The Power of Hiking in Motherhood + Marriage

Having 3 little ones under 5 at home had me burnt out, fed up, and overwhelmed. Then one day I had the marvelous idea to Get Out. And I mean much more than a money breaking and totally exhausting trip to target. I wanted to get out into the world with my children.

So I decided to Go Hiking With My Kids

At first this was not easy. I was not particularly in shape. Like I said I had just had 3 babies and my pregnancy hormones could only be sated with cheese burgers. I was also completely overwhelmed with how to handle all 3 of my kids alone out in the wild. Trips to the store were hard enough.

But I was Determined to make a change, and I wanted this to work.

Because anything would beat what my home life was like at the time. I was working from home and learning how to grow my photography business. This meant lots of time on the computer for me. Meaning the kids were mostly busy destroying the house. That or they had their faces planted in a screen. Just like momma.

So when I came to the conclusion that a change had to happen, hiking was the first thing on my list to try. Okay, it was the only thing on my list to try. I was grasping at straws. But I had always dreamt my family would be an outdoors family.

Hiking with my kids, I thought at the time, would also hit on a few other levels. It was great exercise, which we all needed, and it gave me an opportunity to get my camera out.

Little did I know it would lead to so much more.

hiking with my kids, bonding sibling time

Since I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, the beginning was a learning journey. The beautiful thing about that though, was that we figured it out together. And it wasn’t nearly as hard as trying to go grocery shopping. In fact, it was pretty amazing. Even when it was tough.

Here the kids could let out their wild energy. They could jump off rocks, balance on tree limbs, poke sticks in the mud and get dirty. I could laugh at their antics instead of telling them to hush, or glare at them, for the thousandth time.

Out in the wonderful world, we left behind the need for filler.

Being together in the world was enough. We traded in technology, toys, bickering, and busy work; with working together, learning together, exploring, exercising, and an immense sense of freedom, wonder and peace.

boy facing a path feeling free and unburdened by toys and technology

Here, in the wild outside, is where I learned to be a Happy Mom.

learn to be a happy mom hiking with my kids to a waterfall

Something about being in the fresh air gave me peace. Gave me a mental strength that seems to be sapped when I am indoors. But being outside, hiking with my kids, I am patient. Understanding. And completely focused on my children and us as a family.

After a while, I was even able to bring these feelings back home. I was gaining a better understanding of my children and their feelings + interest. With this newfound insight, I now saw a major discord in our home life.

Now I saw the toys and TV as a distraction to what they really enjoyed. Which was being active and engaged, learning with each other, and others, in an open environment.

I also realized my work was much more productive when I took breaks from it and refreshed myself. Being outside and away from a million thoughts and needs tying up my brain, brought my creativity back.

family activities Oahu hawaii

After a while I got my husband in on it. And that is when life really started to get good.

Watching my husband bond with our children in this way was exactly what our marriage had been needing. More often than not, he traded playing ball in the yard with the boy, for sitting on the couch together staring at a device.

To see them explore together, grow together, and unite again in such a deep way triggered a huge change for our entire family.

And it was more than the way he was interacting with the kids. We were accomplishing things together. Overcoming feats, planning together, and motivating each other.

I couldn’t get enough. I was addicted to this feeling of… togetherness.

We decided after a few short months of doing this that we would make it our lifestyle. One night I brought up a crazy idea to live in an rv, and travel with our children. And he was 100% on board. All it took was one 10 minute conversation and our whole life got thrown onto a different course.

Now I’m not saying it was all because I started hiking with my kids… but thats exactly what I am saying. I can clearly look back and remember the feeling of that first hike I took my son on. While everyone else was napping, we were changing the course of our entire families lives.

hiking with kids mom and son

So if you are a struggling momma, frustrated at home with the kids. I urge you to get outside and hike! It is a million times better than spending your day walking around target, spending too much money on regret. Maybe you can even get your husband to tag along… one day.

One great way to start hiking, even in the busiest stages of life, is finding quick hikes for a unique lunch. You can even keep it healthy and budget friendly by packing some fruits and veggies. Plus babies are the easiest when you can throw them on your back and let them be till snack time!

hiking with baby on back family adventures

So no excuses mommas! Get out and hike!

Pack a Bento Box Lunch + Make Family Lunch an Adventure

Packing a Bento Box Lunch for your family can be a total game-changer. Not only will you reap the health benefits, but you will save invaluable time and a butt-load of money.

When I started forcing myself out in to the world with my littles my entire life changed. I was happier, the kids we’re happier, and the bonding was immense. We grew stronger together, emotionally and physically.

kids eating lunch on outdoor adventure from healthy bento box with fruits and veggie
Our unique lunch at Peles Chair using our Bento Box

There was only one big problem. Food.

I was spending money every single time we went out on food. And feeding myself and three hungry kids is not cheap. Not to mention, finding healthy options isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Too many times did we opt for cheap McDonalds burgers or nuggets. That was a minimum of $10 and a health bomb every time we went out.

So I began the hunt for a Bento Box that I could easily tote around on our adventures. It needed a few things to qualify:

  • stainless steel
  • stackable
  • easy enough for the kids to open
  • easy to clean
  • big enough for the family
  • leak proof

Enter this bad boy.

stackable stainless steel bento box lunch containers leakproof kid friendly

The Unichart Bento Box Lunch Containers comes with 3 tiers you can mix n match. Stainless steel makes it an easy clean and the top lid is leak proof. It has been a total game changer for our daily adventures.

Although this Bento Box has a few quirks, like not all the lids being leakproof, and being a bit large when all tiers are stacked, it is the best one I have used yet.

fruit and peanut butter sandwich with raw honey and raisins bento box lunch ideas for kids

Eating healthy is a priority for my family and this put me back in control of our lunches. Fruits, veggies, and nuts are the majority of what I like to pack in our lunch. My favorite way to pack our Bento Box is to put rice on the bottom, then our veggies in the middle container and the top with fruits or tortillas.

Super simple lunch and an amazing way to watch your budget. If you need some Kid Friendly Lunch Ideas check out The Everymoms 15 Easy Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Your Kids.

My Favorite Time to Bond With The Kids… Snack Time

baby wearing momma feeding baby vegan lunch with zero waste bamboo fork

Another big part of packing our own lunch is how earth conscious it is. We have been working towards zero waste for a while and it can be a challenge. But waste free living doesn’t have to be hard, time consuming, or break the bank. In fact, I find it does quite the opposite in my life.

Here a few products I got to go with our Bento Boxes that made our lunch zero waste possible.

