This is a guest post from Tracy at Simple Living Country Gal (Tracy is one of my best blog friends and I am so excited to have her share her post with me today!)
If you are a sentimental parent, parting with anything that has to do with your child can be quite traumatic. From their first sliver (um, don’t ask) to their first prom you want to cherish every single moment forever.
When my boys first began going to school I would save every piece of paper they brought home. I would oooh and aaah at each colored picture and lovingly place it in a large plastic tote I had for each set up for each of them.
I remember one day going into my attic to find my oldest son had 4 large totes FULL of school papers and he had yet to enter high school! It was then I realized I had a problem and needed to pare things down before they got completely out of control.read more
There are seasons where you just can’t be as present in your life as you’d like to be.
I’m experiencing one of these seasons now. There are probably some women out there who, 8 weeks postpartum, are on top of the world. They’re back at work. Their houses are spotless. They are wearing (clean) clothes. Maybe they have slept in the past week or two.
I am not these women.
Don’t get me wrong. I am savoring this season of my life. Perhaps I’m not relaxed or even content, but I am thrilled to bits with my baby and I know that his itty-bitty-ness will expire. I need to make him my priority and make all the memories I can with my limited, exhausted brain power.read more
If you’re anything like me you often feel over worked, under paid and struggle to keep life organized. Well, look no further because I have found a solution to keep life organized! Wait, who am I kidding? I still struggle to keep my life organized (just not clothes organization anymore). I don’t care what stage of life you’re in, this space issue seems to be an ongoing issue with no resolution (I always was under the impression there was closet monsters or something). Not only did I not have the space in my tee-n-i-e apartment but I didn’t have the money to get a fancy bedroom set either.
Every morning, it was the same story. Some clothes halfway folded in the floor, some hung up and then some dirty. After accepting that the sniff test was not conducive to a young professional’s life, I decided I needed some cheap closet hacks in order to get my life in order (well, at least with respect to closet organization) in a really big (yet simple) way.read more
I know it’s early… but I’m a planner. So Christmas is on my mind. And this year in particular I want to get Christmas gifts out of the way early. In December I’ll be doing the whole new baby thing, and I think leaving the house for shopping will be tricky at best.
So I’ve been thinking Christmas gifts, and I’ve been thinking kids. But because I’m me I’ve also been thinking intentional living and prioritizing and parenting (something I don’t know much about yet).
And it’s occurred to me that Christmas is a really great time to give your kids a few extra gifts. Gifts that really matter, and will continue to matter for the rest of their lives.read more
We haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet (but it’s coming here in Canada in just a week, so we’ve ALMOST had Thanksgiving), but I’ve been thinking lately about Christmas traditions. I think it’s because I know this year I’ll have JUST given birth to my first baby, and Christmas will be… different.
In an exciting way! (Ok, also in a scary way.) It’s easy for me to jump ahead of myself here, and start thinking about December. It’s sort of like… the start of my “new life” is coming, and the first thing that will happen in my “new life” will be Christmas.
Plus I just love Christmas and look forward to it for months anyway. I’m not allowing myself any sort of great expectations for our first Christmas with a baby… I imagine in reality it will be a very quiet Christmas, with us at home a lot and trying to get some sleep whenever possible. (I don’t even know if I’ll do too much decorating – because what goes up must come down. And I’m sure I won’t be feeling up to un-decorating a whole house just a few weeks postpartum.)
But anyhow, Christmas traditions have been on my mind. What sort of Christmas traditions will we develop as a new family – likely not this year… but over the coming years?read more
As much as I love love love Christmas, if I’m not careful it can really take a toll on two things I try hard to protect. My health and my bank account.
I always used to leave the Christmas season with a few extra pounds (and bad skin) and a few less dollars… and I know I’m not the only one.
When I was about 22 I figured out the secret to staying healthy and NOT gaining weight at Christmas (but that’s a story for another post)… it took me a little more time to take control of my Christmas spending.
But I think I’ve finally got it. No longer does Christmas make me cringe with the thought of how on earth we are ever going to justify the extra $1000+ we are gonna drop over the course of the month… because we know how to have a frugal Christmas (that’s still awesome.read more
I genuinely love buying Christmas gifts for my people. I love being able to spoil them or bless them in a way that I wouldn’t usually. I don’t go all out and by things for everyone I know – but my immediate family (husband, sister, parents, grandparents, nieces) is so much fun to buy for. There was a time when I never gave any thought to clutter free Christmas gifts.
But a few years ago my grandparents moved into town and we (well, mostly my mother) spent long long months cleaning out their farm. 50 years of stuff had to be sorted and boxed and donated or taken to the dump or prepared for auction.
If you know what 50 years of stuff looks like, it is pretty insane. For my family, the experience was life changing. We stopped to look around at all the stuff we were accumulating in our own homes, and we started to think about having less.
THAT Christmas, gift buying wasn’t quit as much fun. We seriously considered not doing gifts at all. But that made me a little sad, because I genuinely love buying Christmas gifts for my people.
It also made me sad to think that I would waste money on stuff that just sits around collecting dust and is eventually sent to the thrift store, (or even things that are enjoyed, but contribute to the never ending stream of clutter).read more
I genuinely love buying Christmas gifts for my people. I love being able to spoil them or bless them in a way that I wouldn’t usually. I don’t go all out and by things for everyone I know – but my immediate family (husband, sister, parents, grandparents, nieces) is so much fun to buy for.
At least, it’s usually fun. A few years ago my grandparents moved into town and we (well, mostly my mother) spent long long months cleaning out their farm. Literally 50 years of stuff had to be sorted and boxed and donated or taken to the dump or prepared for auction.
I don’t know if you know what 50 years of stuff looks like, but it is pretty unfathomable. For my family, the experience was life changing. We stopped to look around at all the stuff we were accumulating in our own homes, and we started to think about ways to have less.read more
It might seem contradictory that I can claim love for “lazy-girl” cleaning hacks, and still state that I am living on purpose. But I think “living on purpose” can mean that we accept that we can’t do it all. So we choose to do the absolute best that we can, and we prioritize.
It’s no secret that I struggle with cleaning. Not that I don’t like to do it… just that it gets put on my back burner, even though a clean house is a priority for me. So I’m always looking for the little tricks that will make keeping things clean a just a bit easier.
Here are my favorite lazy-girl cleaning hacks, ones that ACTUALLY work. (FYI, there are a whole bunch of cleaning hacks out there that flat out do not work. I get SO irritated every time I see the box of fabric softener sheets that I bought specifically for dusting my baseboards…because Pinterest told me to. (I must donate them somewhere.) And who else has wasted hours trying to get their pans to sparkle??read more
I love setting my purse down on the clean counter, and standing there NOT feeling overwhelmed by mess. (Maybe you’ve always had a clean kitchen, in which case you might not totally relate to what I’m about to say here. But if you’re reading this there’s a good chance that maybe you don’t always have a clean kitchen…)
Walking into my clean kitchen feels a little bit like when painkillers start to kick in. You know, if you’ve had a brutal headache, or cramps, or backache. And you take a Tylenol and 20 minutes later you can feel the relief and life is just better. (I’m not crazy, this is a real thing!)
I used to be messy. I HATED it. It was like the mess was causing me physical pain. Even though it’s been a few months now since I quit being messy, I can still feel the relief that not living in a mess brings. I can still appreciate that not messy is just SO much better than messy. It. Is. Awesome.read more