're here! I’m really glad you're listening and I believe you're listening for a reason. I'm happy to spend this time with you.

This episode is all about things that I've done to simplify my life. I sat down with the idea for this episode and I started to write what are some things that I've done, some things that I've put into practice that have simplified my life and really made a difference.

I'm all about asking the question: What can I remove from my plate in the different areas of my life? What has to be done by me? What do I want to be done by me? What's dragging me down? Is it necessary that it drags me down? Is it just a part of life?

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

I think that's how you really get intentional.

I sat down and wanted to come up with the list of the things that I've done to bring in simplicity. I ended up coming up with 10 things, which is perfect because all the articles that you see floating around out there, especially the ones that go viral are “10 things to do this, 10 things I've done that did this,” and I always wonder, “Do they sit down until they came up with 10 things or what?”

I always feel I come up with awkward numbers (8 Times That I Was A Great Mom) but this time I really did come up with 10. Perfect. Let's dive in. The first thing that I would say came to my mind about things that I've done to simplify my life is I decided what's most important to me. I would encourage you to do this and to keep your list to 5 or less things.

Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are. For me, my list is broken down into relationships because really that's what each area of life breaks down to is your relationship with your priorities.

It's my relationship with God, my relationship with myself, my relationship with my husband, Brian, my relationship with my children and my relationship with my business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My relationship with my business is so important because my business is not just a business. It's my passion. It’s really a ministry of sorts. It is so important and it is my family's livelihood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am really passionate about giving. I'm getting a little personal here, but in the first year of my business our family was America's version of poverty. It was really, really, really bad. (If you want to hear our story, you can listen to episode six of this podcast.) We came around to the other side. Our business was thriving and went as a business from zero to seven figures in 18 months. It was so exciting and crazy. I have always been passionate about giving and helping others and my difficult financial experiences in my life with my husband definitely fueled that fire.

I became even more passionate about giving and wanting to do good things with this money. I got a little bit too gung-ho about giving and gave away too much to where it was like, “Oh crap, now we don't really have a safety net here.” We probably should have put a little bit more away because that’s what you want to do. I have a hard time saying “no” when it seems good, when something seems charitable, when it seems like it's going to help somebody else.

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

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

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

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

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

I've got a blog post about saying “no” and I'll link to it in the show notes for you guys. It has really simplified my life to have that skill to know how to graciously say “No, I can't do that right now.”

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

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

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

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

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

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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

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

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

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

Another thing I did to simplify my life was I simplified my home. You know, obviously this is what I'm really known for, but my gosh, I had a hard time not putting this first. I simplified my home. I got rid of the clutter. I let go of the drawerfuls of junk and crap that was taking up all the nooks and crannies in the closets, under the bed, wedged in between couch cushions, crammed into nightstand drawers and kitchen drawers. Multiple spatulas, spoons, and bowls that were mismatched. Magazines and random clutter.

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

You probably already know this is what I do. This is what I'm known for. This is where my signature course, my ecourse, “Your Uncluttered Home” came from - this has been my process and my journey and let me teach you how to do it. Simplify your home. Watch your life transform. You wouldn’t even believe it if I told you all the different areas of my life that have changed just from simplifying my home. My marriage improved. Relationships improved with myself, with my kids. I was a lighter person, much happier, less stressed out. I found it so much easier to stop yelling and stop reacting to my life because I wasn't living in this place of constant stress. My life no longer reflected the way that my home was cluttered. It reflected the way my home was uncluttered.

Studies show that the way that we have our homes is a reflection of the way we have our lives. And I really believe that. It's been true for me and true for the thousands of students who have gone through “Your Uncluttered Home.” I definitely, definitely would say that one of the biggest things I did to simplify my entire life was clearing my home of clutter.

The next thing I would say is I established routines, specifically my morning routine. That's also a podcast episode. I am not sure what number it is, but I'll link to it in the show notes. My morning ritual is very important to me. I like to call it a ritual because that's really what it is. I don't like to think of it as a routine. I don't know, it just feels like the word “ritual” is so much richer, better, more spiritual, important and beautiful. And that's how I feel about my mornings.

I hate when something is going on that causes me to miss my morning ritual. That happens very rarely because my morning ritual begins pretty early in the morning. It's only when we're traveling and I have to get up early to leave for the airport for a trip or something like that that gets in the way. I feel the difference in my spirit. I really do.

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

Another thing that I did to simplify my life is I downsized. Back before all of this, before I decluttered, before this part of my story began, we lived in a pretty large house. It was definitely pretty large for our family size at the time. We only had two of our kids and it was a lot.

It was so much maintenance. It was so much cleaning and it wasn't really worth it at the time because I was so overwhelmed. I was fighting depression and we only had two of our kids. I was pregnant with our third, Hudson, and it was so much extra work. It was so not worth it. We couldn't even afford to furnish all of it. It just felt empty, dull and high maintenance. Oh my gosh. I mean it was awful.

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

Friends and family would comment regularly on the fact that we were living pretty small. It didn't feel too small to us but small enough to where it got comments for sure. It was a little bit against the norm, even now when we have four kids. Actually, this is the first time that I'm saying this on my podcast now that it's out, but we know we're going to be adopting and so our family is going to grow even more.

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

I think the original house that I was talking about before was over 3000 square feet and it was just a lot for me, especially at the time. And you know with more space comes more cleaning, more maintenance.

But it's OK; I can handle it now. I've got less stress. I'm not depressed. My kids are older; they help. My husband's here to help. I have a housekeeper that comes once or twice a month and helps. My season is different.

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

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

Another thing that I did to simplify my life was I started walking. This might sound silly and you might wonder what that has to do with simplifying, but it really does. I started walking as a way to simplify my health. I think that the health and wellness industry is a money hungry industry of unnecessary advice. And I got sick of it. I just wanted to feel better. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to feel like I had more energy.

I wanted to get moving, but I really don't like to exercise. I just started to walk. What I found was that, first of all, I love walking. I love taking walks, whether my kids come along or Brian's home and they stay with him and I go by myself. I love to walk. I started to let my thoughts wander. I started to get really grateful. Then I started to intentionally think of things that I was grateful for while I walked. I call those my “gratitude walks.”

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

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

The ninth thing that I've done that I would say simplified my life is I implemented a “nothing day.” It used to be once a week. Now I guess I still have a “nothing day” once a week, but really a very intentional, absolutely zero things on my calendar day, once a month for sure.

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

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

It's something that is so overlooked and not very often scheduled and it needs to be. It's so good for the soul. I implemented a “nothing day” once a week, about 1 ½ - 2 years ago and it was so good.

Now I'm in a season where I don't really need a “nothing day” every single week. We have very restful family days on Sundays, but it's not technically a “nothing day” now because we're going to church, Costco and stuff.

I have a “nothing day” on my schedule about once a month, sometimes more depending on my need. Let the day take you. If you want to leave and go do something, great! But, it's OK to stay in with no bra and no makeup and just hang out on the couch with your hubby and let the kids play games. Just veg. Just be. It's good. It's good for the soul.

Number ten is I simplified my eating. This goes back to the whole thing about the health and wellness industry. But you know, it's overwhelming. We eat at least three times a day and making food can be so complicated. It can really take over your day.

A friend of mine, Amanda Wilson (I'll link to her Instagram account) because she is an incredible Instagram-er for the health and wellness industry. She taught me about food prepping instead of meal prepping. Food prepping is when you prep basic foods so that you can put plates together for meals, instead of deciding what you're going to eat way ahead of time, making the meal, and putting it in the fridge.

Because what was happening for me was I eat by mood, so I would make a meal and put it aside and I wouldn't want that later. What if I didn’t want leftover spaghetti or whatever it is?

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

That really helped me. I simplified my meal plans. Maybe we'll do a separate episode on this, but I just simplified my eating. I cut the crap. I stopped trying to be all specific. “Oh, is this exactly Paleo?” I just said, “You know what? I want to eat clean. I want to eat well, but I also want to eat real and not have this takeover my entire life. I want to cook because I want to enjoy the atmosphere that I create my kitchen when I'm cooking, not because I have to.” I wanted to bring some joy into my eating and I really simplified our food in our house and it was so good.

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

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

And there you have it. 10 things that I've done to simplify my life. I hope that this was inspiring in a different way than my episodes usually are because I'm really just telling you something that I've done and not really telling you exactly how to do it. Which I think can make you be creative apply this to your own life in a different way than usual. So, I hope that inspired you guys.

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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 039: 13 Ways to Bring Peace into Your Home

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Everybody wants a peaceful home. I don’t think anybody would say, “I don’t want a peaceful home.” There’s two different sides of a peaceful home. One is intentionally setting your home up to be peaceful. But then sometimes, there is just stress. How can you, in the middle of a stressful day or tense afternoon, create a peaceful atmosphere? In this episode we’re going to cover both types of bringing peace into your home. I have worked really hard to set up a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. I have also come up with a handful of in-the-middle-of-stress peacemakers. Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What could you change? What is it that you don't like? You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The impact a peaceful home has on you and those who come into your home.

  • How to give your kids the gift of a home they can live in by finding a balance between a home that’s too kid-friendly and the mom hates it, or not kid-friendly at all and the kids hate it.

  • How to intentionally plan for peacefulness around usually stressful times.

  • Setting phone boundaries that create a peaceful home by fostering family time.

  • The tone that you, as the mom, can set in the middle of stressful situations.

  • Practical ways you can create a peaceful atmosphere in the middle of stressful situations.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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I put together a FREE checklist for you guys called “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.”

It will help you find ways to set up a peaceful home as well as give you ideas when you are “in the middle of stress.". If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, get this checklist! I know it will help bring peace to your home!  


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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! I wanted to say I had to do the beginning of this episode five times and that’s never happened before. I usually hit record and I’m good, but I don’t know. I feel like I sounded weird, overly annoyingly cheerful. And then I said “Hey guys” and I started rambling about nothing. It was weird. I’m off today. Anyway…

This episode is all about how to bring peace into your home and set up a peaceful home. I’m really looking forward to sharing this with you. I think everybody wants a peaceful home. I don’t think anybody would say, “I don’t want a peaceful home.” I think my care, my deliberate action to create a peaceful home came from a few years ago when I started to really work on not yelling, which is a constant struggle for me. Just to give you guys some hope, if you also struggle with yelling, it does get easier. But it’s still a struggle.