  • Re-Usable Bamboo Cutlery in a Travel Carry Case. I bought 2 of these 2 packs of bamboo fork sets for my family. Each comes with a fork, spoon, knife, bamboo straw and cleaner brush all wrapped up in a nice canvas carry case.
  • Reusable Metal Stainless Steel Straws.  This set of environmentally friendly reusable drinking straws is convenient, durable and long lasting. It includes 4 metal straws, 2 wooden cases and 2 cleaning brushes. We carry these metallic straws with us everywhere now to eliminate our use of throwaway plastic straws.
  • Bee’s Wrap Paper Food Saver  These washable reusable wax papers are a super cute and easy way to save your food. They are a sustainable, natural alternative to plastic wrap. Wrap up cheese, fruit, vegetables, and bread. We use them to cover an extra bowl or take small snacks when the lunch boxes aren’t needed.

So if you haven’t picked up a bento lunch box for your adventures make sure to grab one soon. They make for a great way to enjoy a lunch with your kids in unique places and bond in amazing ways.

Check out some of our families Hawaii Adventures to see all the places we first took our Bento Box!

How To Pursue Your Dreams With Kids + Keep Your Sanity

Do you feel like pursuing your dreams and maintaining a family is a struggle? Well it is. And it is full of challenges. But by figuring out how to balance motherhood, and work from home or for yourself, you can make living your dreams possible. And not lose your mind doing it.

When I got pregnant with my first-born I left behind any semblance of a typical job. In fact, I knew it probably would never be in the cards for me again. I would have to find another way.

Good thing for me, there about a million ways to make money from home. If you put in the research and time you will find your opportunity to raise your children and be with them at the same time.

Doesn’t that sound like a dream?

I thought so too. When I found my passion in photography and started doing sessions I was over-the-moon with my new job. I could bring the kids most of the time to my session, or only need a babysitter for 2 hours, maybe 3 max. Since I don’t trust anyone outside of my immediate family, babysitter means my mom or husband.

Little did I know that Photography is much more than taking pretty pictures. I was soon spending a good majority of my home time on my computer. Learning Website building, SEO, blogging, marketing, networking, editing, workflows, and the list goes on and on and on.

With all that new knowledge I started developing a new, much larger plan of action for my home-based business.

My love of photography has grown into multiple fields including Fashion, Lifestyle, and most of all Travel. Travel is the biggest on that list because my family spends most of our time together adventuring and exploring all that we can of this world.

pursue dreams as a mom with kids how to work with kids stay at home mom life

Because of that, I started a blog and vlog about our explorations, my lifestyle, and our unschooling adventures, all while maintaining a career as a professional Photographer. To say it is a lot to keep up with is an understatement.

So How Do I Balance My Children, Marriage, Career and Sanity?…

Scheduling, and waking up at ungodly times of day (technically night). Okay that sounds awful, but it’s not all that bad. Let me share with you how I keep sane and what I do when I start feeling overwhelmed.

Time-Blocking

Seriously, for me this is key. Without a decent schedule my wild mind takes over and I end up seeing the list of 500 things I want to do. Not to mention what has to be done, what would be best for the kids, what my husband would enjoy, and what I need to do for my “jobs”. With that many options usually nothing gets done. At least nothing successful or worthwhile.

I know it may seem boring to have your life on schedule, but keeping blocks of time set up makes a big difference. Now you have a little leeway to fill in the blocks with what fits into your life at that time. I typically have my morning blocks set up the exact same every day.

Waking up at 4am is one of the hardest life changes I have implemented. But giving myself this time in the morning, I am able to get a good bit of my work done before the family gets up. This is nearly 3 invaluable hours to get in some me time, write, and edit photos.

This routine is crucial for me as I build out of my “I am not a morning person” roadblock. Benjamin Hardy explains best why productive early mornings are so important in his article This Morning Routine Will Make You Unstoppable. His articles are a constant inspiration for me and keep me on my path of working towards my best life.

Consistency is key to developing momentum. You get it by putting intentional effort toward a singular goal or vision, and eventually the compound effect takes over. It’s as though several outside sources are working for your good. Because, they are.

Benjamin Hardy – The Two Mental Shifts Highly Successful People Make

Time Blocking for My Marriage + Family Time

It might seem ridiculous to schedule time for your marriage or kids, but it is a game changer. Putting in “time for husband” gives us a set time where nothing else matters but us. It is absolutely amazing knowing that no matter how much we need to work, or how dirty the house is, that doesn’t matter. We can let all that fall away for another time.

We fill in that time however we want. Restaurant, movie, late night walk on the beach, back rubs, and/or….other *fun* things. Sometimes its 3 hours sometimes only an hour but that block is crucial, and it is there Every Night.

Time for the kids gets treated as learning time. Good for us we like our education to be had in fun, hands-on ways. This may be going to a museum, swimming, exploring, reading, trips to the library, or a multitude of other adventures spent dedicated to them away from screens and worries.

Family time is where the Gold is at. These are hikes, exploring hidden gems, snorkeling, learning new adventurous activities, lots of laughs, temper tantrums, and other fun typical emotions that comes with young’ns. In short, taking on the world together.

One of my favorite IOS apps for time blocking is BlockyTime. It lets you schedule your time in an easy layout with a few simple taps. You can see your whole day in a glance and simply scroll to see future and past dates.

Minimize Your Distractions

Okay, so I may have a slight problem. I want to do and be Everything.

I want to be a writer, a great photographer for fashion, photojournalism, and families, a badass mom + teacher, a traveler, mountain climber, a Nikon Ambassador (thats right Nikon I’m looking at you), a mentor, a freaking yogi, an environmentalist, run a well-known and useful blog, be insta famous, and the list goes on and on. Like, seriously!!! I just can’t handle all of this. (okay I only knocked off yogi from this dream list, but you get it)

For a long time, and it still happens, I couldn’t nail down a life plan or pursue a dream because I was pursuing a hundred dreams. I would see someone doing something I knew I would like and could be good at, and instantly think… I can do that…

…No!! Stop That.

Since finally nailing down a course of actions I am set on, I have grown in numerous ways. One of the best parts of narrowing down my choices is realizing how much momentum I have gained with all my Time and well put Focus.

I have become far more sensitive about spending time on non-essential activities. Time is one thing you don’t get back. You can’t blame anyone but yourself for what you you do with it, and the consequences of those actions.

Getting rid of the time you waste is a daunting task, but one that must be tackled for you to move forward with pursuing your dreams.

Ways I have Minimized Distractions

I figured out I didn’t need 90% of the things I owned and adopted a minimalist lifestyle. I also knew going to the grocery store, and doing laundry were about my least favorite things in life. So naturally, I started my intentional living journey here.

Capsule wardrobe was the first on my list as overwhelming laundry needed to be a thing of the past. Then I focused on a set way to achieve an easy hassle free way to keep dirty clothes from taking up too much of my time. Timeblocks for the win.

Once I got that in order, I figured out I didn’t want to be a gourmet chef who was cooking a different fine cuisine dinner every night. So, I started meal planning by making a weekly meal theme and sticking to it. I know what I am going to eat each night, and depending on what I find at the market that week, I can make a simple (and still delicious) meal.

