I’m just popping in here to let you know that I’ve had the privilege of guest posting for Rachel at Intentionally Designed today! I’m sharing a bit of my story, plus a few ideas for getting started if you want to seek Slow as a way of life. Click below to read more:
My finger hesitates over the “send” button of an e-mail, asking someone to collaborate with me on an upcoming project. It’s hard to chase a big dream when that little voice of doubt asks in the back of my head; “What if they say no?” Trying to get up the courage, I remind myself of some simple, brave truths: What if they say yes? What’s the worst that can happen? Because, really…
What have I got to lose?
Sometimes stepping out in faith, armed with nothing but a big dream, is really scary. It takes guts to chase those (seemingly) impossible ideas. But I can tell you this: I’ve never regretted going after them. You know those dreams… the ones that felt like they are too crazy for one person to pull off? In hindsight: totally worth it. Some of my favorite projects have been suddenly dropped in my lap… they felt impossible. If the dream feels scary enough to make me hesitate, that’s usually when I know it’s a good idea. That’s when you put faith above fear, & find your brave.
Because… What if the dream you have could change lives? What if it can help people get out from underneath a mountain of stress? Maybe your dream will start a revolution, or bring everyday necessities to third world countries. Here’s something I have learned: If that dream feels like a huge mountain… maybe climbing to the top is exactly where God wants you to be.
So… what’s your big dream? Are you brave enough to chase it?
Hello, friend! I’ve really enjoyed doing a LOT of writing this week, & the 30 Days to Slow course is shaping up nicely. It’s difficult to write this much with 2 crazy kiddos running around, though! Speaking of kiddos…
It’s Z-man’s THIRD birthday today! It’s hard to believe that 3 years ago today I became a mother. He’s is such a joy, and his ability to ask questions is astounding. 😳 When I went in this morning & sang him the happy birthday song, he said “Happy Birthday to you, too, Mom!” 😍 So thankful that he’s here.
Also, this week has been CHOCK-FULL of amazing things on the internet. I don’t know why, but it seemed extra hard to narrow it down to 3. Here goes…
These broccoli balls by Sara from Sprouted Kitchen.
I can’t wait to try these out! I have a feeling the kids will like them, especially if I let them have “dip” (ketchup) with them. The recipe is super simple, & she even gives ideas for making them gluten, dairy, or egg free!
This sprig-surrounded mirror.
Apparently, I have a thing for greenery right now… I keep picking out succulents & greenery wherever I am! Must be because it’s spring. 🌱
Friends… it’s Here. The first day of spring. It may not feel like it yet, but the daffodils are telling the truth. Sometimes the days of March seems to drag on. Over here on the East Coast, we’ve had some bizarre warm spells that had me wearing tank tops & no shoes outside… followed by days so cold that the wood stoves get lit & we bundle up in socks & sweaters. Will winter last forever?
But seasons change. Tides go in & out, the moon waxes & wanes. Soon, all the animals will be busy building their nests, gathering nectar, & searching for fresh sprigs of green. The same goes for me… for all of us. As this new season arrives, I sense that I’ll be seeing change, too. The kids are growing & changing, which requires much more of my attention as they ask questions & figure out the world. This “side” business is taking up more & more of my time, just as I have expected, hoped, & prepared for.
Yet, with all their busyness, the birds always seem rested. They take time to sing. The busy that comes with spring is somehow also restful. With the new season that is upon us, I hope we also find rest. Peace. Take time to enjoy the precious moment we are given. To rejoice in the warmth of the sun.
Yes, spring is finally here. And it is wonderful. 😌
Hello, dear friend. Early this week didn’t quite go as planned. No blog post went up on Monday… instead, I spent a quiet day snuggling the kids & getting plenty of rest. The weekend was insanely busy, & I knew I just needed to take a day. The tea was plentiful, & I made sure to play a quiet, calm show for the kids when I needed a break from the incessant questions Z-man has been asking. 😆 I scribbled down ideas for my newest project, 30 Days of Slow. (You can sign up to join at the bottom of the post!)