A few years ago, I challenged myself to not yell at all for 30 days. Of course, I messed up. I did yell and had to correct it. But the point is it brought awareness how I often I turned to yelling as a solution, which in fact, is not a solution at all. It actually makes things worse. I really dealt with the fact that I go there really quickly… a lot. I think one thing that I saw was that my yelling wrecked all the peace in our home. When I do stumble and fall back into that habit, I notice again now. It kills all peace in our home.

It makes the people in our home anxious. It makes me anxious. It makes the whole house feel tense like we are on eggshells and just… anxious. That is the opposite of peace.

I have worked hard to set up a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. I have also come up with a handful of in-the-middle-of-stress peacemakers.

There’s two different sides of a peaceful home. One is intentionally setting your home up to be peaceful. But then sometimes, there is just stress. How can you, in the middle of a stressful day or tense afternoon, create a peaceful atmosphere? We’re going to come at this from both sides.

There are things you can do to set up a peaceful home. But maybe you find yourself in the thick of a stressful afternoon or something in your home. It feels anything but peaceful, even though you’ve set it up that way and you need some in-the-moment tips for creating some peace in your house.

In this episode we’re going to cover both types of bringing peace into your home. We’re going to start with ways to intentionally set up a peaceful home originally.

Let’s say you’re listening to this episode. It’s not a stressful moment right now. When you finish listening, you want to set up your home to be more peaceful. These are those kind of things; not the in the middle of stress things yet.

First, use décor that makes you feel the most at home, relaxed, and happy to be there. I’ve said this before that when I walk into my home, even it it’s a really busy day and it’s not perfectly clean, I feel like it’s a breath of fresh air every time I walk in. I love every room. Even the rooms that aren’t quite finished yet in terms of decorating. I just love my home.

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

A lot of the time we just go off of like what was on sale, what was handed down to us and given to us, we don't want to waste and we'll just use it. Really though? Is it better to have things that are functional and don't actually make us really happy?

I think it would be better to go slowly and maybe not have a house as super decorated, but to slowly wait and as your budget allows purchase things that really make you light up. This doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive. Most of my stuff is from Ikea, Target, or World Market, which are all really cheap places to get house stuff. The fact is that I love all of those things. It can be slow and budget friendly, but don't just get something for the heck of it.

Even back when we really didn't have any money (Episode 6), I loved my home. I didn't love it as much as I love it now because money changes a lot of things and you can do more. But I did love it. I didn’t just get whatever the heck and not care.  

I carefully thrifted for pieces that I loved and I repurposed them to make them more beautiful and more modern to fit my taste. I waited and I saved and got bookshelves that I thought were really beautiful.

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

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

Now it's kind of tricky in my house because when you walk in the front door, if you're standing straight and looking straight ahead, you're staring down a hallway that shows you the entire front room and goes into the kitchen/family room area. It's a straight shot.

It's important to me that I keep that whole area clear of clutter. I'll post a picture in the show notes so you can see exactly what I'm talking about. I have this vintage mid-century modern console that I got for like $25 on Craigslist three and a half years ago. Super, super crazy find. It has a stamp underneath it from the furniture store that it was originally from and it says 1969 or something crazy old like that. It's amazing. We painted it a little bit and repurposed it.

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It’s a nine-drawer console on the left side (if you're standing in my front door looking down that front hallway) of the wall underneath my bicycle art. And that is a place where I can keep things that need to be downstairs in our main area, like sunglasses and keys. There’s a drawer for mail that we need to sift through and things like that. It's functional.

We keep Emmett's pull ups in there, because he wears a pull-up to nap and go to bed still, and things that we need to grab and put in the diaper bag. We have a diaper bag/ backpack/purse packing station there. It's a really great functional piece of furniture.

I would say about 60-70% of the drawers are empty because we don't need nine drawers, but I love that piece of furniture. I really wanted to have it in the front room so I could see it all the time. It works really, really well for us and helps keep that front area clear of clutter. There's really no reason for things to be sat on top of the ledge by the door or sat on top of the console. There's drawers and they each have a purpose. It helps us with functionality.

Figure out a way. Do you come in through the garage? Do you come in through the back door? Do you come in through the front door? What do you and your family use as your main door? Where were you coming in from running errands and setting your keys down? Make that section of your home really functional, pretty and clear of clutter for yourself, so the first thing you see when you walk in is clear. That's really going to help you set up a peaceful existence in your home.

Another thing is giving your kids the gift of a home that they can live in. I think there's these two big opposite ends of the spectrum that moms typically fall under. One end of the spectrum is a home feels way too kid friendly. There's kid stuff everywhere. There's really no décor. There’s just the kid’s stuff – the toy kitchen, toy bins, kids’ books, homeschool stuff. It takes over the house. It's very kid friendly, but the mom hates it. The mom feels like she's lost herself, she has no decorative style, and she doesn't really love being there.

Or on the other end of the spectrum, it's like a kid doesn't even live there. It's really stylish and perfectly clean. Everything is hidden away. It’s magazine status. It's beautiful, but it doesn't feel like you can cozy up with a book on the couch and enjoy it.

I think there's a balance between the two. This is one area where I feel, “OK, yes, I found it for myself,” so I love decorating. If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, I think I would either own a flower shop or be doing something with decorating, because I love to decorate. My style is very important to me. It's important to me that I love my home when I walk in. But I don't want my house to feel so perfect and so beautiful that the kids are afraid to touch anything.

This is one reason that I don't buy high-end furniture. I'd rather have juice spilled on a $300 couch than an $1,800 one. I would rather feel, “It's OK; it's not the end of the world.” Even if it was an $1,800 one it still isn’t the end of the world, but you know what I'm saying. I have Ikea couches so that I can take the covers off and throw them in the washing machine, so spills and greasy fingers, stains and things like that just come right out.

I think there's a way to mix functionality with style and having a beautiful home that you love, that you're proud to show off, that you're proud to host things. Anytime I'm at church and an event comes up, I offer a host it. I love inviting friends over. I love my home. I love being here. I love hosting ladies’ nights and I love having other couples over for dinner. I love, love, love it because I feel confident about my home. It reflects my personality. I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world and I did that. I styled that myself and I love it.

Decorating is one of my gifts and I love using it to create a beautiful home to where I can have people over. But, I don't want my kids to grow up remembering, “Mom wouldn't let us sit on the sofa in the front room. I wasn't allowed to do anything anywhere. My stuff always had to be put away upstairs.” I don't want them to feel like that.

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For example, (and I'll also share a picture of this to show you what I'm talking about) I have my kid’s toy kitchen. My kids used to have a toy kitchen way back before we moved across the country. When we were moving it was something we had gotten rid of. We really didn't bring anything when we moved to Arkansas. Now we are back in California, we're settled, our traveling spurt is done and we're here. My kids were saying that they would love to have a toy kitchen. And so, we got one for Christmas one year. Technically, it was for Emmett, but everybody plays with it.  

It was less than a hundred bucks. I found it on Amazon. It's white. It's cute and vintage, yet modern looking. I got it because it matches the house. I put it downstairs in the main room for two reasons. Number one, I like it when my kids are around me. I want there to be kid’s stuff in my house. That's why I incorporate my kids’ artwork with my décor. Because I want it to feel like kids live here. I like it when my kids are with me. They play in the toy kitchen while I'm in the real kitchen, making meals and stuff. I just think it's really fun and imaginative and I love that they wanted a toy kitchen back.

I put it in the main room. You can see it when you open the front door. It's one of the first things you see down that hallway. It's right in the middle of the family room and the kitchen. It’s in the main part of my house and I put a little collage of photos above it. Um, there's a big Fiddily Fig right next to it. I made it really cute. I incorporated functionality and kid stuff into my décor.

So instead of going and getting a toy kitchen that was cheap, but I thought was really ugly, I balanced it out. I got one that I thought was really cute that goes with my house décor and I put it in a main area. It's functional and the kids love it. They use it every single day. It doesn't look awful and it still ties in with my house.

That's a good example of how you can find a balance between this home that’s way too kid-friendly and the mom hates it, or not kid-friendly at all and the kids hate it.

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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.

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.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

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

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Another great idea that I see all the time is putting a big whiteboard on the wall or painting a wall with chalkboard paint, so the kids can color. Plus, this is a great way to discourage super little ones from drawing on your walls. You can find ways to bring in kid functionality and the fun stuff that comes with having kids without sacrificing the home that you love.

Another way that you can bring peace into your home is find a solution to the things that are regularly stressing you out in your home. For example, we had lived in one-story houses for a long time and our current house now is two-stories. I noticed pretty quickly the whole debacle of “this is downstairs, but it belongs upstairs.” Am I seriously supposed to go all the way upstairs and put this away every single time I find something misplaced? That’s not going to work for me.

I tried it for a while, you know, “just get it done,” but, No, it's unrealistic. It doesn't work for me. I'm not doing that. It created a pile of things that belonged upstairs at the bottom of the stairs every day and it was really ugly. I found a regular dark wicker basket that goes with my décor. It’s a super simple, big, rectangle one that has a lid. I put it in the empty space on the wall by my stairs. That basket is for anything that is downstairs that belongs upstairs. Now at the end of every day we take the lid off, we carry the basket upstairs and everybody puts their things away. Super simple. It's a new rhythm that we have developed.

It took away the stress; it took away the mess. No matter how minimalistic you are, if there's people, human bodies living in your house, you're going to have stuff around. Sometimes something gets used downstairs that actually belongs upstairs and needs to be taken up. It's not a big deal. It doesn't mean you have a bunch of clutter you have to get rid of. It just means that you need a system. This gave us a simple system. The basket looks pretty and hides random things that need to be put away upstairs.

Now every night we take it up. It’s part of our nightly cleanup routine. We put things away, put the empty basket back downstairs for the next day. Little things like that.