Minimalist Meal Plan.. who knew?!

With a minimalist meal plan I spend half an hour in the grocery store, and aside from the produce isle, I don’t look around wondering what I want to buy. I stick to my essentials and if I didn’t think about it before, than I didn’t need it. True Freedom.

I stopped getting on Facebook. About the only time I use FB now is when I reach out to a group I am apart of. I seriously want to fore-go it all together. It has a way of sucking you into other peoples distractions and killing all productivity. Not to mention it is a mostly negative space that kills your mindset.

Speaking of mindset, lets talk about..

Mindset For Motherhood

No matter how well I have everything planned, sometimes it all just falls apart.

work from home mom parenting tips for temper tantrums and needy kids how to deal with crying and outburst

With kids that is a certainty. Some days even the simplest things are tough. And in the right mindset, that is okay. For in life, you will always have to endure low points. Being able to handle the chaotic parts of my life in a patient and calm way has taken a lot of work, and has been very worthwhile.

It benefits my motherhood the most.

I never understood the term work-a-holic before. Like, how could that ever be a thing. I would roll my eyes when I read the quote ” when you love what you do it’s not work”. And then it happened to me. One day I realized I had made it into this elusive club.

Because of this, I try my best to stay out of the house during the day. Otherwise, I will end up on my computer. I am obsessed. I want to edit, I want to write, I want to share, and mostly I want to connect with others on this dream path I have taken. Unfortunately, this obsession takes it toll on my children.

By recognizing that, I can Change it

When my children start to throw temper tantrums or get wild I take a deep breathe and ask myself a few questions. What are they needing right now that they are trying to show me? What can I do to give it to them?

The answer to this is almost always, me. They need me. My time, my attention, my guidance, and my love. And the next part of that, comes with me setting aside my work, or my phone, or whatever was receiving what they were craving.

Instead of yelling and snapping, or telling them how much I dislike what they are doing, I now take a much different approach.

First, I force a smile. That instantly calms my brain and sends a signal that everything is fine. Seriously, try this. It will ease some tension and keep you from snappy remarks you will regret. Plus, if it comes out a super crazy smile, it will throw your kids for a loop, and they may settle right away just to see what the hell is going on with mom.

Second, I either tell them something I would like for them to do, “it would make me so happy if you guys helped me clean up this wreck you have made” or I just sit and be with them.. “hey guys, whats going on? Want to read a book with me?”

After giving them some time, connection and communication, I then come back to what the problem was. I try to mention it in a way that makes them apart of the problem solving. “Your sister yelled really loud when you grabbed that toy didn’t she? Why do you think she did that?”

Giving them prompts to get them to explain the problem will be surprisingly helpful on your end. Having them open up to you lets you figure out how they think in certain situations and they get to feel understood. My kids usually come up with the answer to the problem, and will tell me how they could do it next time, without me even asking, “what do you think would be a better way”.

Taking this route may feel like a lot of struggle and time to put into your kids throwing a temper tantrum. But what is 15 or 20 minutes of your time to ease the entire situation, make a learning scenario out of it, and connect with your children. VS. You spending the next 30 minutes to an hour, barely being able to focus on what you are doing through screaming or disciplining your kids.

Besides, they learn what we do, not what we tell them to do, right?

After spending time talking to them and connecting with them, even if only for 20 or 30 minutes, you will see a huge difference in how they behave and treat each other when left to their own devices.

get kids to play nice together, build a connection with children work from home mom

Surround Yourself With People Who Are On Your Dream Path

Reaching for the stars is tiring and can be lonely. Most of the people who are already in your life typically won’t believe in your dream. That includes most friends and family. It’s the cold hard truth. No one will believe in your dream the way that you do.

Stop trying to convince them. Show them.

Their are plenty of other people rocking their dreams, traveling the world, and working their tushes off who have kids. Find them and see how they do it.

Finding other families who are working to the same goals you are will give you the inspiration to keep going in the hard times. Sometimes “believing in yourself” just won’t seem to cut it.

Better yet, find other mommas who have gone through the point your at and succeeded. Mommas who are farther along than you or at the point you dream of being. Challenging yourself with these people by your side or in your focus point will push you much farther, much faster.

Mastermind groups, accountability partners, and challenges are also all great ways to get competitive and stay inspired in a healthy collaborative way. They will boost your confidence, your knowledge, and give you the drive you need to succeed.

Social media is a great way to find these kind of groups. Start by searching for your niche or keywords and then follow the people who inspire you. Make sure to keep it in the line of your dreams so you don’t get overwhelmed with options, and don’t hesitate to unfollow negative people who waste your time.

Keep Trying + Keep Believing

travel family remote work and how to reach for your dreams with kids

You’ve got this. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Start priding yourself in not letting others tell you what is possible or logical. My husband often tells me that I don’t understand reality. I have come to really enjoy that statement.

Reality is what you make it. So go make a reality you believe in and want to be apart of.

Be patient. Be kind. Involve your kids whenever possible. Unite with other moms and families who are pushing and succeeding.

I believe in you, as much I believe in myself. And thats a lot.

balancing mom life and be successful blogger and work from home with kids

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Letting Go Of Mom Guilt | Balancing Motherhood + Self Identity

Mom Guilt will hold you back from being the strong, inspiring mother and woman you truly are. To be a great mom you must love yourself. This is the first step to creating a life you and your family can love.

mother and son together on fulfilling family hike in oahu hawaii

I had been on the hunt for a photography workshop for close to a year. It had to be perfect. I needed a fantastic location, an amazing group of inspiring women, and time for some much needed Rest + Recharging.

And then the day came, I had finally found it. The most amazing workshop hosted by not one but two photographers I am completely inspired by. The location just happened to be a gorgeous AirBnB hanging off the side of the infamous Amalfi Coast in Italy. Freaking Italy lady!

I knew this would do the trick and kick in my inspiration + motivation I had been lacking for my deepest passion, photography. So did I book it? Hell Yeah I booked it. And I was completely satisfied with myself, not to mention overwhelmingly excited for the next week.

Then The Mom Guilt Set In

All of a sudden I was envisioning my one year old looking for me in the morning, and that about broke my heart. After that the flood gates opened and my thoughts ran rampant. I was imagining my kids burning the house down and wondering how they would survive meals with their father cooking?!

Is this just me being a control freak or mom guilt? Maybe they are the same thing. Or maybe one leads to the other. Either way, an overwhelm of emotions came rushing and I started feeling completely undeserving of some grandiose trip for my own selfish desires.

But I stuck it out and worked through the drowning emotions. And when I was in a better mental state I made the clear and final decision. Damn right I was going to Italy, and Hell Yes I deserve it!

Then I thought about how so many mommas out there are doing the same thing. Putting their own needs, creativity, aspirations and dreams on the back burner because of Mom Guilt.

