“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh I have come to learn that gratitude is more than simply a conceptual word that we throw around when we get presents or, someone shows us, love. Gratitude is a muscle. Just like every other emotion. It needs to be worked, and through practicing gratitude it grows and grows. It becomes stronger and starts to impact our lives in ways we could not imagine. The beauty of gratitude begins to infiltrate the way we think about ourselves, others and our life. The more you work it the more you have of it. Gratitude is cool like that. When I began making gratitude a regular practice in my life I have to admit I was skeptical. I picked up a gratitude journal and begrudgingly decided to give it a go. While whole heartily thinking that this would make no difference in my life. But in the back of my heart, I had hope. I guess that little bit of hope was all it took for me to take the leap and commit to filling out my journal every day. The first week was pretty powerful. The first month, kind of shocking. And now… well I feel the love. Somedays I could burst with gratitude for things I never even noticed before. And when bad days or moments come, I am able to see and feel the good in them much easier than before. Having a gratitude practice has enriched my daily life in ways I never thought possible. For this reason, I would like to invite you to begin a gratitude practice of your own. Through this 30-day challenge. If like me you might be skeptical, I urge you do it anyway. Let that little bit of hope inside of you kick your skeptical sides butt out da way. Before your head hits your pillow at night write a little post as long or as short as you want. Don’t hold back! Let me know in the comments what you think I would love to hear about your experience. Good luck, you got this! Are you ready? Grab a fresh notebook. Choose a time of day when you will journal, night often works best. Commit to writing something each day no matter how difficult it may be. Write as much detail as you can or want each day. Write everything you are grateful for correlating with the topic of the day. Enjoy yourself this is self-care time, not homework time. About my family… About my health… I love about my hometown… Today I am grateful for… I am thankful my financial situation allows me to… I am grateful I can hear these beautiful sounds… Things I am thankful for being able to taste… What compliment did I receive lately… What I love about this planet… About my friends… About my school or job… I love this about how I look… 5 small things I am grateful for… 5 big things I am grateful for… I am thankful for these special talents of mine… I am thankful for these hard lessons… Tell someone what you appreciate about them today… I am grateful for this piece of technology… These are my favorite things in nature… A person in my past and why… I am so thankful I have grown in these ways… A book or movie I am grateful for… A past mistake… I am thankful I pushed myself when I… So far this year… All of the people I am happy to have met… What makes home so sweet for me? When I was going through a hard time I am thankful for the help of… I am thankful for the inspiration of… I am grateful for this challenge because… Join the 30 Day Self Care Challenge offered on ScaleitSimple and show yourself a little extra lovin! Join the 21 Day Home and Technology Cleaning Challenge to clear your mind and home.
Tiny quotes can pack a punch. Words have the ability to inspire, help us persevere, and change how we see the world. Among a million other amazing things. (But I won’t ramble about the awesomeness of books, it might get a little out of control.) One of my favorite things about picking up a new book is, you never really know what kind of wisdom is hiding between its covers until you are nose deep in that epicness for yourself. Each of us has such a unique story to tell, a unique way to tell a story and a unique way to perceive that story. Our brains are kind of cool like that. That’s what makes life and reading such an adventure. I have read quite a bit over the past few years, by my own standards anyway. And I have been lucky enough to gain some valuable lessons through some beautiful books. If you are looking for some inspiration and wisdom, love these books or are interested in reading something new I hope these beautiful quotes are perfect for you. Additionally, if you would like to check out more reading recommendations you can always see them here. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life #GIRLBOSS Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Turning the Mind Into an Ally When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (20th Anniversary Edition) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom The Diary of Anne Frank Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson The Alchemist Harry Potter