Sometimes you don't think outside of your box and you don't realize there's such a simple solution that would help you so much. That would free up your time and make you like your house better. That basket, as simple as it was, really helped and brought some peace into our home in this one small area that was causing a lot of stress.

Another way to set up a peaceful home is flowers. I personally love to always have fresh flowers in my house. I have a couple of vases I love and I swap them out on my kitchen sink. I do not like to do the dishes and I don't particularly love cooking either, so one way that I helped myself is by making myself love my kitchen.

I take extra care. I put extra thought and budget into making my kitchen a place that I love. I have an amazing fridge that makes my life a lot easier. I bought my favorite color Kitchenaid. I bought a cute cookie jar and a cute little storage jar for my coffee beans and stuff on the counter. Everything that I have in there is my favorite. Another thing I do is keep fresh flowers in the vase by the sink. When I'm doing the dishes and prepping meals, I have fresh flowers because I love flowers. Every Sunday when we go to the store I stop at Trader Joe's and I grab a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Now if that's not in your budget, you could get fake flowers. I actually have always hated fake flowers because I feel like they always look fake. But lately I've noticed they're really upping their game. I was at Ikea and I found some beautiful fake Peonies. I bought a big bunch of them and a beautiful hand blown vase and I keep that in my bedroom. My bedroom doesn’t get a ton of light and flowers would die up there. But I like having them there when I'm getting ready in the morning. Now every morning I see a fresh bouquet of one of my favorite types of flowers. That’s actually what's on my arm, my half sleeve, is Peonies. I love them.

I see them every morning when I'm finding my outfit for the day, getting dressed and getting ready. They reflect off the mirror when I'm taking a shower so I can literally see them all the time. They're beautiful. They don't look super fake. They are there all the time and don't require a lot of care from me.

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

Another thing you can do is diffuse essential oils or light candles or something. I have a diffuser that I will link to. I got it off of Amazon and it was pretty cheap. I think it was like $25 or less. It's wooden and it totally goes with my mid-centuryish décor. I keep it on that console that I was telling you about earlier in the front hall of my house. Pretty much all day, every day I set it to “on”, to run until it runs out of water. I put distilled water in it, add some essential oil drops in there and I just diffuse all day.

It's in the main area of the house. You can smell it anywhere you are downstairs; sometimes even upstairs too. I really liked the Stress Away Oil from Young Living. Sometimes I'll diffuse Geranium oil or something that smells really springy and fresh. I'll do Wellness Oils if it's flu season or we're battling some sickness or something. I always have that going. Seeing the steam and smelling the oils, really does create a more peaceful atmosphere.

I know somebody too that has like oil diffuser. She has candles lit. She has incense burning all the time. That’s a little too much for my senses, personally, but it does create peace. There's all these different beautiful smells in her house. They all go really well together.

I also have a Sensi warmer. I'm not a huge fan of Sensi, but occasionally I will put a wax thing in there and let that go. It is a really overwhelming smell. If you want your house to smell really good, really quickly, that works great.

Intentionally planning for peacefulness around times that are usually stressful is huge. If you want to set your home up to be peaceful you have to think ahead. What are usually the most stressful times of day? Maybe it's when you're making dinner. Maybe it's when the kids first come home from school. Maybe it's the morning. Maybe it's the last hour that you have to get work done before you go and pick up the kids from school. Whatever it is. Whatever they are. It doesn't have to be one time; it could be all of those things. Intentionally look ahead and plan for peacefulness around those times.

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

And then the last thing of ways to set up a peaceful home is to get your phone boundaries in place. Phone boundaries make for a peaceful home by fostering family time. There was a whole episode done on phone settings for a present life and I'll link to that in the show notes. I would encourage you to look at how much you're using your phone. It's going to create stress if your kids feel like you're always looking down at your phone.

If you're busy getting the kids ready to start doing homework while you start dinner before you go to baseball, and your phone is making sounds for text messages, that's going to add stress.

Put your phone in its place. It's on the back burner. It's not the main event, right? You can have your phone settings set up so your phone will ring for phone calls but not make other sounds. You can a have set time and place where you check your text messages and

Instagram. It is totally doable. If I can do it, you can do it.

A big part of my job is social media. I have set times of the day when I set my timer for 15 to 20 minutes and I answer Instagram comments, or look at text messages. When that timer goes off, it's done. I put it down until the next time of day. It's maybe 30 minutes a day for Instagram, because that's a big part of my job and I love connecting with you all. That's the only place in social media that I really give daily time. Facebook, text messages, and other stuff is less than that.

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

How many times have you been trying to finish a text message and your kid is talking to you? They're asking you questions, saying “Mom!” and you're like, “What? Hold on.” Did that really have that much of a higher priority than your kid? Probably not. I am guilty of the same thing.

When we put our phone in its place, it creates a more peaceful atmosphere by fostering families.

OK, let's focus on the “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. This is a handful of ideas to help you when you're in the moment. You're in the middle of a tense, stressful situation in your home. Your home feels like, “Ah! I don't want my home to feel like this. What's going on?” Here are some things you can do in those moments when you maybe didn't set up your home to be peaceful before or maybe you did but sometimes you need more than that.

In the middle of stress I think it's important to realize that as the mom, you set the tone. If you have to “fake it till you make it or fake it till you feel it,” that works.

By the way, I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's A Happiness Project and there's a whole section of that in here. “Fake it till you feel it” works. How do you want to feel? Pretend you feel that way and you eventually will. It's amazing.

Or do something that can help you calm down quickly. Remember the standing meditation? Go in the closet, plug your ears, focus on your breathing for just a minute. Come out and feel lighter. Then start acting out of that calm and your family will follow your lead.

Play calming music. Maybe you didn't have it set up that way before, but just change it now. Turn on what does it for you. Classical worship, acoustic playlist on Spotify, whatever it is, just call a timeout. Turn on some calming music on your speaker in your house. If you don't have one, I would highly suggest you get one. I have Alexa; she's amazing. There's lots of different speakers that amplify the level of music in your house.

Music is used in therapy so much. There's a reason for that. It affects your mood. This isn't like a tip I added in here to fill this episode. This is legit and it totally changes things. Play calming music.

Another tip is to create a calm atmosphere. In that moment, what does that look like? Maybe you need to open the windows. Maybe you need to air the house out, diffuse those oils, light those candles, put that music on.

Maybe you need to open the front door and let the air in. Maybe you need say to everyone, “Let's just take a time out. Let’s do the dishes real quick, do a five-minute pickup and then come back to homework after this.”  Is it a mess, and you just are overwhelmed and you need to kind of clear some of that clutter so you can focus on the stressful task at hand? What is it going to take to create that calm atmosphere in the moment?

And speaking of that, that's the other tip: clear the surface clutter. It has a direct effect on your brain and everyone's mood. Here's my empty-hamper trick. Get an empty hamper and go through downstairs or wherever you guys are spending your time right now, and clear the surfaces. Get all the clutter off the countertops, tabletops, coffee table, side table, couch, and put it in that hamper. Roll it out of the room and put it away for later. You can go through it and put things away later that night. Clearing the surface clutter really changes your mood.

And I think the last thing I want to say is in the middle of stress, to create some peace, maybe consider if at all possible, taking a break from whatever is expected right now. For example, if your kids are doing homework and there is bickering, crying, overwhelm or tension in the household while that's going on, take a break from homework time. Even just two minutes. Have a dance party or let them go up to their room and have some alone time to unwind.

Don't let the day's time limits or stresses run your family. It can wait. You can be flexible at least a little bit.

There is a checklist that I've put together for you guys. I'm actually looking at it right now. It’s all the points that I covered written out for you to print out and put on your fridge. “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.” What an amazing thing to have sitting on your fridge so you can look at it and be reminded all the time.

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

You can download that in the show notes and that is alliecasazza.com/shownotes/39. You’ll find all of that there. You'll find the links to those pictures of my house. I told you about the link of a diffuser that I use and the link to download that free checklist.

I encourage you guys to not lose hope. Those certain times of day don't have to feel as stressful as they always do. You can create peace there for sure.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

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

 

EP 037: Benefits of Minimalism for Mothers

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When people think of minimalism, I think most of them picture one couch in the living room, cold white walls, no TV, no toys, and plants hanging by the kitchen sink. That's not the point at all. Living with less doesn’t mean being deprived. It means looking at what is creating clutter and stress in your life.

Recently, Brian was away on a trip for a week. During that week, I was reminded how much I love the idea of minimalism and how much it has changed my life. It has given me the ability to take a deep breath and enjoy life more. And remember, minimalism is embracing the idea of less and questioning what you own and allow to take up your space and time. That is the key to changing your life.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The importance of embracing the idea of less and questioning what we own and allow to take up our space and time.

  • How minimalism equals less cleaning (and everyone wants less cleaning!)

  • Minimalism gives us more time + more energy to focus on the things we want to focus on instead of the things that cause us stress.

  • When you remove the clutter from your home, you become a happier person for yourself, your husband, and your family.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Minimalism is about creating breathing room in your home, your calendar, and your life so that you can be intentional with the people who matter most to you, and present to enjoy them fully. I created the Minimalism Starter Kit as a guide to making this change in your life! It is time to start living with intention and purpose, mama! 


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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey beauties! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show!

When people think of minimalism, I think most of them picture one IKEA couch in the living room, cold white walls, no TV, no toys, and plants hanging by the kitchen sink. That's not the point at all.

Three years ago, embracing minimalism changed my life and transformed my motherhood from angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed to happy, light, and free of stress. I fell in love with the way of less, and never looked back. My marriage improved drastically, my kids became less anxious around me because I wasn't a yelling basket case anymore, there was no longer clutter everywhere I looked, and I found myself doing things like sitting on the floor building train tracks with the boys, watching old James Bond movies with my husband, cooking more meals, and taking walks with my little girl. Suddenly, I was much less busy, and I was a better person in general. All because I got rid of the stuff I didn't need.

I could go on and on about how minimalism has impacted my motherhood, but instead I'm gonna break it down into a few main points, because I truly believe in two things: Jesus and minimalism. I know it's the answer to the epidemic of overwhelmed, tired, frustrated mamas.

LESS CLEANING.