And if you are here, than I bet you too are in need of a good motivational kick in the pants about balancing motherhood and Finding Your Self! Good thing thats exactly what you are about to get.

Letting Go Of Mom Guilt

First things first momma. You are a great mother. By not only questioning your abilities, but also taking the time to care to read about how you can better yourself in this role, is proof of that. So let me say it again. You are a Great Mother.

great mom getting parenting tips from lifestyle motherhood blog about mom guilt

Since you are here and taking the time to get some helpful tips on battling this ferocious beasts, let me go on and give them to you.

Figure out when Mom Guilt usually strikes

For me, I find that a few things spark the feelings of not being enough. And oddly, it is usually when I am doing too much. Taking care of all the babes, cooking, cleaning, working, caring for the husband, figuring out the perfect meals, planning all the activities is too much for anyone.

If you are overloading your days or being a perfectionist like me than take a step back. Figure out your limits. Because it will catch up and you will start doubting everything. Did I do this right? Should I have done that? Am I totally screwing this whole motherhood thing and my kids all up?!

Shut it! Don’t let yourself get to this point. Know your limits and ask for help. You don’t have to be all the things. In fact, you cannot be all the things. So cut that crap out.

Even if this means asking your husband to help with the dishes a few times a week or start enrolling the kids into getting the laundry together for you. My 3 year old is capable of this. Teach them the life skills young. It will save you sanity and set them up for self sufficiency. Win Win.

Another time I catch my thoughts being jerks is when I have been forsaking them.

That’s right. You need to pay attention to you to. Not just by putting on make-up or sneaking a shower. Those are crap ways of finding me time. You need to check in with yourself Mentally.

In the beginning for me that was hiding in the bathroom the second my husband came home for 5 minutes of peace and to be in a not touching zone. Oh how far I have come.

Okay, after thinking back, maybe sneaking a shower isn’t such a bad one. I have had many a mental convo in the shower. Taking a long walk is another great way to tune into yourself. But the best way to gain some clarity and get on track with yourself has got to be journaling.

I purposefully wake up at an obscenely early time to accomplish this one life changing feat. And that is Morning Pages.

Writing to yourself first thing in the morning with no judgement or worry of what to write will eventually bring you in tune with yourself. Here you will figure out what is really bothering you and what parts of you are locked up and want release. Which brings me to my biggest tip.

Find Your Passion and Live it.

Your children are not your passion. I promise.

But they may be the key in finding it if you haven’t already. I found my love of photography through my intense desire to document my growing children. And it blossomed into something so much bigger than I ever dreamt.

You Will Be A Better Mother By Taking Time To Build Time For Your Dreams

Squash any shame or guilt about taking the time to better yourself. Your children need to see that and it will give better quality family time also.

If you are lost in motherhood and needing help in finding and unlocking your inner desires you can start by asking yourself some deep questions.

These will work great to write in a journal and ponder over for a few days.

  • How am I making choices based on “I should” rather than “I desire”?
  • What would my friends and family say are my strengths? You can actually try just asking them this also!! Try asking your parents or someone close to you.
  • If I was “living the dream” with nothing holding me back what would I be doing?
  • Do people ask me for help in something particular often? If so how I can I develop something from this.
  • What do I gravitate to most on social media. Is it a desire in me that I can bring out?
If you feel like you are drawn to be creative, I highly recommend reading The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.

By taking the time to find your self-identity you will reinforce your character. This is beneficial in not only your mental toughness, but also in showing your children the possibilities and strengths of living and working through goals, and finding their own dreams.

If you can tell yourself everyday that you are doing that, than it won’t be so bad to battle silly self doubts like, “Did I feed them enough veggies today?”

Hey BTW, You are A Great Mom

Remember to tell yourself this A. Lot. Remember you gave them life. Taught them to walk, to talk, and made them giggle when they were sad. You were there for them in the best and toughest parts of their lives. And That will be what they remember.

I hope you got some feels from this and are thinking about big ways to battle the onslaught of mom guilt. You can do it momma. I would love to know your biggest challenges as a momma and how you overcome them.

Managing My Home Life And Making Time for Me |A Balance in Motherhood

It wasn’t until I was three kids deep that I even thought to myself. Holy crap, those are my kids… I’m a MOM! I’m not sure where the time went and it wasn’t just the time that had been lost to me. I was lost to me. 

It was an ordinary day when it happened. That one mind-blowing thought of  I. Am. A. Mom.  Then a cascade of others came crashing down.  

They are growing too fast.  Am I doing right by them? Are they learning enough? Am I going to be able to teach them well enough? I should really enroll Willow in that dance class. Maybe I will wait till I lose 10 more lbs so I can get some decent clothes. OMG. The Laundry. I hate all my clothes. Why do we even have all these Clothes. What are all these Toys doing here? Why do we even have all these Toys?! Damn you Target. 

And it didn’t stop there.

As I stomped through the house on my daily tirade of shoving things in bins and hampers, clearing off counters and chairs, and cooking and cleaning up for the endless amounts of food these little people, and my not so little husband needed, I started to get completely overwhelmed. I’m talking panic attack overwhelmed.

So there I was. On the floor in the garage, sitting in heaps of dirty clothes, contemplating the consequences of burning the whole house down and walking away hand in hand with my babes. I needed a fresh start.

And then it hit me. If I could watch it all go up in flames then why am I holding on to it. My glazed over vision refocused on the dirty laundry.  

I may have laughed liked a lunatic, a little too loud, and a little too well then,

because my children were very quiet after that. In fact, they stood quite still as they watched me barrel through the kitchen grabbing all the trash bags and then proceed to fill those bags with all the stuff I once thought I had to have that had been laying useless in the garage.

That day was such a pivotal day for me.

I felt like I had gotten rid of so much. It was absolutely freeing to see all the emptiness where there had been so much.. STUFF.  Clutter always did make me anxious and I have no idea why I had let everything get so built up.  In fact, it felt like I had let My Whole Life become some overgrown garden.

I started thinking about what in my life needed to be cleaned up.  Where was my time going all day? And what did I hate doing that could be changed?! For me it started with 2 things. 2 things that begrudgingly took over my thoughts, my home, and every bit of my precious time. 

Laundry & Food 

Clothes.

So many clothes. And all I wore was yoga pants and tank tops. Dressing up meant throwing on some denim. You would think my clothes would have been easy to throw out. 

But No 

They went ever so slowly.  I was keeping those shorts I knew would fit soon, and that dress I would wear when my husband and I finally went on that fancy date. And this shirt will totally go with those pants, and if I ever go meet that one mom I talk to on FB I could so wear this. And the kids clothes…

We’re talking Never. Ending. Story here. Thats where I splurged the most. At one point in my life every single time I went to target the kids would get a new outfit. And I was fine with that!!… I actually thought that was great. Then I will eventually own the whole store?!?!