This Lemon Chicken & Spaghetti Squash recipe!
Naturally, I changed it up… because I forgot a few of the ingredients (chicken broth & lemon. 😁) It was a hit with Hubs! The kids weren’t as enthusiastic as we were.
Live for those moments.
Oh, this quote is sheer perfection. Mia’s instagram feed is stunning, too! Full of inspirational quotes, color, & creativity. 😍
Some thoughts on Mindfulness by The Fresh Exchange.
This is a really good post about seeking to be mindful, & even has an awesome download that you can use to keep yourself on track. It’s a really good read, & is perfect for this season of early (COLD) spring. 😌
How was your week? I’d love to know…
let’s chat in the comments!
NOTE: I’ve been planning something exciting for a few months. I’m actually pretty nervous to put it out here… so here goes.
A few months ago I began a journey… I was in search of calm, simplicity, & rest. I loved the idea of Slow Living, & began diving deeper & deeper into a slower, more purposeful lifestyle. Within a few months, I have seen so many major shifts in my daily life, my happiness, & my health. It’s glorious. Slow living is all about learning to say “No” so you can say “Yes” later… to the good stuff. Learning to live in daily moments.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not perfect, & neither is my life. I still have days that don’t feel slow. There are still days when I lose my temper, or stress over silly things. This lifestyle isn’t a fix-all… but the mindset shift that comes with living intentionally is life altering. With 4-6 months of Slow Living under my belt, I really want to share my journey (so far) with you. Show you some of the steps I took while learning to slow down, how to stop running the rat race, & learning to enjoy the moments we’ve been given. So, I’m pleased to share this with you:
This is a free e-mail course all about Slow Living. How to find it, ways to live it out. We’ll be talking about self-care, saying no, living mindfully, resting, & saying yes. 🙌🏻
I CANNOT WAIT.
Click below to sign up for 30 Days of Slow! (PLEASE NOTE: If you’re already signed up for my regular newsletter, you WILL NOT get 30 Days of Slow unless you sign up below!)
Life in a 750 sq. ft. house isn’t always easy (mostly because we have TWO little running around!). Our house is still under construction, a lot of our furniture is too big, & this minimalist-at-heart often gets stressed out by the toys, furniture, building supplies, & tools. But don’t think I’m complaining… oh no. I am so grateful for our home, for being debt-free, & for Hubs, who works so very hard. This home is PERFECT for our family right now. (Read more about our Tiny Home story HERE!)
We moved in before the house was finished. That was at my request, because I was just SO ready to home. However, as anyone who lives in a renovation, the progress tends to slow to a complete halt for a while. Because life. It’s nice to come home & rest, instead of come home & work some more. However, Hubs & I have recently picked up the progress on the house! I spent two days sorting through the rest of the totes in our bedroom, decided what we needed to keep, what to donate, sell, & store in the attic. Having the last of those boxes moved is GLORIOUS!
I love the challenge of living in a small space. It really makes me think about what I need. What pieces I truly love… & what I really don’t need. Physical clutter adds mental clutter for me. The more of a minimalist I become, the more peaceful I am. The less cluttered my home, the less cluttered my heart. The best part of simplifying is that the process has an all-over effect of peacefulness, & rest. On me, on our home, & in our family dynamics.
I just sorted through the kids toys… the special ones got tucked in a box in the attic. Since we don’t have TONS of toys, the kids can easily clean up their toys before bed now, leaving the living room clutter-free for me. It’s teaching them good habits, too! They know where all the kitchen toys go, which bin the stuffed animals go in. Everything has a place. Does it make sense to waste space on things I haven’t used in years? A lot of my sewing supplies got the boot, too… I didn’t need 40 half-used spools of thread from the 1970’s. (WHY was I saving those?) That opened up room in a cupboard for my screen printing supplies.
