What I Wore pt. 1: Ditching the “Mia-Form”

I’ve never really been super into fashion. In fact, most of the time by the time I got “ballsy” enough to try a new trend or style it was usually out of style. Most of the times my style extends to jeans & a t shirt with a pair of boots or sneakers. 

When I joined the working world I switched to office clothes, but when we moved, had our first child, and I started working from home I headed right back to the jeans & a t shirt “uniform”. It is so easy for something that seems so simple, so insignificant to symbolize much more. Being a mom, often times we forget about doing the little things, such as trying to put ourselves together in the morning in more than the first thing that comes out of a drawer or closet.

One of my biggest tips, not only in life, but especially in being a mom and working from home is to not just live in your pajamas all day long. Getting into some sort of clothes (whether that is leggings and a tee, or a full on business outfit is up to you) is such a big boost to your day and productivity. It can make the difference between crushing your to do list, or falling flat. Not too mention that you appearance can be similar to a first impression of who you are. What do you want to say with your clothes?

I say this because I was starting to hit a bit of a plateau in my wardrobe and my day to day. I wanted to kind of get away from that jeans and tee look some days, but still remain somewhat casual as I am home most days. I found that jeans and tee were starting to be similar for me to just wearing sweats and I found that some days I felt like I just looked a mess. 

Slowly but surely I’ve been breaking that mold and while I still love a good ole jeans/t shirt option and wear it semi frequently, I’ve been trying to put more intention into my outfits. Putting on a skirt or dressing up a pair of jeans.

I decided for the past week or so to capture the outfits that I’m wearing each day as this past week has really been my turning point if you’d like to say. I’ve been doing a wardrobe clear out over the past couple months and I’m starting to really hone in on clothes that I’m comfortable with that aren’t just t shirts.

I would say at this moment, my style is comfortable with a bit of a twist. While I want to add a couple more dresses, a couple pairs of slacks, and another skirt to my closet, I feel like I am heading in the right direction for what I am wanting to accomplish. 

This was actually quite a bit of fun for me to do and then look back on. I might start doing this seasonally/quarterly and while I am definitely not a fashion guru in any way, I do not want to put up a clothing or accessory type post eery once in a while. 

My Morning Routine: Spring 2018

I thought I would finish out this whole Spring/Morning series with a little look at what my own morning looks like. My mornings are very strategically planned out so that I get a chance to get a little “me time” along with a healthy start and outlook to my day. I find that when I get to have that extra little bit of time, I have a much better day and a clearer mindset. 

So to start off my day, I tend to wake up around 5:45-6:00am. This gives me about 2 1/2 hours before the kids are up. The first thing I do is grab a bit of water and head down for a workout. Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 10.10.13 AMI like to start my morning off with a workout because I feel like it releases those endorphins, gets my blood and body moving, and I get one of my priorities out of the way. Typically this is about a 30 minute workout and then I’m done.

Once I finish my workout, I get a shower and get ready for the day. Some people think that it is crazy to put on jeans/regular clothes and makeup when I typically don’t leave the house. For me, it is simply a mental change. If I am wearing a full outfit and such, then I will actually get things done for the day. If I stay in sweats, I have a much less productive day. It’s just a personal choice. 

At this point it is typically around 7:30am and it is time to get breakfast. For breakfast I will have anything from cereal, to a bagel, to what I had today, which was a scrambled eggs mixture. I think this is probably one of my favorite meals to make as it satisfies everything I want in the morning- eggs, carbs, and spiciness. I also make my first cup of tea of the day. 

While I eat my breakfast I typically read whatever book that I am reading currently and I look over my to-do list and schedule for the day. I like to take this time to just enjoy my food, tea, and the peace and quiet of the house. This is my morning ritual. The ritual of making my tea, breakfast and then getting to sit down and enjoy it with my book and planner. More than anything, this is what sets my day on the right track. Everything else just helps. Once the boys are up, there is no such thing as quiet, so I like to enjoy it when I get it. 

The boys are typically up around 8:30 at that ends the little bit of quiet and relaxation I get until bedtime! I do love waking them up though because they both always wake up with a smile on their faces. The happiness just radiates and is perfect! 

Do you have any morning ritual? What does your morning look like?

Spring Days…These Are The Moments

It seems that Mother Nature must have been hearing my plea with all of the spring talk and she sure did give us some warm, sunny days! Winter still has its stronghold (hello gray sky, cold temp, and rainy day today), but we got such a beautiful glimpse of whats to come. Also, I love the gray, rainy days so I’m ok with the days like today. They make good cosy up, read and drink tea all day days. I digress. 

With the warmer temps, we took some much needed time soaking up all the sunshine and spent a good amount of our time outside. It was so refreshing to be able to just sit outside and take in everything around us. We had a photo shoot on the first day (hello perfect weather for that!), then we spent a good amount of our weekend home, wandering around the deck with bubbles, in the front yard exploring, down to the park for a nice walk, and just around the house in general. 