Do I really need to go on here? LESS CLEANING! I have about two days a week where I do a couple loads of laundry, clean the bathrooms, run the vacuum and the Swiffer, and wipe down the walls and baseboards. That's it. I'm not pulling your leg, exaggerating, building up a false reality- this is my actual life. I have to do the dishes (much less than most people though), make the beds, and pick up shoes, coats, art supplies, and a few toys, but that's it day-to-day.

I don't think cleaning up and being frustrated and overwhelmed is a very good way to spend these precious, short years of raising kids. Minimalism has created an escape from that for me.

I'M ALWAYS READY TO HAVE SOMEONE OVER.

My house could be at it's very worst, and I would still feel okay having someone drop by. Why? Because there simply isn't enough stuff in our house to ever allow it to be that messy. It's so wonderfully liberating.

I HAVE MORE TIME.

We create the life we want, time is in our hands, and I decided to create more time for myself by eliminating the excess. I have so much more free time these days versus my pre-minimalism life. And I have two more kids since then and I work from home now, so really I should have much less time. Minimalism, you win again.

I ENJOY MY HOME MORE.

I don't like to cook, but I like being in my kitchen. I love putting on some music or a podcast and creating a delicious, simple meal for my family. I don't like doing laundry, but I love sitting in my living room while my kids play Legos on the coffee table and I fold their clothes. Minimalism has allowed me to actually love my home and love spending time in it without having to spend hours or days getting it perfectly clean (then having it last all of three seconds).

A BETTER MARRIAGE.

Maybe you don't see the connection between minimalism and marriage, and I never would have either, but it's there and it's really strong. Since becoming a minimalist, my brain is so uncluttered and clear, which made me a happier person, which has made me a more available wife. Brian can't believe how much more I laugh, how much kinder I am in general, how much more available I am to listen to him, be intimate with him, spend quality time with him. Our bond is stronger and our relationship has improved by leaps and bounds since we purged our stuff.

I'M ABLE TO BE A MOM WHO PLAYS.

I've already harped enough on how my mind is clearer and I am a happier, freer person, but it fits in again here. Because of minimalism I'm free to be the mom who plays with her kids instead of saying "go play". I spend a lot of my time in the yard kicking the soccer ball around, dancing to Taylor Swift in the living room, and playing with tiny toy unicorns. I run a business from home and it doesn't put a dent in the quality of my motherhood because I spend no extra time managing stuff.

I'M A HAPPIER PERSON.

I just have a lot of joy these days. I don't really know what else to say on this point, except, life is simple and sweet and good, even when we're going through something hard. Because it's intentionally focused on what matters most.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

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

 

Ep 033: Cleaning Tips & Systems with Kendra Hennessy

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Kendra Hennessy is the founder of Mother Like a Boss, a good friend, and a cleaning system and routine extraordinaire. She is truly amazing and full of really simple tips when it comes to cleaning and setting up cleaning routines for yourself. Cleaning is something we, as moms, do every single day. But, when you make your cleaning routine systemized and rhythmic, you don't have to really think about it all the time and it doesn’t rule your life anymore.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Kendra Discuss:

  • The 101 of implementing systems into your cleaning routine.

  • The importance of creating a cleaning routine that is unique to you + your schedule, instead of following someone else’s routine.

  • How the lack of a routine is still a routine, but how creating an actual routine will be more beneficial for you.  

  • Several simple (and effective) cleaning tips that will help make your cleaning routine easier.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Tired of waking up every morning feeling blah? Get outta that ditch, girl let us help you ROCK YO' MOM LIFE! We have combined our best courses into a bundle just for YOU! You will get Your Uncluttered Home and Homemakerish U - you don't want to miss this! 


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


I_ve_got_you_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 The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey friends! It's Allie. I am so excited for today's interview. Kendra Hennessy is a good friend of mine. She's amazing and full of really simplistic tips when it comes to cleaning and setting up cleaning routines for yourself. You don't have to think about it anymore. It doesn't rule your life anymore, and you guys know I'm all about that. She's awesome. This episode is going to be great.

One quick thing. When we were recording the episode, the editorial calendar looked a little bit different. I say in the episode “episode 21” but it's actually not episode 21 so, ignore that. Don't send me an email saying that you were confused and it's not the right episode. It was just an error. Other than that, the episode is awesome and perfect and I'm so excited for you to hear it. Enjoy and let me know what you think by leaving a review on itunes.

Hey guys! Welcome back to The Purpose Show, episode 21. We are talking all about spring cleaning with my friend, my-in-real-life friend Kendra Hennessy. Say “Hi!”

Kendra is amazing. She's hilarious. This is going to be a great episode. Kendra's specialty is cleaning and systems and systemizing all the things that, as moms, we have to do all the time on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis, all those different kinds of things. Making it so that it's systemized and rhythmic. You don't have to really think about it all the time, which is awesome.

We work together, have a business together. When we were setting all that up we let each other into each other's courses and I remember being, “OK, this girl.” Going into her courses, looking and thinking, “I never would've thought of that.” Little things I never would have thought of – it’s amazing.

It's funny because my thing is decluttering. Your thing is cleaning but I would glaze over (with cleaning) and you were doing the same with decluttering, so our stuff fit perfectly together and it was just a match made in online-bus heaven.

KENDRA: It was wonderful. I talk about decluttering but only from the standpoint of you need to declutter before you start cleaning. I wasn't teaching it, wasn't telling people how to do it and I felt the exact same way when I got into Your Uncluttered Home. I didn't know all this stuff and then I listened to a few of the audios and, “Well that's genius! I never would've thought to tell people to do that or I never would have thought to do that.” I feel like our stuff literally perfect for each other and we developed it before we even knew each other, which is weird.

ALLIE: Yeah, it's awesome. I think it's a real testament to the fact of collaboration over competition. We all have our specialties, gifts and things that we’re really good at. We are combining them instead of being worried about it and trying to be all catty about it.

We're talking all about cleaning house lately and a lot of the episodes this month have been kind of in that theme. First of all, I will let you introduce yourself and then we'll get into your simple basic tips, the questions you get the most often. If you want a clean space and a clean start, where do you start? What’s the best place to start?  We’ll get into all that. First, tell us about yourself, your family, and what you do.

KENDRA: Sure! I’m Kendra Hennessy and I own Mother Like A Boss, which is my business. I help modern moms become “homemakerish” is what I call it. It’s my movement, the “homemakerish movement.” It started because I saw that homemaking was getting this really bad rap.

I shied away from that word for a really long time. I didn’t even like using it because I thought, I am not a homemaker. I work. I do other things besides stay home, take care of my family, wear high heels, and make beautiful meals. I realized that is such an antiquated notion that people have developed over the past 20-30 years.

When women started to go back to work, when moms started to go back into the workforce, we left behind the notions of homemaking. But the thing is, homemaking is just something you have to do. I have single friends who are homemakers. It means “making a home.” It means making a home that you cultivate out of love and comfort. We all want to live in a home that we feel comfortable in, that we feel comfortable having other people over.

I know Allie’s big thing in talking about decluttering is so if someone at the last minute says, “Hey! I am in town. Can I stop by?” you aren’t scrambling around saying, “O my God! My house is a mess!” That’s what homemaking is too. It’s making a home that feels comfortable and feels good for you.

I started it because I owned a cleaning business for ten years and I realized that most of the moms that I was cleaning for were super anxious that I was coming over. I thought, “this is counterproductive. They are having someone come into their house and clean, but they are really anxious about it.” What was happening was they weren’t able to manage their home so they were having someone come into their house to clean. They had no organization. Their house was full of clutter. They had no routines in place. They weren’t maintaining it between me being there, so me being there was actually a hindrance and not a help. I found that with a lot of moms.

What I decided to do was branch out and help moms manage their home versus having someone come in and clean. Once it was managed, then having someone come in and clean is great and wonderful. Believe me, it is a wonderful thing to have done, but if you don’t have control of your home and your routines then it is pointless. Every time I would come into someone’s home, I was starting from scratch – every two weeks! You are never getting anything underneath the surface cleaning done.

I have two kids, an 11-year-old daughter, Ava, and a 5-year-old son, Everett. We live in upstate New York. I have a wonderful, tall, dark and handsome husband. He’s very tall, a foot taller than me. We have been married for almost eleven years. By and large I live a very blessed life. There’s really nothing else I can say. Every time I think about describing my life I think we live a very quintessential American life. Super, super boring.

ALLIE: {laughing} Perfect! I love how you describe what you do. I love the way how you serve our fellow women. There is this pull, “don’t be too homemakerish because then you’re not a strong woman.” It’s ridiculous.

You live somewhere. It requires something of you. That’s OK. It’s also OK if that’s “all you do” or if it’s not. We are not here to talk about that. We are here to talk about that you live somewhere and it needs maintenance, you need to take care of it. It’s ridiculous that it is a negative thing to say that, or care about that.

I love what you said about having help come, because it is super helpful to have that. I love what you said about not having to start from scratch every time. Do the things that I know you are supposed to do every once in while and I really don’t want to do, not “Help me. My house is embarrassing.” Then every two weeks starting from scratch, doing what I could have been doing rhythmically over the last 14 days or whatever.

KENDRA: It was happening with a lot of moms too. There were some that after a few months, I could see a noticeable difference in their house. They were using me to clean every few weeks so they could get all the other stuff done. If I don’t have to clean the kitchen, the bathrooms, and mop the floors, then I can start decluttering my closets on the weekend. I can start getting rid of paperwork. I can start rearranging furniture. I can start cleaning baseboards and all that stuff that I don’t get a chance to do.

But then other moms never knew how to maintain anything. They never had any rhythms, routines, or schedules in place so every time I was there, it was like I wasn’t there two weeks ago, which is sad.

ALLIE: I relate to both. I relate to the first one where it is just maintenance. Right now, we have someone who comes every other week who does the baseboards, the tubs, scrubbing, the detailed stuff. If I can delegate that and have that off of my plate, I am good. I can do all my regular “surface stuff.” We don’t have a lot of clutter. I have also been on the other side where you are so overwhelmed that you don’t do anything because you don’t know what to do. There’s too much to do, so you ignore it. It gets worse and worse. You think, “Well, that’s why we have the housekeeper.” No, you should feel good when you walk into your home every night whether it was housekeeper day or not.