What was I thinking?! 

I ended up with nothing but mountains of laundry I hated doing. And what was once beautiful pricey clothes were now stained, wrinkly heaps of rags. 

With the kids clothing I started by throwing out everything stained. For mine and my husbands I bagged up clothes I absolutely knew I wouldn’t wear. Some of them still had price tags. How did I let that happen?! 

That first big clean out left me exhilarated.  I felt like I had so much space. I felt accomplished. Organized. Free of some kind of burden I didn’t know was placed on me.

I think I did that 12-15 more times over the course of the next 6 months! It was quite addicting. This sense of peace and something deeper that came over me that I couldn’t quite explain yet. So about every week or two I would start to notice all the things I still hadn’t touched.  And  I would bag up a few more pieces that hadn’t been worn and ones that I knew, as much as I liked them.. I just wasn’t going to wear them. 

After I got down to a very modest closet and I knew I was close to only owning my essentials I finally had the brilliant idea that there must be other people out there like me. So I started my search for women who only wanted few clothes and knew better than I how to achieve that in a fashionable, sensible way.  

And I found The Capsule Wardrobe.

How had I not known about this?! Apparently there is a whole movement of people who live by a minimalist approach to their clothing! In fact, reading on capsule wardrobes was what led me to realize I was fitting into some new trend.. Minimalism. Wow. I had been way out of it. Motherhood can really swallow you up.. 

But after tons of articles and research I realized Capsule Wardrobe was what I had made for myself. And I learned a few new tricks. My favorite was that I could easily buy and organize with color palettes. Thank you Caroline from UnFancy!

Game. Changer

I have not always been a great clothes shopper and it was pretty monumental for me to figure out that it makes it so much easier to build a wardrobe that will actually all go together by creating a color board / visual board first. So I made a Pinterest Boards for Clothing Color Palettes and figured out how many pieces of clothing I wanted. 

If you have mountains of laundry you hate doing and want nothing more than to throw it all away or rent out a room in your house in exchange for a live in clothes washer I suggest you try to minimize your closets! 

If this idea seems amazing but incredibly daunting, I get it. I was there. Here are a few tips to get started and ways that helped me get through it. 

  • Start Slow Remove anything stained, ripped or faded.  
  • Remove Anything You Haven’t worn in 6+ Months If you haven’t worn it in a year. Do yourself a favor and give that unknown baggage away.
  • Remove Duplicates Do you own 10 Black shirts or dresses? Try picking one or two of your favorites.
  • Get Rid of anything that doesn’t fit If you have been waiting a year to fit back into those pre-pregnancy pants… Let them go. The mental effects of them in your closet weigh on you without you even realizing it. You can reward yourself with new pants if that is a goal your are dedicated to.
  • Get Rid Of Clothes That Just Aren’t You I had quite a few pieces that I wanted to wear because I liked them on other women. Or shirts that were waiting for just the right shoes and vice versa. Don’t worry about whats on trend or when you’ll complete that outfit. The great thing about minimizing your closet is you will find YOUR style. It is possible to have timeless pieces that show off who you are. 
  • If you don’t know where to start or feel overwhelmed try a certain amount at a time. Choose 10 items in your closet to box up for donations. It can be shirts, shoes, purses, belts. Once you get going you may find a lot more than you thought.
  • Test Your Wardrobe Try removing half of your clothes and put them in a different room or boxed in the garage.  You will be surprised how much time and hassle you save when you get ready with with fewer choices. If you haven’t missed any of the clothes in two weeks donate them.  If they were boxed. DO NOT OPEN THE BOX.  You will be tempted to put clothes back in your closet, and that my friend is called two steps back. 
written plans for capsule wardrobe
My First Written Plan for Capsule Wardrobe

Do not be fooled. This may take a long time and you may get discouraged. Keep at it and GO Slow. Find women who motivate you and reach out when you feel overwhelmed. 

At the same time I was clearing out my closet I was also focused highly on my utter shit show of food duty. So let’s talk about 

Meal Planning

I didn’t learn how to cook until I got married. Literally, the day we got married. Turns out I am pretty awesome at it. I put this fully on the fact that I. Love. Food.  

With my newfound love came Pinterest.  Can you see where this is going? All of a sudden I was cooking everything under the sun. Our grocery lists were a mile long. The worst part is if I didn’t cook one of the meals I had initially planned for I would have a garbage can of waste that week.  In fact, there was a garbage can of waste regardless for all the leftovers getting canned. 

It made me sick to think of all the wasted food, and my husband sick for all the wasted money.

Yet we continued that way for far too long. I am not sure why as it was utterly exhausting. Just going through Pinterest or trying to think of what new fabulous meals I should be cooking, taking inventory, the mile long grocery list, and 2 hour long grocery trip with screaming babies was exactly what it sounds like. An Absolute Nightmare. I shudder to recall.

So with all this time and energy management coming into play in my life I knew I had to figure out a better way for our food consumption. 

I first tried meal prepping.  

Wow.  I know this works wonders for so many people and I do somewhat implement it in our style now. Either I royally messed it up, or it just was not for me. 

The amount of tubberware and glassware alone gave me anxiety.

But I went ahead and spent too much money on it. Thanks again Target. I bought bulk rice and veggies and chicken, made turkey burgers with lettuce wraps, and put salads and overnight oats in jars. Literally, I meal prepped every meal Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for a week. 

And I hated every meal I ate that week. The food was soggy and my choices were limited.

Not to mention it literally left me cooking FOR A WHOLE FREAKING DAY and using the microwave all week. Something I hadn’t even owned in my first 2 years of marriage nor used after we moved into houses that had them built in (🎶moving on up🎶). 

Then I started thinking about my newfound minimalism.  And why can’t that work for our meal planning?! So a quick google search and my life was saved. I stumbled across the biggest game-changer for my sanity yet. A Minimalist Meal Plan.

And it is ingenious.

The idea is to assign each day of the week a “default meal”  I know it seems like it would be boring or you would be eating the same food all the time.  Your not and it isn’t. 

Imagine not  having to keep up with choosing new meals each week or month, figuring out your ingredients, what you already have on hand, then searching the stores for some spice you’ve never heard of. No more throwing out all those unused food items since you ordered a pizza or threw in a freezer meal because you  were too damn exhausted!

How many times I used to stop for a quick bite on the way home from the grocery store because shopping for food took all my energy to cook the food! 

The beauty of a weekly meal theme is that you no longer have to wonder what you are going to cook each night or figure out what you should be buying at the grocery store. It is roughly the same each week.  

My Weekly Meal Theme Looks like this. 