It was just such a breath of fresh air and I felt so much “lighter” going into this week. Its absolutely amazing what just a few days of wonderful weather can do for yourself. It frees up your soul to be able to just sit in the sun for an hour, or to watch your children discover grass for the first time. For me, someone who loves reading on a rainy day in my most comfy chair, being able to take my book outside and sit in the warmth of the sun was fantastic. I felt like the weight of winter was lifted (as I’ve been talking about for a little while now) and it sure did just raise my spirits. 

It’s nice how the smallest of things make the biggest difference. I could have had just one sunny day and felt loads better, but getting three was fantastic.

Real Talk: Spring Outlook (Spring Cleaning Part 3)

I’ve started off April in a rush to purge, to clean, to have a fresh outlook on how the year is progressing in our life. This included purging a lot of items, doing a deep clean of our house and now that both of those items are done, it is time to look out our spaces, our mindset, our intentions for 2018 to see what we can freshen up.

I’m a big believe in always coming back to your intentions. Always revisit any goals (or *cringe* resolutions) you’ve set for the year and see how your progress is going. It is a good thing to check and see what is working and what isn’t working. Where are you thriving? Where could you use a little work? What can you tweak or re set with to continue on the path that you want for yourself this year.

As I’ve mentioned before, Spring is a great time to do just this. Not only do we all naturally start to shed away the layers of winter, but Spring almost brings the same feelings as the New Year with that fresh start, fresh outlook type of feeling.This is the time to take a step back and re evaluate how your year has started. We are still early enough into the year that a lot can be accomplished. It’s OK if you’ve looked at your intentions for the year and decided that you need to jus scrap them and start fresh. It’s also OK to say I’ve been rocking these and I want to take it up to the next level. NOW is such a great time to make these adjustments and changes.

In coming back to our intentions, I’m a big believer in setting up our spaces, setting up our day to day, to reflect what we want to accomplish and what we need in our life. Spring naturally allows us to freshen up our wardrobe and spaces by having warmer temperatures, more sunshine, and a general feeling of “freshness” in the air. We are already having to shed those thick winter layers and large fleece blankets for shorter t shirts and lighter sheets. Windows start to open more frequently (which already leads to a more positive outlook) and allows you to look at yourself and your space for another change.

Often times with Spring, we bring down the lighter blankets, put out the pastel decorations, and shorter clothes. While you are already creating a sort of change, don’t just stop with your clothes and a couple of decorations. Look at your space, whether it be your entire home, where you work, where you sleep, wherever, and really take a moment to check it out. Is this a good space for you. Are you going to be able to continue to excel or do you maybe need to change something up. This is the time to make any changes that you need to in your physical space to continue on with your year.

Re evaluation your intentions for the year and evaluating your physical space go hand in hand right now. You’ll find that you have a fresh look both in your mind and in your space to accomplish everything that you want. And if you’re finding that you are starting to struggle or plateau in your intentions, this may be the little kick in the but you need to keep going.

The Great Clean: Spring Cleaning Part 2

On Monday we talked about the first process of spring cleaning, purging. Out with the old, the unused, the pushed aside. Before new things can come into a space and a big part of spring cleaning is the actual cleaning. This isn’t necessarily just for spring cleaning, anytime I purge any amount of items, I always like to follow it up with a thorough deep cleaning. It just really helps me set that fresh light feeling.

For me, any cleaning ALWAYS starts in my kitchen. This whole space is the hub of our home and, when combined with our Living Room, is the spot where we spend the most amount of time. If I have a clean kitchen, I feel like the world is set right. I typically like to work in a top to bottom, forward to backyard type process and for normal cleaning I go room by room. I complete all of the cleaning tasks for each room before moving on.

The biggest tip I can give when it comes to doing a deep spring cleaning is to break your work down. Determine what are all the tasks that need to be done for cleaning. Then, decide how you want to handle the tasks. Do you want to go room by room or task by task. These are fairly straight forward, room by room would be doing everything in one room before moving on, where as task by task would be doing one task in every room before moving on. Each of these have pros and cons and ultimately you have to decide what works best for you and the time that you have. If you only have a short amount of time, it may be better to narrow down just a couple of tasks that you can do in your entire home, rather than just focus on one room.

Unlike purging, where I’ll spend a few days going through everything, I like to get the deep cleaning done over two days (at the most). The biggest reason for this is due to the fact that some of the tasks needs to have time to dry (like shampooing and steaming the carpets) and little feet need to be kept out of the house. For this reason, I will be waiting to clean the carpets until we have a nice, warm day, so I can just send the boys outside for a little right before nap time. The second reason I like to move quickly through the cleaning is because there is a lot to do and the tasks that need done are not always the most fun tasks. I find that if I can just get in, do the tasks, get everything done, it’s done and then all that is left is to incorporate any new fresh items.

Are you doing any Spring Cleaning? Share any tips that you have or what works for you!

The Great Purge: Spring Cleaning Part 1

Ah, spring cleaning- oh how I love thee… This post is going to be part of a 3 post series that I am going to be doing all about prepping, cleaning, and revitalizing your space and yourself for spring! I have to say, maybe I am weird about this, but I actually do love spring cleaning. I love the idea of purging, stripping everything down, cleaning like crazy and bringing in some small fresh elements. It does wonders not only for your mental health, but also to just help bring in the idea of resetting, refreshing, and restarting.