Living simply allows me to stay focused on what really matters. I have time to sink into Jesus, instead of worrying about the pile of junk. to love on my family, & to enjoy life with dear friends. It has allowed me to stop stressing over STUFF & focus on what’s really important to me: People.
The people I love, care about, & call my family & friends…
well… they’re what life is all about.
Hello friend! It’s been a good week… I filled up a journal with blog posts, since I still like to write the old fashioned way. I also managed to destroy my bullet journal (more about that below). Here are 3 things that I’m loving this weekend…
Dark Chocolate Truffle (Dairy-Free Ice Cream).
I’ve recently had to go back to a dairy-free menu (weep with me! 😭), but this ice cream just about makes up for it. It’s unbelievably good, & you can’t even tell it’s dairy-free. I’m a HUGE chocolate fan, & this is probably one of the best ice cream flavors I’ve ever tasted. It’s also super-rich, so I can’t eat a whole lot in one sitting… which means it lasts longer! 😀
The Baron Fig Confidant Journal.
Those of you that follow me on Instagram may have seen that my beloved Bullet Journal bit the dust. Either Hubs or I put it on top of the car after church on Sunday, & as we drove away, it fell off. On the highway. Bless the man, Hubs spent over half an hour picking up pages all along the highway, in front yards, & generally just won himself a LOT of brownie points. (Lots of 😘 to you, love!) I quickly ordered myself a soft cover Leuchtturm 1917, but then… I found this beauty. I just had to have it… so now I seem to have 2 bullet journals. 😁 Stay tuned… I may be doing a give-away!
This Annie Dilliard quote.
Aahhh. This one will make you think… it certainly did me! 😱 I get distracted on my phone, & suddenly *poof!* Half of the quiet from nap-time is over, & I’ve wasted precious moments on Facebook. How do you spend your days… & how would you rather spend them?
Habits. They are super hard to stay consistent with… & SO easy to break. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve made “New Year’s Resolutions” only to give up on them two weeks later. Yet, I love the idea of perennial growth. I seek after it, love trying new things, & attempt changes in big & small ways. Sometimes it works… sometimes, I fail.
But I know we all fail at things in life. It’s the getting up after we fall that really counts. A few years ago, I discovered the idea of having one word as a guide of the entire year. Throwing out the traditional list of resolutions is incredibly freeing. It’s been an amazing journey for me, & this year is no different. This year’s word is “Grow.” (Read more about my One Word here!)
As February flew by, I saw some areas that I’ve had a really hard time being consistent in. Daily exercising, for one. I did SO well in January… but February? Wah, wah. With February came a stomach bug for the whole family. A new project filled the rest of the month (I’m DYING to share with you all… but can’t yet!), & all other projects had to be set aside. It was a busy month… hard, but good.
Now that March is here, it seems like the best time for a new beginning. My goals this month are still fairly simple. I’m not trying to overwhelm myself with massive amounts of change at one time. Baby steps. I’ve noticed that 90% of my day is spent on my rear end… step one is to change that. I’ve moved some furniture around & made a standing desk at the baby grand piano. It’s the perfect height! I have already seen a lot of improvement in my energy levels, & I’ve really begun to enjoy standing while I work.
It feels good to move.
I also forget to take care of myself. I burn the candle at both ends, & don’t rest enough after staying up late. I forget to eat when I get involved in anything creative, & often neglect doing all kinds of nice, girly things like using a favorite lotion & putting on makeup. Since the new year began, I’ve been trying to rest. Taking naps as needed. Enjoying my new favorite lotion (recipe & a giveaway coming soon! 😍 )
It feels good to rest. 😌
Habits… there are new ones, & old ones. Some are good for our health. Some are good for our loved ones. Some are just out of sheer enjoyment! I’m enjoying feeling the energy & hope of spring to get back into good habits. How about you?