Alone time is important. For introverts, it allows us much needed time to recharge our batteries. However, for all of us, it is a great time to check in with ourselves and develop healthy relationships with ourselves in the process. Spending time alone is the perfect way to really get to know ourselves, to hear our inner voice and develop a friendship with ourselves. Not to mention doing things alone pushes our comfort zone. In some ways, we are forced to be more social and that can open the door for new relationships to enter our lives. Choosing to be alone is one thing, however, being thrown into it by outside forces such as a divorce, a death, a move or change in friendships can be difficult to get used to. We will all face times in our lives when we have to spend time alone so getting used to alone time is something we should all try to embrace in some way or another. To help you develop more independence in your life here are 70 ideas of ways to spend time alone. Are you ready to push your comfort zone and have some solo fun? Good, let’s do this! Go for a walk in the park Eat at your favorite restaurant Learn to knit Try paint by numbers Volunteer for a cause you love Have a solo picnic Read a book in the park Go to the beach and soak in the sun Try a yoga class Head to a coffee shop and people watch Go to an arcade and play a few games See a daytime movie Binge watch an awesome Netflix series Bake something fabulous for yourself Try meal prepping for your week ahead Start a garden Start journaling Take an online course Try a night class Get a massage Go to the spa Get your hair done Get a manicure or pedicure Go window shopping Have a solo lunch date with yourself and your favorite magazine Check out your local farmers market Go for a bike ride Go swimming Declutter your home Take a road trip Learn about astrology Watch some live music See a play at your local theatre Create a vision board Give yourself a face mask Mediate Do at home yoga Drive somewhere magical and watch a sunrise or sunset Go on a hike Start a gratitude list Watch your favorite movie with some popcorn Head to a local museum Write a list of your monthly or yearly goals Go thrifting Grab your favorite latte and browse in a bookstore Join a meditation or yoga retreat Try solo traveling Take a cooking class Do a DIY project Start a puzzle Go beachcombing Start a home reno project Take a midday nap Have an at-home dance party Color Feed the ducks at the park Listen to a podcast Stargaze Learn a musical instrument Head to the library Learn a new language Play a free online game Get a bubble bath Rearrange your bedroom Fill a photo album Plan a trip Order pizza and stay in Explore a new town Watch your old favorite music videos Try on some new makeup at Sephora
Habits rule our lives. Whether you are aware of it or not everything from our emotional responses to stress to how you get dressed in the morning is a habit. We all have good ones and we all have bad ones. Some are more known to us than others and we all have a desire to develop new habits from time to time. If you have been struggling with making a habit stick than perhaps you are just looking at it all wrong. Perhaps you need to replace a habit rather than start one from scratch. In the book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business one of the key points proven to make habits successful is the habit loop. This is, cue, habit, reward. Meaning that in order to make a habit successful you must also have a clear cue to drive you into habit mode, and a clear reward waiting for you. Keeping this habit loop in mind you can better begin to implement small achievable habits into your day like the ones mentioned in this post. Not all habits need to be huge lifestyle changing ones, they can be small and trickle into your everyday life in ways you would never believe. Like meditation or exercise. These habits cue other habits to develop, like mindfulness and eating healthier. Try to stick to one of these simple habits and see how it transforms your life. Don’t forget to clearly define your cues and rewards. Good luck! 10 Minutes of Meditation per Day I have been raving about the benefits of meditation ever since I began meditating myself 3 years ago. This simple habit and practice have transformed everything about my life in the most amazing ways. I am more mindful, content, aware, calm and have less anxiety than premeditation me. If there is one habit that you should incorporate into your daily routine it is meditation. A common myth is that you need to meditate for hours to see results, but that is simply not true. Consistent short periods of meditation will show you wonderful results in building your mindfulness and improving your wellbeing. A good cue is waking up in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. The reward? How about a healthier and happier emotional wellbeing to start with. Incorporate Healthier Meals into your Life From a losing wight perspective, we often tell ourselves, stop eating this or that. We restrict and punish ourselves to the point of misery. However looking at health changes in a more positive light will give you far better results. Starting small with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables or trying new healthy recipes can spread to other areas of your life. After a few months, you may find your bad eating habits have been replaced with better ones and other diet changes may be easier to implement. This is a habit