  • Monday – Meat and Veggie I start the week off with this as my base because the rest of the week goes off what I choose. Use chicken one week, Beef another (beef tenderloin is my favorite), and sometimes ground turkey. Veggies are varied but I always have broccoli and carrots on my list. I add anything I think sounds yummy and will incorporate well. Like treating us with potatoes for mashed potatoes for dinner and egg and potato for breakfast.
  • Tuesday – Tacos this is a no brainer. I always keep shrimp in the freezer and will use this for tacos a lot or leftovers of whichever meat I have on hand. Freeze cuts of beef tenderloin or shred chicken and either of these work amazing for a quick delicious taco meal.
  • Wednesday – Stir Fry We love rice. So fresh veggies like broccoli, carrots, red onion, mushrooms, or bell peppers thrown together with rice and leftover meat is easy and quick.  This can vary greatly by different sauces also. I love throwing in mustard and cream, or soy and sesame oil.  The different herbs you put in can also make the same meal dramatically different. Lemon and dill makes any meal light yet flavorful.
  • Thursday – Fish I try to purchase only fresh wild caught fatty fish that are high in Omega 3’s.  Salmon with basil pesto pops in the oven for 20 minutes and some leftover rice for a side with green beans or broccoli is a simple healthy dinner we all love. If I didn’t find a good fish that week then I make this a full blown vegan day. (my poor husband) Buddha Bowls are a favorite go to. 
  • Friday – Pasta Pasta is so versatile. I have been loving my veggie spiralizer and making zucchini or sweet potato pasta. Zucchini and shrimp is super quick and one of my go-to’s when I don’t feel like getting too fancy. But this is usually the night I put in some flair and make new dishes or put in some extra love. (If it was up to my husband this would be spaghetti and meatballs night every week!)
  • Saturday – Soup / Leftovers This is the day to clear out the fridge. I usually throw everything I have left in a pot with vegetable stock and maybe add some cream or cheese.  It almost always turns out amazing and is beyond easy.  Who knew pasta night and taco leftovers would make an excellent soup? I love seeing what new concoctions turn up. 
  • Sunday – Smoothie / Fasting So I know this is going to seem crazy as hell to most but I am a firm believer in fasting and how it can reset your body and mind. It is great for losing/maintaining weight, clarity of the mind, healing our digestive track and other vital organs and increasing mental strength and fortitude. A quick google search will show you I am not the only one and there are a multitude of benefits. If it seems nuts but you are intrigued check out this page for a few starter tips.  Just in case your wondering, I do not let my kids fast. They finish up the rest of the fruit and veggies and have smoothies on Sundays!
  • FOLLOW MY PINTEREST BOARD for my Weekly Meal Theme Inspiration
My first Week of A Minimalist Meal Plan
I also bought yogurt and oatmeal for kids breakfast
and protein mix for my husband and my breakfast

This is just one version of A minimalist meal plan though. You can start by thinking of your favorite meals and making a default meal night for it. Try to keep simple meals for days you know you are busy and more adventurous meals for the weekends or nights you normally have a bit of time. 

Following this meal plan has saved me Immense amounts of time and energy.

You have no idea how freeing it is to walk into a grocery store and hit up the produce, and an isle or two. I don’t even look down the other isles and I am in and out within 30 minutes.

Food and Laundry were the start of my new lifestyle and I haven’t turned back since. In fact, It has left me with room for more expansion in Living with Less in all parts of my life. I heard someone say Intentional Living when I was going through these changes, and those words struck a nerve in me. Now I strive to remember them and live by them everyday.

Since I have had so much less distraction in my life it has really shown me what I care about and who I am. It was hard seeing pieces of myself while I was clearing out. I didn’t like who I had become. And I didn’t understand a lot of my decisions and was constantly baffled at what I uncovered.

Earlier when I mentioned a deep feeling inside me I would get when I would start clearing out that I didn’t quite understand then… I believe that was the relief that comes with shedding skin.

Shedding layers you use to cover pain, disappointment, troubles you don’t want to face, or just plain fear or laziness to start what you truly want to do with yourself. When you don’t have the crutch of shopping, of filling your life with new things, or eating, you are left with a lot of time and you get a good long look at yourself.  

I did not like what I saw.  But I am using all that extra time to reconnect with my children, my husband, and most of all with myself. 

If you stuck through this post and read a bit about how I started pulling together my life and saved my motherhood and in turn, myself.. Than Thank You. It feels good to get some of it off my chest and out there in the world.  If you were having these problems like I was and feeling lost in despair and overwhelmed with your life. Then take a look around and find out what you can’t stand that is taking up the most of your time.  I would love to hear from you and about your journey so please don’t hesitate to comment or Join My Tribe!

Are You Ready For A Lifestyle Change? How I Became Happy & Healthy Enough To Live Life On My Terms

For me all it took was a water bottle. And though it took me a while to realize that.. there’s one thing I can tell you now. It is real. And if the simple word “change” resonates with you then, Yes, you are ready.

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I knew I needed a change. A big one. I had just had my 2nd baby in 2 years and moved into a new home In West Coast Cali. And I was miserable. I was miserable that I was miserable. I had the luxury car, hard-working husband, my two Beautiful children, a boy and girl, complete with all the pretty clothes and accessories. I even had my dream dog. I knew I had it to good to cry. 
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But cry I did. My husband was lost in his own life and those babies were wearing me down hard and fast. The dog wasn’t getting walked or groomed enough, and neither was I. And the Clothes.. Oh the clothes. They were in never ending piles of major purchase regret. The car was Amazing though. Thank you Ernie from Witt Lincoln San Diego I still miss that MKX. 
 
Like I said though, All of that changed from a single water bottle. And it was a Glorious water bottle. It had to be. I sucked at drinking water. And this was something that I really wanted to change. So I figured, find a bad ass water bottle, and guzzlin’ would ensue.
 
It worked.

I was drinking 100+ oz a day. That was insane for me.

 
That kick-started a cascade of little changes over the next few months. I was starting to eat more fruits and veggies, while cutting out fast food, and I even started lite stretching at night. One of those nights I happened to be admiring my water bottle when a simple realization hit me That Changed Everything.
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I was still drinking all that water and it wasn’t even something I had to think about anymore, it just was. I had dropped most of my baby weight / all I ate while I was pregnant was cheeseburgers weight, my Husband and I had started taking long walks with the kids And we found a new way of connecting through biking. The dog was getting groomed, I was getting groomed, the kids were still a screaming hurricane with food faces and sticky hands but I was keeping patience with them, and actually guiding them instead of screaming at them. This mental connection reached out and physically hit me.
And it was then that I realized | Every choice was mine
And every choice has a consequence.
 
I know it sounds simple but this was Not an easy thing for me to realize. And realize I did… Now I was responsible for my life.. and the things happening in it; down to the way I was feeling in every given moment. 
 
