Category: Sweet Simplicity

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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One-size-fits-all not a real-life option

I recently had an interesting conversation with someone who’s read a recent article of mine and asked me if I enjoyed living a minimalist life. Assuming she deduced this about me from my articles — and already anticipating the coffee coming out of my own mother’s nose when she reads her cluttering former hoarder of a daughter described this way — I decided to make this topic fodder for this month’s “Sweet Simplicity.” While I would hardly describe myself as a minimalist — and I do know folks who follow this mantra and follow it beautifully — I certainly fall into the category of “Aspiring Former Hoarder.” Minimalism, defined by Webster’s dictionary as “a style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.” While I find that notion to be appealing, it is honestly never going to be an option for my family and our lifestyle. That being said, there is great utility in finding ways to make the space that surrounds you — whether it is your home, office or even your vehicle — a more peaceful setting. This summer, I have dedicated myself to decluttering areas of my home that I have never touched — namely my children’s rooms and any place that they spent time as a baby — and am finding that while the inevitable nostalgia that accompanies such an exercise does slow...

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Take time to enjoy summer

Aw, sweet summertime. Summer is my favorite season for so many reasons — the longer days, the chance to spend so much time outdoors and the opportunities to enjoy lots of pool and beach time just send me to my happy place! By the end of the school year, we are always a little relieved to put the backpacks and lunchboxes away for a few months, too! Whether or not you have kids at home or not, there is something sort of wonderful about the slower pace of the summer season. Some days, it is certainly simply because it is too hot and humid to do anything but relax but the warm weather is a great time to reset your schedule, get some much needed Vitamin D energy and find ways to simplify your daily routine! My first order of advice this month is to take time to enjoy the summer season. If you are a teacher or someone who is not commuting to work on a regular basis, you probably already have some ideas on how you plan to accomplish this. For the rest of you, my advice is to take at least three days — in a row — to simply enjoy everything that summer has to offer. Weekends are usually so busy with cookouts and barbecues while just taking a little mini staycation can provide tremendous...

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