Over the past couple of months I have really been feeling quite cluttered in our home. Part of it is just due to the sheer amount of boxes that have accumulated in our home, but I also knew that there was just a lot of stuff that we had in our home and just weren’t using. I decided that the time was now to go through our entire home and do a purge.

IMG_0733I went through room by room and cleared out: clothes that didn’t fit or weren’t worn in the past 6-12 months, accessories that weren’t being used, items that just no longer fit with our family, as well as anything that I just didn’t feel would get used again. All of these things will be getting donated. I feel like I got rid of quite a bit (I don’t think the picture really does it justice) and already, even before the cleaning portion, I just feel a lot lighter.

A couple of things to keep in mind if you are getting ready to do “The Great Purge”:

  1. Set a time limit on yourself. A lot of times we can get such a strong desire to just purge and get rid of stuff and jump right in to all of it. This can lead to a very early burnout which then leads to only about a third of it being done. By saying I am going to go through things for this long, or this time to this time, you are able to approach it with a clear start and finish. It isn’t so open ended and it makes the whole home and idea become smaller more manageable tasks. It also helps you from getting that early burnout. I devoted about 45 minutes a day for around a week and found that this was “just” enough time to get through almost an entire space and feel good about what I cleared out. I just wasn’t able to fit more time into our schedules.
  2. Purge space by space. Only tackle what you know you can finish in the time that you have to do it. You don’t want to start a space and not be able to finish it by the end of your time limit.  This will help you keep that clear start and finish. When you look at a space, have a clear objective of what is the worst in that space. For example, I knew that the biggest task in our youngest’s room would be his closest/clothes. For the most part I knew where the items were that were being purged and how easiest to handle that. I set aside a 45 minute window where I pulled all of them out, went through to verify that they were in fact the correct clothes to purge and then packed them away for the donation run.
  3. When it comes to what to purge, it’s completely up to you. Start by determining what level of “purging” you want to do, do you want a thorough get rid of almost all of it or do you just want a light get rid of what isn’t working and then do more later on. Do you fall somewhere in between? This time I around I went for a complete overhaul. I got rid of anything and everything that was not working for our family anymore. If it wasn’t worn or used frequently in the past 6-12 months, it was going. I didn’t realize how much we had really accumulated over time, until I had started doing our purge and after the first space, I decided I was full in with a complete overhaul.

Honestly, when it comes to purging the biggest things to remember is that it is not going to be done in one setting. This will take time and work, but it will end up being so good once it has ended. I feel such a lightness now when I walk throughout our home. I find that we just had a lot of “stuff” that really wasn’t being used and just collected dust wherever it was.

Plan With Me : April

I’ve always said that I am a paper and pen person. I may overcomplicate the process, but to be honest, my brain works better when I am able to look at things on paper. To be able to not only look at an overview of what the next bit of time looks like for me, but then to break it down into manageable actions really helps me to not feel overwhelmed when I am trying to juggle everything.

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Since we are starting “fresh” with a new quarter, a new season and a new month, I figured I would break it down and share I organize my brain with you! If that interests you, continue on!

So, for my blog and business, I like to look at things on a quarterly basis. I like to list out my goals and priorities, as well as the action steps to complete those. I do this in Moleskine Notebooks (one for business, one for blog) and have a separate sheet of paper that lives in my planner with an overall look at the four quarters in the year. I have one page dedicated to each quarter and I’ll write out (typically in pencil until about a week before the month starts) what blog posts I am thinking of for the month and where they should fall. This helps give me an overview of the entire quarter and if I have an idea of a tips blog post or have found another topic I want to touch on, I can quickly look and see where it will fall into place. I typically have 4 scheduled blog posts a month and the rest are just as they happen.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 5.09.16 PMOnce I have my overview handled, I look at the first month of the quarter. I have switched planners, sort of. I am still in a Day Designer, but I am using their full on planner, rather than the weekly only. As things started to get busier, I found that I needed a little bit more space in my day to day to keep track of everything.

In the month view, I will write out everything that is planned for that month, whether it is blog posts, videos, appointments, birthdays, days off, whatever it is. This gives me a little bit more of an in depth look at what that specific month holds in our schedules. A lot of times this will change as we go through the month, but it’s good at least have a good starting point.

The final thing I do is plan out the first week of the month. I will mark down the times that I am working as time blocks and then mark in the times that blog posts or videos are going live. I also mark down any appointments that I may have. Once the time is blocked out, I will fill in a couple of the to-do boxes. I have a couple of days that are set aside for specific things for my job, or for cleaning purposes, so I will “auto-fill” those tasks in on the relevant days. The final thing I’ll do is look at my previous week, the new month, and the upcoming week to see if there are any tasks that I have not done, or things that I need to get done. This could be anything from making sure the scheduled blog posts are all uploaded and scheduled, to checking on different supplies in our home.

So, that is my April Plan With Me! I hope that you enjoyed getting a little insight into how I organize my brain to start a new month off. Let me know what you do! Are you an electronic planner type of person? A paper and pen person? Or maybe just a fly by the seat of your pants? Let me know!