Give us the 101 of cleaning routines and systemizing things. Give us the run down and then I will ask you for more specific tips.

KENDRA: Something that I do a little bit differently than some other people in this “industry” is that I don’t give people pre-made cleaning routines. There are a lot of people out there on Pinterest. Go and search “weekly cleaning routine” and all of these images are going to come up that are beautifully designed. The problem that I find with that is that we don’t all live the same life. The whole, “dust on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, clean the bathrooms on Wednesday.” What if your busiest day of the week is Wednesday but you have a lighter day on Monday and that’s when you like to do your cleaning?

I think what has happened is we live in a very “all or nothing” society in a lot of ways and that ends up infiltrating cleaning too where “I have to be able to get it all done and it has to be perfect every single week or every single day or I am just not going to do anything.”

The main place I start when it comes to a cleaning routine is sitting down with a list of all the things that you need to do in your house. I have a list. It’s called “Everything and The Kitchen Sink list.” It is literally a list of everything in your entire home, broken down by room. Take that list, look at your schedule and decide, “What are the days that I am most able to do certain things?”

For a lot of people, it may not be the weekdays; it may be the weekends. For other people it may be the opposite, where they are cleaning during the week. A stay-at-home-mom might say, “I want to get my stuff done during the week because on the weekend when my husband is home or my kids are home from school, I can play with them and be with my family and not be cleaning.”

The way that I teach cleaning routines is all about not focusing on what other people are doing but sitting down and creating a unique routine for yourself. That tends to be a lot harder for people, because they overcomplicate it. “I don’t even know where to start.” And people want things pre-made for them because that takes out so much work for them. They just want a rule.  We talk about this all the time.

ALLIE: It also takes out the fact that it is not going to work for you. It’s not going to work for you if you didn’t make it suit your own schedule, your own life, and your own desires. It’s going to be easier to get it, but it’s going to do nothing for you.

KENDRA: Exactly. I always say to start with a main list. You don’t have to use mine. Walk around your house, go into the kitchen, and say, “What are all the things that I need to clean in the kitchen?” The reason that I developed the list is that there were a lot of moms coming to me saying, “I don’t even know what I have to clean in my house.”

They felt ashamed and embarrassed. Why? No one hands you a manual when you become an adult. “Here are all the adult things you will have to do for the rest of your life. There you go.” You just learn them as you go. If you lived in a house where no one told you to clean the inside of your dishwasher once a month, how are you supposed to know to clean your dishwasher once a month. Moms shouldn’t feel ashamed of that. I created the list for that purpose.

Walk around your house and find all the things that need to be done.

Also, on the list I say how often I recommend doing it. That’s another question that I get asked all of the time. “How often should I do that?”

Take that list and put it into a schedule. I know people are going to ask, “But how? Where should I put it?” Take a piece of paper and put Sunday thru Saturday on it. Start putting some stuff in there based on what you have going on in your life. You can get out a calendar. Use a Google Doc. Use Trello, which Allie and I both run our entire lives on Trello. I have taught people how to put their cleaning routines onto Trello. Anywhere you will be able to see it.

For those people out there that say, “I don’t like cleaning routines. I don’t like routines. I am just a rebel. I like to “wing it.” I like to wake up every day and “wing it”, that’s a routine in and of itself; it’s is just chaos. Chaos is a routine that you have lost control of. That’s something that people don’t understand. Chaos is also a routine. Not having a routine is your routine. It is just that you are routinely having to start fresh every single day versus knowing what’s coming, which is what a routine does for you when you wake up in the morning. “Oh, cool. Today I have to clean the bathroom. If I get the bathroom done, that’s all I have scheduled today for cleaning and now I am done.”

ALLIE: Yeah. I like how you said that the lack of a routine is still a routine. Maybe for an example and some perspective, I am coming out of a season of choosing to have this rigid morning routine because I needed to get things done and it worked for me. Now I am more relaxed. I call Emmett into bed with me. Go slow. Have my quiet time and my coffee. Start the workday at 8:30 in the morning instead of 4:00 or 5:00 like it was. It has been really great.

It’s funny because by letting go of my routine still ended in a routine. Saying that you are not a “routine person” or that routines are too rigid for you, everyone is a routine person. You are being intentional about what the routine is so you are happier in your life and it works better for you.

KENDRA: Think about the people that are always late for work or late to take your kids to school. That’s a routine, honey. You are just routinely late. Many times we think, “I like to come up with it on the fly.” That’s all well and good except what happens most of the time is that you never end up getting to those things because the rest of your life takes over. Having things like a cleaning or decluttering routine once a month where you go through paperwork, toys, etc., it is in the schedule and you are far less likely to cancel on something when it is literally on the calendar because you have already blocked out the time for it.

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Hey mamas! It's Allie here. I want to tell you about my good friend, Kendra Hennessy, who is the founder of Mother Like A Boss and the Cleaning Systems Queen. I am not sure if you guys know, but we actually have our own collaboration that we have formed together called Rock Yo Mom Life.

Our mission there is to use our combined forces to help you systemize your cleaning, declutter your house, and step into your role as the mom you're made to be.

We've got free downloads, courses, and lots more good stuff over there. Head to rockyomomlife.com. The Ultimate Rock Yo Mom Life Guide is a totally free, more than 50 pages, and super helpful workbook coming soon! It is so, so good! (Get on the waitlist.)

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ALLIE: Give us some of your “top tips,” the things that you always say you are so good at. Give us your three top cleaning system tips. Please share the thing about having cleaning stuff on every level of your house. I love that one! It is so obvious, but I never thought of that.

KENDRA: Tips are one of those things that sometimes you say them and you think they are really simple, but people are like, “Oh my God! That’s mind blowing!” but other ones you think are mind-blowing people say, “I have been doing that for years.”

ALLIE: Yeah. I always do that. I’m sorry. My bad. I guess I have a thousand kids back-to-back-to-back, and I can’t think about where to put my cleaning sprays.

KENDRA: {laughing} Exactly. Let’s start with that one. What Allie is talking about is that if you have a multi-level house, keep a “batch” of cleaning supplies on each level of your house. The reason for that is most people, in America at least, keep their cleaning supplies under their kitchen sink, in a mudroom, a laundry room, somewhere in a cabinet tucked away in this far corner of the house.

The problem with that is, the scientology behind it, if you are upstairs in your bathroom doing your hair and makeup and you think, “I am going to give the vanity a really good cleaning today because I got makeup all over it.” Then if you have to walk all the way downstairs to grab the cleaning supplies, how likely is everyone listening going to be to come back upstairs with the cleaning supplies and clean.

I don’t know about you moms out there, but the answer is, “I am going to forget.” I am going to get to my kitchen and forget why I am there. I can’t even open Google on my phone to look something up without instantly forgetting what I was looking up.

ALLIE: {laughing} I do that in a panic. “Oh! Hold on! Don’t talk to me! If you open your mouth, I will kill you! I am trying to Google something!” I will forget! Totally!

KENDRA: This is totally off topic, but I forget what I was Googling in the middle of a sentence. I started writing, “what is the best way to…” and forgot what I was trying to finish. Then Google gives you what they think. “No, it’s none of those. I literally don’t remember.”

With that being said, the likelihood that you will actually make it back upstairs is pretty unlikely. Think about that in your daily, weekly, monthly life, of all the times that you could have been right there doing something. You see some cobwebs and you think, “I should grab my Swiffer right quick and take care of that.” But if your Swiffer is tucked away in the recesses of your garage, you’re very unlikely to get it and come back.

I always say to have a little cleaning bag, or caddy, or whatever you use on every level of your house. Or if you are not going to use a bag or a caddy, just have them in each area of your house. I have cleaning supplies in each bathroom. Glass cleaner, some baking soda and a sponge. Whatever you are going to use. Keep it in every area. Then it is easier for you and the rest of the people in your house to actually clean on a regular basis. Don’t leave your cleaning supplies in only one area. Even if you do have a one-story house, maybe keep them on each end of the house. It will make it a lot easier for you.

Going along the lines of keeping your supplies on each level is keep them in the room that you use them. People keep their dusting supplies under their kitchen sink. But all your dusting has to happen in all the bedrooms, so why not keep your dusting supplies in the living room closet.

ALLIE: There is something about “all my cleaning stuff is here so all my dusting stuff is here.” You just don’t think about it. And it’s just not working for you. I have done what Kendra is saying guys. And it's so funny. It's amazing. Especially now that we have a two-story house.

Especially… OK, this is not talking bad about Brian, but I have to say, does anyone else's husbands trim their beard and clean it up? Your facial pubes are all over the bathroom right now and I can't take it. How is this cleaned up?

KENDRA: Do you know that there is a product that I have been wanting to buy forever? It’s hard to describe on audio, but you can see me. It is a hammock that goes under their beard and it attaches to the mirror so that it catches all of the stuff. My sister-in-law actually tagged me in it and said, “I think Adam needs this.”

ALLIE: {laughing} I need it. I am going to find this and link to it. (Beard Hammock)

KENDRA: If you have a half-bath, or a full bath with a pedestal sink with no storage under the sink, get a cute little basket. People always want to buy baskets and you know Allie & I are always telling you not to buy baskets at Target.

ALLIE: Well, sometimes you need them.

KENDRA: Every now and then you can buy a cute basket at Home Goods. Don’t go crazy. Take the basket and fill it with those things.

Then if you don’t like the way that certain bottles look buy glass bottles on Amazon. You can buy three of them for ten bucks that are beautiful.

If you are worried about your kids getting into certain things, then make the cleaning supplies in those areas natural. Put some vinegar and baking soda. You can put baking soda in a little mason jar. It looks cute. It’s easy to access. Your kids can eat the baking soda; it’s not going to hurt them. That way it looks nice but it is still there when you need it.

I am telling you it is a psychological thing that the more accessible our stuff is for us, the more likely we are to use it.