that can benefit everyone in the long term. Take it from the OG in health and wellness Hippocrates. Leave your Wallet at Home If you are trying to break bad spending habits or are just trying to save this is a get way to help you change those habits. By leaving your wallet at home you are establishing a filter between your impulses and actions. This simple change will make it more difficult to mindlessly spend. And after some time will reshape your spending habits to a need not want basis. Keep an Agenda or Planner This is another habit that has does wonders for my life. Keeping an agenda is a great way to keep organized and on top of things. Making keeping track of goals and habits even easier. This is a simple change however very powerful as it will help you to visualize what you are working on and towards. This is a habit that goes beyond scheduling and organization but will branch out to create more productivity and efficiency throughout your day. That is a habit that everyone can benefit from not just us list makers. Make Self Care a Priority It can be easy to get into the bad habit of putting yourself last. When you don’t make yourself a priority you become drained, stressed and altogether empty. This makes being there for the ones you love difficult. Starting some self-care habits is a wonderful way to feel relaxed, unwind and be the best version of you. Something as simple a taking a class you love, going to the spa or getting a relaxing bath is a wonderful way to show yourself the self-care you deserve. The reward is a radiant, vibrant and happier you! What more could you want? Practice Minimizing in Some Way Minimalism has been taking the interwebs by storm lately. It seems like so many people are yearning for a less materialistic lifestyle and are craving alternatives to clutter and materialism. This is truly amazing and the benefits of owning less impact our environment and our lives in so many positive ways. To begin a more minimal lifestyle start with small habits, like buying less clothing, or using recyclable bags when getting groceries. But don’t stop there, continue to push your boundaries until minimizing is more of a habit than materialism currently is. For some minimizing inspiration check out this post 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life Read Daily Doctors and scientists agree that learning new things and keeping your mind sharp is key to healthier brains in old age. The benefits of reading are numerous, and if you wish to stretch your brain muscles and learn something new making a habit of this simple hobby is a great way to do just that. Set a goal for each day or year and see if you can reach it. With the use of Goodreads, you can track what your reading and stay motivated by setting yearly goals. Reading can also be a wonderful way to help you reach other goals in your life, by helping you learn the skills you need to get there. Drink a Glass of Water First Thing in the Morning This was a habit that I managed to ingrained into my daily routine this year and I am so happy that I did. Often we feel hungry or crave caffeine first thing in the morning, but in reality, we are just dehydrated. Drinking water takes care of that issue and after my body gets its dose of H2O I can have my coffee and breakfast and often don’t desire a second cup of caffeine. My digestion has improved, my dependence on caffeine has decreased and I am able to drink more water during the day. It’s a triple win really. Eat Breakfast It seems so odd that eating breakfast every morning can help you be healthier, but it is true. By eating a healthy breakfast your body has more energy all day long helping you burn more calories. Not to mention it sets the tone for the day ahead. Prepare yourself a simple breakfast meal, like cereal or a smoothie and after a few weeks see the changes that begin to take place. Start a Gratitude Practice Write down a few things you are grateful for each day and watch as your inner talk and perspectives on the world change to be more gracious and positive. Incorporating a gratitude practice into my life has changed my attitude for the better. Helping me to see the good in every day which is sometimes harder to do then you may realize. The negativity of news and social media can take its toll. But don’t forget there is a lot of good in your life and the world too. Take your Vitamins I know there is a lot of conflicting information about vitamins out there but this is a habit that I follow myself. Keep in mind I am no doctor. However, I will say this, taking vitamins is a great way to prevent a problem before it starts. Wouldn’t you rather take care of your body rather than trying to fix it once it is ill? Vitamins are not the only answer but taking a multivitamin daily regardless of your age is a wonderful way to optimize your health. Do your own research or chat with your doctor or nutritionist to see if taking vitamins is something that would work well for you. Go to Bed at the Same Time Each Night Going to bed at the same time each night regardless of the day of the week is a wonderful way to ensure regular sleep habits. What you may start to notice is it takes you less time to fall