Category: Sweet Simplicity

Stay within your means this season

We are fully immersed into another holiday season, and frankly, I have been feeling a little festive since the first chilly mornings made me think of holiday decorating. But as we prepare for the final countdown, I begin to enjoy the season less and less. No matter how early I begin my preparations, December comes swiftly and flies by, seemingly faster and faster every year. This year, I promised myself that I would enjoy the season by simplifying it. Am I going to give up any of the fun things that make me enjoy the season or forgo traditions that make me happy? Nope, not at all! I am just letting myself off the hook from having a holiday rivaling anything I see on my beloved Hallmark channel. Try a few of these simple ideas to enhance your enjoyment of this season — and have yourself a merry little everything this year! Strategize your gift list: We do this to ourselves each year when we insist we will cut back on our spending and shopping but somehow, we get caught up in the seasonal inertia (I blame all those Christmas carols) and open our wallets to the point of assured debt. Sound familiar? This year, I kept my gift giving simple — I made my holiday list and came up with three things for each person on my list....

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Keep magic while minding budget

By the time you read this, we will be in full holiday mode, with storefronts and houses adorned in all their holiday glory for the upcoming season. As much as I look forward to this season, I often find myself getting anxious about how to get everything done, how we will afford everything we want to do, all with the added pressure of making sure everything is magical for my two kids, the youngest of whom is likely in his final “believe in the magic” years. This is a dance that I am still mastering — how to simplify the busy holiday season without giving up too much of that aforementioned magic — and still maintain my sanity. I have found that moving my heart into a space of very mindful thankfulness has been a great source of sanity for me and I share with you some of my favorite things to be thankful for — with the hopes it will help you search your own heart for thankful comforts and simplicity this season! There is always something to be thankful for, isn’t there? Even in the darkest seasons of illness and misfortune, I have always found that there are silver linings adorning even the stormiest of clouds. My challenge to you is this: Make a list — mental or physical — of your five most prized possessions. It...

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Seek out simple stress relievers

I’m not sure how life gets so busy but no matter what I do, I feel like we are working more, playing less — and feeling the results of such an overscheduled existence with constant feelings of stress and chaos. While I love having a family to tote to various sports and social engagements and am grateful to have a job I love to go to, I tend to look at bedtime and weekends as a much-needed recharge. On the Friday of the first week of school, I was passed out on our couch by 7 p.m.! Each week has gotten a bit easier, thanks to some adjustment and some simplification on my part. While we cannot create more hours in the day, there are, of course, lots of ways to maximize our waking hours so that we have more time (and energy) when we do have down time from the busyness of our lives. Try a few of these stress busters and time savers today to see if it helps you live a sweeter, simpler life! Clear the Clutter: I’m amazed at how quickly things pile up in my house. By midweek, there are piles of books, mail, clothes — you name it — on counters and in piles throughout the house. Have you ever noticed how much happier you feel when you walk into a room that...

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Which planner is right for you?

It’s September and the smell of school supplies still lingers on the shelves. I love the back to school season. For me, it brings crisp fall evenings, a return to structure and routine and whether you are a student or not, there is something about the start of a new school year that lets any of us hit the reset button in our lives. For me, that usually means the purchase of a shiny new planner to help me keep my family’s busy schedule in order. One way to keep life’s sweet simplicity in tact is to manage all of the must do’s in your life with some level of finesse and regularity. As much as I would love to have a personal assistant to schedule my day and prioritize my activities, I have found that the aid of a well designed planner is a pretty good substitute, at least until I win the lottery! I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites and some fellow readers have shared with me — give one of these a shot and see how it simplifies your own busy life! I’ll be honest. I have bought many a planner in my day — I’ve gotten cool accessories, pens and tons of extras, all with an end goal of being more organized and less harried in my everyday life. Confession: some of...

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There’s time to make some tweaks

As the calendar flips to August, the carefree feelings of summer are quickly dwindling and I already have a pang of panic about just how busy our lives are going to become once the back to school routine returns for our family. There is something so relaxing about summer — longer days, county fairs and carnivals, swimming and beach days all certainly make this a season built for relaxation and decompressing. As much as I love fall and all that will be coming around the corner with my beloved string of favorite holidays, I always feel a bit anxious this time of year as I prepare for the heightened pace of activities that will be coming soon. August is a great time to make some important tweaks to your lifestyle — all while you are still fully immersed in your more laidback summer attitude. A few small tweaks to your routine can make all of the difference in the world — and help you sustain the slower, more serene pace of summer throughout the year. You need about a half hour or so to do all of these things — but I assure you, it is a small investment of time that will yield lots of worthwhile zen in the long run! Make a High Value List: Do you get overwhelmed with all of the obligations you have? I...

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