One of the tips that I always tell people because I see people not doing it, so I feel I have to talk about is your products, whatever you are choosing to use, vinegar and water, or you buy everything that Target has, they are meant to sit and work. They are not made to spray it and immediately wipe it up. The reason is that especially if you are disinfecting or trying to degrease something, all of the products need to actually penetrate the dirt. They need to get into that area.

Think about a time where you have had something sticky on the countertop and if you try to wipe it up with a little bit of water and paper towel it takes forever, but if you spray it and let it sit for a bit of time, even just warm water, will help lift it up. It is like soaking your dishes. If you soak them, it makes it easier to wash them. The same goes for products.

In your tub (I see people do this all the time), they spray something on their tub and they get in there and start scrubbing it. It takes so long. Girl, spray that stuff, do something else, and then come back. You are making more work for yourself if you are not letting stuff sit.

You also are running the risk that you are actually not removing bacterial. Most anything antibacterial needs to sit and work. It’s like washing your hands; you need to wash your hands for 30 seconds in order for it to work. The same goes for your cleaning too.

If you are doing anything that has to do with removing germs, you want to make sure that you are letting it sit for a while. You don’t have to let it sit all day. Spray your countertop, turn around and spray the other countertop. Wait thirty seconds and then wipe it down.

ALLIE: Thank you! I love that. My goal was to squeeze in as many cleaning tips in 25 minutes as we could and we did! I feel like you are one of those people where we can’t really cover it enough so we will have to do a follow up episode. I am just saying this on the fly, so I hope you’re cool with that. {laughing}

KENDRA: Um….I think you could probably talk me into coming back. I guess it would be alright. {laughing}

ALLIE: Thank you guys, for listening and thank you Kendra so much for being here and sharing your awesome tips with us. We'll link in the show notes. Alliecasazza.com/shownotes/33. We’ll link to the Everything and The Kitchen Sink List, which is awesome and free. We'll link to the Beard Hammock for sure. And Kendra’s amazing courses. We have our courses bundled together where you buy one, you get one, way discounted, so we’ll link to all that good stuff.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

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

 

BONUS 03: How "Enough" Lists Have Changed My Life

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An enough list outlines what is enough in your life so that you can focus on what is important and determine what is excess. It can be applied to every area of your life; from business to family, your health to your home. Enough lists cause you to ask yourself, what is “enough” in this area of my life? What is it that I'm called to do in this area of my life? When it comes to being a wife, what is it that I'm called to do here? When it comes to running my business, what am I really called to do here? Basically, these lists are a list of things that are the bare minimum. And as you focus on the “enough” in your life, you begin to see what is overwhelming you. Having my “enough list” has totally changed my life and empowered me to make solid decisions and I hope you find the same empowerment as you create your own enough lists!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What an enough list is.

  • How enough lists bring clarity to her life (and they can do the same for yours).

  • What areas of her life she uses enough lists for.

  • How you can create your own enough list.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Do you want to create your own enough list? I have created this FREE download to walk you through creating these lists in your own life. It will help you breakdown the areas of your life that you need to create enough lists for as well as help you determine what is enough for that area. I also share some encouraging statements and things that you can include in your “enough list” to look at when you're feeling like you need to! 


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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey guys! I am super stoked for this bonus episode. I just couldn't wait to get this content out to you guys. I’m really excited!

I really feel like this is going to help a lot of you. This is something that I have done myself for a while. The other day I was looking at these lists that I have and had this light bulb moment, “Hello? Why haven't I ever talked about this on the podcast? Or ever shared that I do this? It’s one of those things that I made up for myself. It is a part of my life and I don't really think twice about it.

Sometimes it's hard for me to think outside of my own self, look at what I'm doing and think, “This could maybe help somebody.” But I was actually doing a podcast interview for Kat Lee’s Show and she asked me a question (I don’t even remember what it was). But whatever the question was, my answer was, “I have these lists.”  

And it was another reminder for me, “OK, I've got to get this out.” Then I looked at my editorial calendar. If I went along the normal flow of episodes, this wouldn't have come out until summer. I wanted to get it out to you right away.  

So, here we are with bonus episode #3 and we're talking about these little things that I made up for myself that I call “enough lists.”

First of all, what is an “enough list”? It's a little, very short list in my phone. I use my Notes APP on my iphone. I have one for all the different areas of my life. For running my business. Being a mom. Being a wife. For running my house, my health, fitness and wellness.

I have an “enough list” for every area of my life. Well, maybe not every single little area but, all the main parts of my life. Basically, these lists are a list of things that are the bare minimum.

What is “enough” in this area of my life? What is it that I'm called to do in this area of my life?When it comes to being a wife, what is it that I'm called to do here? When it comes to running my business, what am I really called to do here? I'm called to serve my fellow women by providing great content through my podcast and my courses and to change your life completely through that content, if you're willing to do the work. I am called to pray for you guys, not to fix all your problems. It's like a list of helpful reminders.

It serves as a guide for me whenever things start to get crazy. Maybe I start to feel the pull to say “yes” to everything or to try to do it all. Or maybe I feel overwhelmed by life and I just feel like it's all too much. I can reference these “enough lists” and ask myself, “OK, what am I doing that’s excess here?”

Why am I feeling overwhelmed? If I'm doing only the things that are on these “enough lists” in these areas of my life, I shouldn't be overwhelmed. But I am overwhelmed. Why am I overwhelmed? What am I doing that's outside of this list? What can I cut back on?

For business, maybe I've been taking a lot of speaking engagements that take me away from my family and outside of the house. It's really weighing on me, so I'm not going to do those anymore for a while.

Maybe it's that I'm trying to go above and beyond with homeschooling the kids. Trying to do all this extra stuff, provide them with all of these social experiences and other things that are outside of the “enough list” for homeschooling. And it's making me stretched way too thin and it's too much.

I can look at the “enough list” and be pulled back to reality. I can re-ground myself and say, “OK, this is what is “enough” in my life. What am I doing outside of this? It's too much. Something's got to go.” It's really a way for me to practice minimalism in my life.

Here’s a couple of examples. I actually shared this on the Kat Lee podcast. Have you heard that yet? I don’t know when it is coming out. It might be repetitive, but it is a great example.

I am a really competitive person. It has served me very well, especially in business. It served me well in lots of other areas of my life too. I am fiercely competitive. For those of you who watched Friends, Monica Geller, when people try to get her to do something (like jokes) and they're like, “Think of it as a competition with yourself. Make a Thanksgiving dinner this year that just blows last year's dinner out of the water.” She gets lit up and “Yeah! I'm going to mop the floor with myself last year!” She gets all amped up and competitive over nothing.

That is seriously how I am. I'm super competitive. It can also be a flaw where it is the driving force behind decisions when I really need to be, “Well, wait a second. Competitiveness is not the main goal here. I need to step back. Is this thing going to serve me? Is it going to be good for my family?”

I'm much better now. I think the Monica Geller example is hilarious because it really is like my natural nature, but I have matured so much in the last few years. I'm not actively like that anymore. It's just my natural tendency to be like that.

Here's an example. My social media manager is absolutely incredible. Jenny, if you're listening – Hello! Jenny and I have been working to get me the Blue Badge Verification on Facebook and Instagram. Have you guys seen that when a public figure or celebrity always has (if it's an official page), the little blue check mark verification badge on their page? Facebook owns Instagram. They have recently changed the rules and it's very weird, specific and difficult to get that.

We've been trying to get that because there have been a few people who have made fake accounts trying to be me. Or claiming that something that I have created was theirs, like the Declutter Like A Mother Challenge, even though it's copyrighted. People have been doing that. It hasn't happened a crazy amount of times, but it's happened enough that, “We should probably get that Blue Badge so people can know who the original is here, who is really the one running this challenge, created this course, talking about this, hosting The Purpose Show or whatever.” We had been working on getting that Blue Badge Verification and it's been a process. I've just been sitting back and letting Jenny handle it.

Recently in an email, Jenny said, “Hey, they're really having a hard time. They want you to send in this and this and this so you can get that Blue Badge; otherwise it might not happen.” I don't know what it was but, all of a sudden I got taken over by this competitive surge in myself. I started thinking, “I could think of three people who are similar to me, do similar things as me, that I know have that Blue Badge.” I got filled with this fire to conquer everything, do whatever I can to get that Blue Badge. I put aside my work tasks and I was going to get that Blue Badge.

I might as well have smeared war paint under my eyes and put my fists up high and yelled, “Let’s do it!”  because all of a sudden I got overcome by this competitive urge to beat everybody else and get that Blue Badge Verification on Facebook and Instagram.

And I just have to say that is super unlike me. I don't really care. I don't really care about my numbers. I don't even know how many people I have on Instagram or Facebook. I never look. I have no idea. But, this sparked that old immature competitive edge in me and I started to freak out. I was working on this and doing everything that Jenny said to do and really upset that I wasn't getting that Blue Badge, and “Why are they questioning me so much? Why can’t I just have that Blue Badge?”

I started to step back and think, “You know what? I have some really important tasks on my to-do list today. And they all serve my audience really well.” Having the Blue Badge verification on Facebook and Instagram doesn't really serve my audience very much. It serves me. I was weighing my own verification as a person, as an influencer on that Blue Badge. That Blue Badge is meaningless. All it does is let people know, “Hey, if there's other accounts and stuff, this is the real one.”

It was a badge of honor that I wanted to wear and I didn't like that. I saw that in myself. I'm just being super honest here, guys. It might sound silly or stupid, but this is just me being honest with an example. I had that moment where I was, “You know what? Let's take a step back. This doesn't matter. It would be nice and it would be helpful, but this is not an identity. This does not mean that I'm legit. This is definitely not my mission, my goal, or my purpose in what I'm doing in my business and in my ministry.

My business is to serve you. To provide incredible value in my courses that are life changing. To provide incredible free value through the podcast twice a week. If something is going to make me focus on something other than that and take away from that, then it is not a part of my purpose. It is a distraction. That is such a pride issue and that is not how I want to live my life and run my business. So, I stepped back and I left the email there. I didn't do anything about it.