March. There’s something about this month that allows me to breathe a sign of relief. The harsh cold of winter is almost over. The daffodils are blooming here in full force, & it’s exciting to see the first cheery signs of spring.
In February I saw some of my habits from the new year seem to be fading away, & I’ve been feeling the need to start fresh this month. As a young teen, my sister & I spent hours watching (& reading!) Anne of Green Gables over & over…. one of my favorite lines is when her teacher, Miss Stacey told her:
So… I want to start over. Work on the things that are important to me, & have somehow fallen off my to-do list. This is the perfect time to revive my sort-of-failed resolutions. It’s a good time to try something new. To work on eating better & put new life into the tired winter recipes. Get back into the habit of drinking lots of water & exercising daily.
What is one thing that needs a new start in your life?
Hello, dear friend! It’s been a busy few weeks, & I’m thankful for the (mostly) empty schedule this weekend. 😌 I was able to sneak away & get some much needed silence, after a lot of noise-filled days. Calm, quiet, & rest are my #1 goals during weeks that are crazy busy. One of the biggest changes I’ve made this week is to create a standing desk at my baby grand piano! Being an artist/blogger requires a lot of time in front of a computer or at a desk, & up until now I’ve spent a lot of my day sitting. It’s been a big adjustment! My heels & back weren’t entirely happy about it, but I think my body is getting used to it now.
This verse. I have seen Jesus making a way for all kinds of new opportunities this year, & it’s amazing. Life isn’t always easy, but He makes a way. All the time. 😌
My “Ello” mug from Target! I love this mug… the copper against porcelain is GORG, & I like that it’s easy to clean out. I carry it with me throughout the day so I can be sure to hit my daily water goal!
Hashtag Authentic, Sara Tasker’s new podcast. The advice is amazing, & the simple, quiet chat feels like I’m sitting down with a dear friend (who also happens to have an amazing accent! 😆 )
That’s basically my week in a nutshell…
How was your week?
(Really… I’d love to know! Leave a comment & let’s chat!)
Thoughts go swirling through my head. There’s been commotion all day long. The kids talking, taking care of the housework, with Sarah & Duck playing nonstop in the background. Noise. Too much noise, & I can’t even think. There’s so many ideas floating around in my head, & I can’t get them out… yet.
I wash more dishes, scrub wood ash off the hearth. Rock back & forth on achy feet. Feel the words swirling around in my head. Fold laundry. Rock the sweet toddler, who is so close to bedtime, but not quite ready to fall asleep. Hugs. Kisses. Prayers.
Then… Silence. Sweet, sweet, silence. I sneak out, just me, to get a Chai latte. Open the notebook I brought with me. Aaahhhh. Blank page. The girls beside me chat about mint, & how they can never find it at the grocery store. I can tune out this kind of busy. The hustle & bustle is energizing, & no one is clamoring for my attention, begging for another cookie.
I love being a mom. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. To stop yourself when you’re about to pop, & use that moment to teach your boy about Jesus. About grace, about real love. It’s somehow the noisiest & loneliest job at the exact same time. I embrace the energy of others, but often (after an exhausting day), I just want to be alone.
So, here I am. Finally. These quiet moments by myself are rare. I wish I hadn’t taken them for granted when I was single. I relish them now. Rest, recharge. Breathe in & out.Get ready to head home, & center my heart on Jesus. Ready for another busy day tomorrow. Hear the click of the pen as I close it.
Yes, I am ready. Ready to go back into my world, full of questions, tantrums, & little arms begging for hugs. I just needed to get these words out. Feel the satisfaction of pen on paper. Enjoy 20 minutes of being able to hear myself think.
I just turned about page over on the calendar. March. This is my favorite month… full of hope for spring & daffodils. ☺️ To me, March is about newness. Freshness. I hope I’ll seek to be more mindful. How to better care for myself, as a mom, as a creative… as a human. I hope you’ll join me this month… read along if you’d like to practice some self-care, seek rest, & find peace & joy in the midst of all the busy.