This required a great deal of mental stretching and breaking out of my own head.   I was so stuck in myself Scared to go out and face my own dreams and aspirations; to just plain get out in the world, simply because I was scared of societal judgments. I had to unlearn a lot of sabotaging programming from my youth and young adult hood. 
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Now all of a sudden my unsatisfactory marriage, was me being a cold, resentful wife. I didn’t see his faults as an excuse for me anymore, and that left me with a long, hard look at myself. This wasn’t just in my marriage, it was my Life. From my kids, to my estranged relationship with my family.. the way it was so hard for me to build healthy relationships, and friendships, and full circle.. back to me, and the way I have always treated and thought of myself. Insert nights of hidden tears and days of ever-present overwhelm.
 
Now I told you this realization was not easy, but to loosely quote Tim Ferris, author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. In fact, it had broken my mind, and like a butterfly shattering a chrysalis, I emerged with new capabilities.
 
I knew I had made an important mental shift and I had no idea what to do with it. I decided to do what was already working for me. Make Goals. Then Make better Goals.
 
Momentum Is Key
Never underestimate the power of mental momentum
 
Being without momentum is rough. It is how I had been living most of my life. For me, It was the difference between hitting the snooze button a few times in the morning, and then getting up vs just turning the damn thing off. It was persevering with a stoic face when all 3 of my children are having emotions bigger than themselves. It is wearing my keyboard out, while burning holes in my eyes as my family sleeps to pursue my passions… that way I am better apt to focus on them, and our goals together during the day.
Once I realized what momentum was for me
What it felt like for me
I was able to recognize the ebb and flow of it
Because I am very much of an up and down kind of person….
I have Huge Bursts of Energy and Insight, and I want to explode all of my feelings and understandings unto everyone around me.
 
These times for me are a whirlwind of making things happen, overestimating myself, surprising myself, connecting, and learning. So Much Learning that it is vital to get some down time.
 
Rest and Recovery is Essential
 
Everyone needs time for themselves. There are no exceptions. Especially for me. I would find myself craving to be alone after the constant touching and talking that comes with toddlers and at first thought I must be a horrible mother. Please. Excuses.
 
But with 2 littles under 2 running around I had to get a little creative for my much needed R&R. Most of my rest was not actually sleeping but if the babes are busy mommies brain was resting. Here were some of my go to strategies.
  • Nap Time

Crucial. Wear them out in the morning then stuff their bellies and send them to their rooms. Or to your bed with you if you must. Make nap time a priority for your family and make sure your taking part. No “getting stuff done” or needless cleaning. Promise, it can wait. Even a 20 minute rest with your eyes shut improves focus and mental function.
 
  • Take a Walk

When it’s no where near nap time and your feeling frazzled throw those babies in the stroller. Won’t stay quiet long enough.. bring snacks! The outside air and steady pace will keep them quite and entertained for a bit so you can make a phone call to family or just zone out in your thoughts for a few minutes. Ah bliss.
 
  • Find a park with a fence

Why aren’t these everywhere. The first time I saw one I thought well this is nice. No it is much better. It is ingenious. Yes, you still have to watch your kids moms. But the stress will be exponentially better and you can maybe lay in the grass with a book or take the time to watch the kids from afar peacefully and think of all the ways they make your life better. Regular playgrounds can work also.
 
  • Story Time

Cuddle up with a book. This is a great way to unwind with your children. Even the littlest ones can get involved with the right books. I would give my smallest an indestructible book while my eldest and I went through another. This will give you all the good feels and get you unplugged while bonding with your most important.
 
  • Get Help

Your Partner, Family, and Friends are all their to help. You just need to say when things are piling up and be specific about what could actually help you. Don’t feel bad about needing an extra hand or an hour to soak in a bubble bath.
 
  • Take yourself on a date

Not your husband or family or friends. Just You. My favorite way to get back in sync with myself is to be able to just be myself. i am quiet and reserved. When I am with my family I am the boss on a loud speaker. Spa day, lite lunch and a stroll through town or the beach, a scenic drive, a long hike, or a day hiding in your room with a book are all good ways to reconnect with yourself.
 
 
 
Once I realized I had made it this far by haphazardly implementing just these few vital keys
  • Responsible for Self / This is your Choice
  • Mental Momentum / Make Goals and Go After Them
  • Rest And Recovery / Avoid Burnout and Overwhelm
 
I was better able to understand the real possibilities for myself, my family, and our lives together that blew my mind and our world right open…
 
I have grown exponentially since those years, and my world and mind are still wide open. I have since moved with my Husband and 2 small children to Hawaii where we added another so now we are 5. Here we will be prepping for full-time travel starting fall 2019 and will be World Schooling our family.
 
I am so grateful everyday that I took those first steps that inspired me and re-developed my love of learning. It touches deep into my life and seeing it Now I realize I am going through, and may, very-well always be going through, an Intensive Lifestyle Change.
 
For most people this feels too hard to achieve and they live their life in a comfortable form of acceptance / denial. It is doable. It is actually just a way of life and all it takes is starting with key changes in the right parts of life.
 

Physical Health

Diet and Exercise is everything.
 
If you shed everything about you down to your basics you are left with nothing but a need to eat and you need to be able to move efficiently to do that. Pretty important. It just is. This is the Magic Cure you have been waiting for.
 

Diet

 
I was a fast food junkie who would’ve said the best date ever was a place with a monster cheeseburger, fries and ranch, topped off with a few choice drinks. Beer.
Simply achieving my first goal of drinking half my body weight a day in water was enough to bring on a cascade of events that led to an extremely different way of living.
  • Drink Water
Drink water for an instant upgrade in life. It alone will change everything. It has been proven to make you focus better and just be plain Happier. Plus, beyond just improved mental functions.. Literally Every Single Part of Our Bodies Function Better. Our joints move better, exercise isn’t as challenging and more effective, organs function better. And with the skin being the largest organ, it benefits greatly. Who is possibly against supple, glowing skin and feeling super-charged?
  • Start the day off with a healthy choice
I started with Avocado toast with an egg. I wasn’t far off the mark and still enjoy this quick easy breakfast all the time. There are so many reasons to make sure this meal is the one you choose to be healthy with. It fires up your metabolism, increases energy, boosts brain power, and starts your day with a positive mindset that will flow into all of your choices that day.
 
  • Cut out Fast Food
This can be so hard to start but a great momentum boost when you achieve it. Try saying no next time your partner or friend go through a drive-thru. If you are a fast food junkie like I was then this will be no easy feat but will gain you major reward Fast and in all parts of your life. From saving money, to increasing will-power, to saving your guts from the the processed nightmare they call food. This one is a game-changer to add on early!
  • Eat more Fruits and Veggies
This is something we all know. Or do we. The nutrition knowledge in the world is extremely lacking. It took a lot of self-propelled research for me to understand why I had been dieting and failing all my life. Everything I thought I knew about food was wrong. Food has so many functions in our body and it is so important to have a Balanced Diet.
 