I put it on my to do list for whenever I do have the time and I got back to the tasks that serve you guys. That serve my purpose. That are why I'm here. And that's because I have that “enough list.” My “enough list” when it comes to my business. says things like “it is enough to that I serve my audience, that I provide free and paid value for them that will help them and change their lives. It is enough that I do the podcast every week. It is enough that I share my heart openly and honestly and be vulnerable.” The Blue Badge of verification has nothing to do with that.

That’s a silly example from the business side of things where the “enough lists” can come in handy, how they can help redirect and put you back on the ground where you belong with what really matters and is worth your time in the different areas of your life.

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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.

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.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

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

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Another example - in the homeschooling community it can be difficult to stay simplistic. A lot of people do a lot of extra things, engineering classes, all different kinds of sports and activities. I think the fact that our kids are not in school makes us feel like we have all the time in the world and we can do any activities because our kids are not away from us for six or seven hours a day and it's just a lie. We still get stretched way too thin, way over busy, and it's hard to know that boundary, know the fine line of what's too much. Looking at your “enough list” as a homeschooler - it is enough that I am doing language arts, math, history, science with my children for our school day. Anything outside of that is extra.

What a mind-blowing, simple but mind-blowing, realization about is for a homeschooling mom. This is what is enough. Anything outside of this is unnecessary and extra - art classes for my daughter, guitar lessons for my son, baseball for the boys, horseback for my daughter. All those things are great and they definitely have their place. They're important for sure, but they are extra. Having a list of the bare minimum can help bring you back.

If you're overwhelmed, let go of everything that isn't on that list. It can help bring clarity to your life. Look at your life. What are the areas of your life that you need an “enough list” for? I put together a free download, as usual, for you guys that you can get for this episode. Again, it's totally free and it's kind of a next step.

It will help you actually do this for your own life. It will help you breakdown what are the areas of my life, what is enough in every area, and then I give examples from my own “enough lists”. I give some encouraging statements and things that you can include in your “enough list” to look at when you're feeling like you need to.

I definitely encourage you to go and get that. You can just go to alliecasazza/shownotes/ bonus3. You can get that free worksheet.

I would encourage you to do this. This is a super short, quick episode to say that there are things that are “enough” in every area of your life and anything outside of that is excess. It is. It can be a distraction.

It can be a helpful addition. It can be great, wholesome, purposeful and helpful, but it can also be too much. I want to encourage you guys, have those “enough lists.” It doesn't necessarily mean that you're never going to do anything that's not on that list.   

Right now, we have a lot going on that’s not on the “enough list”. We willingly entered a little bit of a busier season right now because we know that towards the end of the year some things are going to be happening in our family that are going to make us have more home time, quiet time, less activities, and we're going to have a very quiet winter holiday season most likely.

Right now, we're OK with being a little busier. We do have horseback, baseball and guitar lessons. We have chosen not to do art lessons outside of the house but to make them online. That's something that we've simplified. We're still doing the art lessons.

It's OK to go into seasons of extra for sure, but when you need it, when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel like you're stretched too thin, when you feel like you're not sure if you should say “yes” to something or “no” to something, have your list of “what is the point?”

What is the purpose in this area of my life? What's my purpose as a business owner? What am I doing here? What's enough here? What's my purpose as a mom? What is enough here? Realizing that everything outside of that is extra can empower you to say “no” or “this is all great, but I do want to do this extra thing, so I'm going to say “yes” to it, can help you make decisions and bring incredible clarity to your life.

Having my “enough list” has totally changed my life and empowered me to make solid decisions. I encourage you guys to get that free download and start making “enough lists” for the different areas of your life.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

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

EP 031: An Uncluttered Life

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Living An Uncluttered Life goes beyond your physical possessions. It reaches out to other areas of your life such as your health, your calendar, your obligations, and even your friendships. Consider questions like: What is this event doing for me? Is this 3-days-a-week time commitment bringing me joy? Does this person bring positivity or negativity to my life? By letting go of excess and removing what's not serving you, you are giving yourself space to have a more joy-filled life!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What minimalism looks like in the rest of your life, not just your home.

  • Practical questions you can use to evaluate how to simplify your calendar and obligations.

  • How setting boundaries in your relationships will help you determine who is serving you well and who is not.

  • The importance of not labeling yourself when it comes to your health.

  • The beauty that comes from experiencing minimalism outside your home.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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I have created a guide that goes along with this episode. It is all the best resources that I have about uncluttering the different areas of your life. If this episode is making you come alive and get super excited about having a simplistic life, don't miss this download! It will help you take the next step and put this episode into action in your own life.


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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends, I am so happy to be doing this episode! It's something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while. This is basically a surface scratch of what Unburdened is all about. Unburdened is one of my smaller courses. I'm really passionate about this. This is more what I love to talk about and more what I believe versus being a minimalist with your possessions.

While that is so important and definitely the best starting point, there's so much more to be said. There's so much more to learn. I'm about six years into my minimalist journey. At this point, sometimes it feels a little stale for me to talk about house stuff (and maybe that's too strong of a word), but I just get so much more excited talking about the other aspects of an uncluttered life, the other areas of life that you can declutter, not just your material possessions.

I'm really excited to talk about this. I've been talking about this a lot more recently in interviews that I've done for other people's podcasts, and other media. We just redid Unburdened and I got a chance to really pour into this topic and share everything that I know, everything that I've learned. I wanted to do an episode about it as well.

We are talking about having an uncluttered life outside of just your home and your material possessions. I think the real beauty of decluttering your physical possessions is that it is very therapeutic. It almost always leads to the same practice of letting go of the excess and other areas of your life because you realize just how much excess has been weighing you down.

You start to let go of the old photo albums. You let go of the old baby things. You let go of sentimental things that are very, very loaded with emotion. Maybe it’s a pregnancy test from a baby that you miscarried. Sometimes things can feel like they are all we have left of something. We hold on to them thinking that it's helping us when really it's just weighing us down and causing us a burden.

Even things that are less heavy than that. Extra lip glosses that are old and we never use. But we feel like, what if we want that color? What if we want that lipstick one day? Extra socks. Extra clothes. Extra shoes. Extra hair stuff. Extra dishes. Extra everything. It just adds up.

It's not that one area in particular is making or breaking your life. It's rather that all those things just accumulate to so much excess and so much extra burden.

As moms, that's the last thing we need. I think minimalism benefits everyone. It's always funny to me how a lot of famed minimalists are bachelors, or dudes, or they're not parents yet. It's funny because minimalism serves everyone.

We live in a society that says, “Give me more, more, more, more. I totally understand going against the flow in any capacity is amazing, but it is so much easier to say, “I'm going to have less” when you don't have a bunch of kids. When you're not raising a family. When you're not a mom with all this responsibility on your plate for the people in your home. I feel like it's so much easier to just let stuff accumulate both in your home and in your life when you are a parent and, specifically, a mother.

That's why I'm so passionate about speaking on this subject, specifically to mothers and women. I really want to dive into what this looks like. What minimalism looks like in the rest of your life, not just your home.

I noticed that minimalism started spilling over into the other aspects of my life as I was decluttering my home initially a few years ago. One of the first areas that I noticed was my calendar. When you're going through your physical possessions, you start to fall into this rhythm of asking yourself questions about why you would or would not keep an item. What is this doing for me? How is it serving me? Is it making my life easier? Is it really necessary? Is this a need item or a want item?

You start weighing out your options. It might sound silly, but really just getting real with yourself and gut-checking where you're at with each individual item. The process is very quick and subconscious.

You're not literally sitting there looking at the item, asking yourself these questions out loud. You might do that in the beginning, but not throughout the whole process because you fall into a flow.

As you do that, it is so therapeutic and you see how it's helping you simplify. You can't help but start to go about the rest of your life that way. For me, my calendar was one of the first things I did after my house (even during my house decluttering). You start to ask yourself, why am I letting this thing take up space on my calendar every week?

Why am I taking my kids to this thing every single week when honestly, I really hate it. It's at a terribly inconvenient time. It totally ruins the day every week. It makes me not able to get a good meal on the table. We always end up eating junk food. Everyone's cranky afterwards. We’re stretched way too thin and they don't have time to do their homework. Why are we even doing this?

Then you can weigh it out. You can say, “Well, it's a kid's Bible study, so that's worth it to me. I would rather be flexible in other areas and find a way to be creative. Maybe I can do a crock-pot meal. Maybe plan ahead a little bit better and really work this thing into our schedule because it is purposeful for us and it is worth it to me.”

Or you can say, “You know what, this really isn't worth it. It's not a priority. It's not really serving our family.” The ways that it might be serving your family don't outweigh the negatives of going to this thing every week, month or day or whatever it is.

Honestly, this is one of the biggest reasons that I pulled my kids out of public school halfway through the year this year. I've said this before, so I don't want to drone on and on about it (if it's repetitive for you who already know this), but we put our kids into the public school system after homeschooling because the business got too overwhelming and we needed to take a school year, take a beat and just focus on one thing.

We couldn't do both. We couldn't do it all. We couldn't do running an amazing business, growing and providing income for our family, and homeschooling the kids really well. Something was always falling to the wayside and we needed to take a break.

We put the kids in school to give ourselves more space to focus on the business and hire some people so that we would be working less. We ended up accomplishing that in just a few months rather than an entire school year.

I was thinking, “Well this is good though. We can just have time together. We can have time with just Emmett. The other kids will be in school. We can just simplify, catch up on housework, catch up on other work stuff and just enjoy the fact that we're not homeschooling this year. What ended up happening was that taking the kids to and from school every day, dealing with all the paperwork, all the homework, all the expectations of somebody else (not us) on our kids’ academics, it ended up just draining us and being a negative.

It was no longer helpful. It definitely wasn't in the beginning. It served its purpose. We did the right thing and it was great, but at a certain point it was no longer necessary. It started to become a drain and it was no longer serving us.

We assessed it this way: How is this serving us? OK, here are the ways that it's really helpful. Here are the ways that it's really not helpful. The ways that it is helpful do not outweigh the ways that it is not helpful for us. We decided that we were going to let winter break come. Then we're going to let everyone know that we're pulling the kids out of school and going back to homeschooling mid-year instead of waiting until the end of the school year and going another five months like this. I hope that's a helpful example, but that's kind of what I mean.

How can you bring in the idea of decluttering and minimalism to your calendar and your schedule? This is so huge and I would encourage you to take a look at what's taking up space in your calendar. What is excess? What is obligation? What is not serving you or your family? What feels like a drain?

Some things might be drain but they kind of have to be there. Maybe you're in a season where you work outside of the home. You absolutely hate going to work every single day, but you need the money. For now you have to go and show up.

But maybe you can come up with a three or five-year plan to change your lifestyle. That's not sustainable to hate your job, hate where spend the bulk of your time every single day. That’s not sustainable for an intentional joy-filled life.

Maybe you can start to pray, think or plan, and come up with a way to have that not be your end-all, be-all. Have there be an end to that eventually. I think getting real with ourselves and assessing how we're spending our time and our calendar is minimalism in this area of our life.

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Hey Mama, I just want to let you know I have put together an amazing free download for you guys that goes along with this episode. It is all the best resources that I have about uncluttering the different areas of your life. If this episode is making you come alive and get super excited about having a simplistic life, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/31. The download is totally free. It will help you take the next step and put this episode into action in your own life.

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What is an obligation in your life? Is there somewhere that you go already, maybe every once a week or so?

Let's say you go to church once a week and while you're there, there's something obligatory. You are doing something to serve every single week when you're there and you're not able to really enjoy the message. Maybe it's starting to feel draining and maybe you're not happy with that. It's an obligation. What can you do?

Can you cut back on how much time you're spending serving? Can you change the way you're serving? Can you serve one service and then attend the next one? What can you do?

Let’s give ourselves space to analyze how we're spending our time, what's going on our calendar, and what we're doing with our lives.

Whether you make changes or not, you should give yourself space to look and get real with yourself. Stop avoiding the problems. Look at what's draining. Look at what is life-giving. Maybe you'll look and see that every single thing is life-giving.

You don’t need to change anything. Great. Don't you feel better? Acknowledging that and knowing that, so it's not about going in there with a machete and hacking at things that are not super, super fun. We don't want to be unrealistic. It's about giving yourself that space to look, analyze and ask yourself, “Is this how I want to be living my life?” Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Right?

The other area in which minimalism is so helpful and not often talked about is toxic people. I love the term, “vampire people”, because they just drain the life out of you.

This is so often people that we are “forced” to spend time with, or at least we think we are. Very often it's family members.

We don't want to be jerks. We don't want to be selfish, but - boundaries. If you have not read the book Boundaries by Dr. Cloud and Townsend, go on Amazon right now and get yourself a copy. I will link to it in the show notes so you can make sure you're getting the right one. One of the best books I've ever read, top 10 list for sure. You need to get your hands on that book. If you haven't read it yet, it's so life changing.

Where are there people in your life that are draining you? That are causing you stress? That every time you are going to go somewhere where they are going to be, you are just full of dread? You're anxious. You're annoyed. You're irritable. You're snappy to your spouse and your kids. You don't want to go. You just feel like it's a part of life.

Maybe you don't stop seeing that person altogether, but you can give it some space. Again, give yourself some space to look at the relationship, look at the problem and come up with a plan to deal with it.

I've got people like that in my life for sure. There's been a couple of them where it was, “You know what? This is abusive. You're verbally so rude. You're not treating me and my family well and this is not OK. I don't want my kids around this. Until you can shape up your game, I’m going to be taking a step back.” It's a really hard, awkward conversation to have.

And I'm not saying this lightly. There was a situation that was incredibly wrong, incredibly, incredibly toxic and difficult where we had to have that conversation. The person kind of freaked out and now won't speak to us. It's out of our life, out of our hands. We're constantly just praying about it, making sure our boundaries are healthy. We're very willing to just forgive, talk and move on but the other person will not do that.

You may have an extreme situation like that. That's OK.

For me, having healthy boundaries is huge. Knowing that I am acting Godly and asking for forgiveness when I'm not. Knowing I have healthy boundaries that are protecting my spirit, myself, my husband and my family. For Brian the exact same thing - protecting me and protecting his family and having a godly lifestyle and forgiveness when we don't.

It may not be that extreme of a situation. It may be somebody that you have to be around. They are in your family and they're just kind of draining. They're just kind of rude. Maybe they're very forward and they say things that are kind of condescending. Maybe they're manipulative. There's lots of different types of toxicity in people, lots of different types of “vampires” out there, right?

Come at your relationships with a minimalistic mindset and think, “OK, where do I feel like I'm in a toxic environment? When is it that I'm seeing these people? Why am I seeing them? Is this something that I have to have in my life?” If it's “yes”, how can you come up with some solid boundaries? How can you respond in love, but with firm boundaries so that this person is no longer affecting you?

Again, read the book, Boundaries. Seriously, you have to read it. There are responses and examples that can help you in difficult situations. It's so important to have this.

My point in bringing this up is bringing the idea of letting go of excess, of removing what's not serving you and coming up with a plan to handle it better, to have a more joy-filled life. Bringing this idea of minimalism into the area of toxic people in your life.

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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!

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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.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

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Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Another area where I've applied minimalism and it has so helped me is my health. I've written about this a few times, but really it comes down to health and wellness is such an over saturated industry in our culture.

I think I read somewhere it's a multiple billion dollar a year industry. People are buying products, reading books and purchasing things to help them lose weight and get healthy.

If you think about it, unless you've got some kind of ailment that makes it difficult, losing weight and getting healthy is very simplistic. Eat less junk, eat more of what is good for you and move more.

If you have a desk job, initiate nightly walks with your family. Do some squats while you are waiting for your lunch to heat up in the break room. There's never an excuse. You can always find a way.

With my health, I used to be about 50 pounds heavier. I still have some work to do. I definitely battled with emotional eating. I will do a podcast episode about that very soon.

I absolutely used food, and still struggle with this sometimes, as a coping mechanism. I definitely am an emotional eater.

To be frank, cutting the crap, not kidding myself anymore, getting real with myself and just thinking, “What do I want here? Do I want to feel awful every time I get dressed for the day and leave? Do I want to feel awful about myself every time I run into somebody that I know, but I haven't seen in awhile because I'm heavier and my skin's broken out and I don't feel good?” No, that’s not what I want.

It's not about my size. I'm a curvy person matter how healthy am, and I love that about myself. It's not about that. It's not about getting into a size two. It's about how do I feel and I just didn't feel good.

Bringing minimalism into my health looked like this: Cutting down on the excess. Not needing to have a label. “Oh, I'm going to eat Paleo. Oh, I'm going to do Whole 30. Oh, I'm gonna work out five times a week.” And you know, not going crazy. Just thinking, “You know, what? Where's the excess here? When I go in and hit the drive-through because it's convenient. That's excess. That's not serving me at all. It would be cheaper and easier for me if I just had some meals prepped in the fridge.

If I had some food prepped in the fridge, if I had something prepared so that I could have convenience but not destroy my goals and make myself feel awful, make my stomach upset. Simply stripping down and thinking, “OK, I'm going to no longer eat processed foods. I'm not going to eat refined sugar. I'm going to cut out soda. I'm going to cut out a cup of coffee per day. I'm going to drink three of these water bottles a day.”

Simplifying it, what's one thing you can focus on? Trim the excess. Stop over-complicating it because that's why we're never meeting our goals and making actual progress. We overcomplicate. We oversaturate and it's not serving us at all. Strip it down. What do you need to change? What is one bad habit you could do that you could cut out? That you could make a change and make a difference in your health?

Bringing minimalism into these areas of our lives is so important and so healing.

For a personal example on the health note, here's kind of what my health looks like, my routine and how I have minimalism as a part of my health and wellness. I don't like to over-complicate this. I definitely tend to struggle with that. I need labels. “Oh, I'm doing whole 30.” I have done whole 30 several times. Actually it’s a big part of how I lost 50 pounds, but not obsessing over that label and just doing it. If that's going to simplify it for you, do it. At that point in my life, Whole 30 simplified. I didn't want to think, “OK, wait, what's in this?” I just thought, “Is this Whole 30? OK, I'm going to eat it.” If it's not, “No, I'm not going to eat it.”

So that may simplify it for you, but you’ve got to do you. You’ve got to do what works for you.

Right now I try not to eat processed foods. I absolutely have grace if there's a day where I woke up feeling awful, we have baseball that night and I didn't get dinner on the table. Then, yes, we will drive through Del Taco and I will get the healthiest thing I can get there and it will be fine. I'm not going to die. It’s totally fine. There's grace there, but I try to make good decisions and not eat processed foods.

I don't drink soda anymore even though I love an ice cold Coke. I have my coffee black with usually a splash of raw organic cream. I drink a certain amount of water bottles.

I sit down when I'm homeschooling my kids and I usually am sitting down when I am recording the podcast and working, so I try and take a walk every single day. I try to get in about 15 minutes of exercise in the mornings as part of my morning ritual. That's it. That is enough.

I don't need to do more than that. I've stripped it down to the bare minimum. Those are the things that I know, “OK, if I'm doing this, I'm getting to maintain my weight.” I may even continue to lose weight. I'm happy with that. I'm happy with the way that I look and the way that I feel when I'm doing those things. That's minimalism in the area of health for me.

I hope that was helpful, but I just want you guys to understand the beauty of what it does for you as a mother to live an uncluttered life beyond just your home.

I do still think that your home is the best place to start and if you haven't already enrolled in Your Uncluttered Home, I'm telling you that is where everything is. It is my signature course. I worked my butt off on that for a long, long time. Just about a year of my life was poured into that course. I did research. I studied. I purged people's houses in person. I did so much for you guys in that course. It is everything if you want an uncluttered home.

But there's so much more beyond that. That's just the starting point. It's so therapeutic. You'll begin to see how you feel when you're letting go of physical items, letting go of emotional things in your life, your calendar obligations, toxic people, your health, your relationships. You start to see it and you can't help but let it spill over into those areas of your life. That's what I love about decluttering and minimalism.

I hope this was helpful for you guys. Please leave a review on itunes if you love this episode. I will talk to you guys later.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

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