Fruits and Veggies are so easy to start implementing in your life. Leaving a snack tray of cut veggies and humus in the fridge is a great way to reach for something healthy for a snack or to add to a lite lunch. I never thought my kids would eat raw broccoli or a beet. Experiment with new selections from your produce stand and you will often surprise yourself.
  • Cut out Processed Foods and Refined Sugar
Imagine walking into a grocery store and only needing to walk down 1 or 2 isles and the produce section. Just the time saved not looking at all those pretty pictures of yummy concoctions on these boxes and cans is worth it. Surprise yourself by making one of these delicious simple 5 ingredient recipes
 
 
Diet has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I have implemented these steps. It doesn’t mean losing weight anymore. It is a word that only refers to the way I eat. I now am implementing minimalist meal plans with ingredients from farmers markets and locally sourced meat markets. Life can change rapidly and if you keep pushing yourself you will find yourself living a life you didn’t you could reach.
 
 

Exercise

 
  • Find Something you Enjoy
I knew it all along.. “a body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest”
someone a lot smarter than me, and probably you too
 
Besides my short stint of running around the block in the a.m. that was back too many lifes to count, I can’t say I was much into exercise. A few simple home routines of stretching at night and I was able to enjoy movement again. That led to bike riding which let me find reunite with my love of everything outdoors. Finding even a small routine that is under your comfort level can help build the momentum for a greater challenge. Here are 18 Best Workout Apps For Lazy Girls.
  • Find Natural Exercise
The world is your playground. Don’t forget to go play in it.
I got so stuck in an inside routine where my kids watched too much t.v. and I stared at computers too long. This was exactly what I said I would avoid as a mother and I fell in the same easy trap as most of society. When we bought a kid carrier and started biking I fell in love. With more than the energy of the ride, with the sun on my skin, and the wind in my hair. This connection to the outdoors did wonders for me mentally and physically. Hiking, mountain climbing, snorkeling, and exploring are all now frequent activities that keep me out of the gym and happy and healthy.
 
  • Sticking to Routine

We are all creatures of habit. Our bodies are constantly trying to keep us comfortable and that is why routines are life savers. Don’t think diet and exercise were just a thing I always did or just easily started up one day. I also went from waking up at 5 p.m. to 5 a.m… which is now getting switched to 4 a.m.

What is this sorcery?

It is my wonderful brain.. rewiring itself.. to protect it’s simple emotional human. They say it only takes 30 days of enforcing a habit to make it a habit. I believe it. I have done it ..over and over. I am constantly surprised at how quickly I can change, build, and develop new skills.

 
 

Mental Health

 
  • Self Love Starts with Self Care

 
My skin has always given me trouble. Chicken bumps, ingrown hairs, acne, stretch marks were all plagues of my teenage years that led to insecurities and continuing conditions in my adult years. An epilator, exfoliating, and dressing up are my favorite tools for an instant Goddess Feeling. Find what makes You Feel Beautiful.
 
  • The Epilator
I had finally jumped on the band wagon and got waxed. My whole damn body.  I went back twice because I really liked my waxer but I knew instantly I had to find a better way. This bad boy gets you soft and smooth at home on your own time, in the shower or out, and even has exfoliating heads for your face and body. Game. Changer.
  • Exfoliating
When your skin is that bare you need to maintain it! Store bought body scrub is Expensive and full of chemicals but it is so easy to make your own exfoliating scrub at home. Bonus: you get to pretend your at the spa while your husband deals with the screaming kids and you level up in the shower. Go throw some raw sugar and coconut oil together, scrub away, and see how just that simple concoction makes you glow.
 
  • Dress For Who You Want To Be
I was always a tank top and jeans girl. I used to see and even buy cute clothes but never wear them for fear of looking out of place or silly. To possibly hear someone say..”what are you wearing?!” was mortifying. A pair of waist-high sage colored hobo shorts bought in a “I’m A New Women” mode, threw me out there and I realized something extremely freeing.. Most people don’t care what your wearing and really it doesn’t matter all that much if they did. I threw the rest of my clothes out. Seriously.
 
  • Organize and Minimalize your Life

One day I started throwing clothes in bags and got them the hell out of my house. I was sick of the piles of clothes I barely even liked or wore being Everywhere! It was freeing and absolutely addicting. I have now spread this concept to all parts of my life. Right down to my thoughts. I am able to actually see what matters in my life and focus on that with all my extra time and energy.
Some of the ways I have cut down on clutter in my life is

Capsule Wardrobe

When I found out I could own only a handful of clothes, look and feel amazing, save tons of money and time, plus unburden myself from too many choices and mountains of laundry.. I was ALL in. These are a few ladies and their wardrobes that inspired me to make the change.
 
        1. The cutest video of Kitty Cotten and her awesome capsule wardrobe. This one came right after she had a baby so it is nursing friendly and you still get to look amazing!
        2. Caroline at UnFancy will get you drooling over color palettes for her simplified wardrobe. I was hooked when I read this and instantly started creating color boards.
        3. The Calm Collective’s neutral, clean wardrobe style instantly won me over.

 Minimalist Meal Plan

I was spending too much time in the kitchen, too much money at the store,and throwing away tons of leftovers and rotten veggies. Enough was enough. I started adapting a minimalist meal plan thought up by Miranda over at Live Free Creative Co. She is another amazing maker mama who is all about Energy Management!
 Mindset is Everything
This should be first but it is last for a simple reason. I couldn’t stand to hear it before I understood it and I didn’t want to scare you away. But, hey, your at the end now so there it is.
 
There was a question I asked myself daily for years and when I answered it for the first time I broke down and cried till I was dry. When I was done feeling sorry myself I knew I could get up and change it or stay the way I was. So I decided I would “fake it till I make it” and got Happy.
 
You will always be presented with situations that are hard or will disrupt your peace and happiness. How you mentally tackle these situations will forge your path. When you are upset and irrational it is too easy to lead yourself down a destructive path. Mental toughness is built from continued success with staying positive in rough times.
 

The first time I knew it was working:

 
When my girl brought me a pen from my desk smiling and told me to “come see” while I was trying to get a moments reprieve in the bathroom; I looked at her with raised eyebrows, calmly finished up and followed her. My new white office chair had the mad but proud scribbles of a little Willow girl all over it.
I stood there for a second upset and when I would have usually snapped I thought… Well damn thats some nice scribblin’. I have no idea who that was in my head but when I bust out laughing and was then able to follow with a calm, connected talk with my girl I decided I was going to be listening to her a Lot More!
 
Want to know what that anguish filled question I asked myself daily was?
“Why am I Doing This”
 
If you are asking yourself that question still then I suggest you answer it.
Because it will put you well on your way to a great Lifestyle Change!
 
Hello! I am Amanda and this was my first Blog Post Ever!!!
Wish me luck, Tell me your story, Let me know how you made a change in your life or want to make a change in your life! I am here to share and connect and would Love to hear from you!