asleep at night, you get a more solid sleep and other habits during your waking life are easier to develop also. Take Regular Phone Breaks Many of us are in the terrible habit of checking our phones all the time. We check them in the middle of conversations, while out to dinner, or when we are about to go to sleep. For no reason other than to check them. Giving yourself designated times to check your phone is a great way to break this bad habit. But it is also a wonderful way to get into the habit of living in the moment without your phone. Create Automatic Savings Accounts Saving money is a very necessary habit to get into. If you struggle with bad money habits then setting up automatic savings accounts is a great way to create better money management habits in your life. By passively saving money automatically you can better utilize what money you have left in the bank, which can lead you to more productive money habits as a result. Exercise the Same Time Every day People who work out the same time every day are far more likely to stick to the habit of working out. It may be difficult to build that habit in the beginning, however, if you stick to it, working out the same time every day or week will eventually become second nature. Find what time works best for you and try to optimize that. What kind of habits are a key part of your life? Are there any new habits you hope to start?
Hello everyone, are you ready for another bookish post? Wintertime offers candles, fireplaces, blankets and snowy nights. Curled up with a good book and some hot tea in a mug. However, as the ground thaws a new arena of reading begins to bloom. I’m talking about sunshine, beaches, campfires, sunsets, smoothies and the gentle chirping of birds, people. The atmosphere that I read in really makes or breaks my motivation to do so. Luckily spring and summer offer the perfect backdrop for any reading venture. This spring and summer I hope to spend as much time as possible indulging my mind, body, and spirit. Because I love that kind of thing and because I hope to reach my reading goal this year of completing 30 books. During the spring and summer the type of books I like to read tend to be more adventurous, light and motivating. I hope my reading list inspires you to read something that motivates you and makes you feel good this spring or and summer. Are there any books you are hoping to read this spring or summer? Do you have any recommendations for me? The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts I picked this up on a whim after hearing about it from a few people, and I am happy that I did. This was the first book I read this spring and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. It is a short read that is filled with lots of unique perspectives about how we as humans love it also holds a lot of insight into how we all give and receive love differently. Although we can not generalize everything about ourselves and others we can embrace our differences by understanding them better. Additionally, if you are in a relationship understanding your partners own love language makes it so much easier to understand them. And give and get what is needed by both. Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia I know I know, how have I not read this book? After watching the movie a million times I think it is time that I get a deeper look at Liz’s journey through her book. This is a story about an inspirational woman exploring her soul and the world. Which is basically my life in my mind. Meaning this book is meant for me. I have been planning a trip to Italy for a while now and I know this book is going to send me over the edge with inspiration, as part of the book takes place there. I can not wait to lounge in the sunshine, sip some prosecco and read this adventurous and empowering book. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business I just started this book and I am already totally addicted. This book takes an interesting look at how habits are formed through repetition, routines, and rewards. So far the insights and research in this book are opening my eyes to the power of habits in ways I never expected before. The springtime is a great time to get into new habits.I am hoping the tools in this book will help get me where I want to be. Reading, yoga, hiking and waking up earlier are just some of the habits I hope to engrain into my daily routine. What kind of habits are you working on building in your life? The Book of Questions: Revised and Updated This is an awesome book to have around your home. It is basically jammed full of random, philosophical and intriguing questions. I picked this up to use as a game while at the cabin around the fire. Using some of these questions when guests are over could be a great way to get to know your friends and start some cool conversations. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think and how you use it. The Five People You Meet in Heaven Based on the reviews I have read from other bookish people I am going to love this book. This book shows an interesting perspective on how the lives of loved ones and strangers can impact our lives without us even knowing it. Showing how we are all connected and how each life and interaction can shape the lives of those around you. The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life So far this is one of my favorite books I have read this year. It is an easy read filled with tips and tricks to help you build mindful relationships and habits that will benefit you and the people you interact with in everyday life. Good conversation skills go beyond being a social butterfly. It is about being mindful, compassionate and aware of ourselves and others during even our most mundane types of socializing. As an introvert, I can often feel overwhelmed by certain conversations in general. Therefore this book was perfect for helping me bring more skills to that area of my life. I particularly enjoyed the parts about mindful listening and how to deal with disagreements on subjects, such as differing political or spiritual views. If you think yourself as a skillful conversationalist you may be surprised to learn that you too may be lacking the middle ground of conversation in your life. As talking too much comes with its own set of issues. Finding the middle way is the heart of the Buddhas teachings and the Sakyong does a wonderful job in making this balance of conversation available to everyone through this book. Give this book a read and take this social time of year as a time to practice your new awesome skills. Spring and Summer is a favorite time for me when it comes to building my book collection. All those yard sales and farmers markets have a lot of books to offer. So stay tuned for more book recommendations coming your way. Follow me on Goodreads to see what I am currently reading and to check out my reviews. Additionally check out my other bookish posts here. Happy reading everyone.
Journaling is one of the best forms of therapy. From a young age, I was jotting down little notes, creating lists and sharing my most memorable and mundane moments, in my little notebooks. As a adult, I still love to sit and scribble in self-reflection. Perhaps that’s why I love blogging so much, it is the perfect way to let my thoughts flow from my mind to paper or screen. However, the same style of journaling that suited me as a young child and adolescent doesn’t quite do the trick for adult me. Sometimes I find it difficult to sit and reflect on my day. Sometimes I wish to go a little deeper and explore my thoughts further, to have a purpose of some kind. This is why I have been loving journal prompts lately. Using journal prompts has been a great way to get in my daily writing, fill my journal and explore my current thoughts and feelings. Choosing journal prompts to explore has helped keep me motivated in my writing and has been wonderful to reflect on as time goes by. If you are like me, often you don’t even know how you truly feel about something until you being to explore it through writing. Which is why asking yourself keen questions and reflecting on them is such a powerful tool of reflection. The journal prompts I have included in this post are among some of my personal favorites. They have helped me grow and reflect in the way that my adult self truly craves. I suggest picking up a brand new notebook of your own and begin exploring your mind through these journal prompts. If you are a blogger you can always use these prompts as great material for your blog also. Happy writing. What are some things I am grateful for today? What are some of my fears and why are they so scary? Dear me one year from now… Dear childhood friend… Relive a favorite childhood memory, what makes this stand out? Dear teenage me… I can’t wait for this to happen… What is something I need to forgive myself for? What is something I need to forgive someone else for? How can forgiveness set me free? What are some things I would love to start doing and why? What is something that is making me feel down lately? How can I change it? How can I be more positive during my day? What is a secret dream or fantasy of mine? I have never told anyone this before… What is the biggest lie I have ever told? Something I am looking forward to doing soon… What are some things I would love to learn how to do? Where are some places I would love to travel too? This is one of my best memories… I am thankful for these people in my life. What have they taught me? I am so glad I got to meet … Here are some things I love about my job… These are some nice things I have done for others lately… Here are some nice things others have done for me lately… Three emotions I am feeling right now and why… I feel great when I… My week has been… Things I am looking forward to doing next month… These are some of my personal self-care moments… Happiness to me means… I am happiest when I am with… I can’t wait to overcome… How do I plan on getting there? What are some short-term goals I would love to accomplish? 5 things I want to improve on. How will I do this? Interpret a dream I had that was very powerful to me… 5 years from now I will be… These are all the things that make me smile… What are some of my best traits? I am happiest when I am doing. What are some of my triggers? Brainstorm ideas of ways to better handle my anger… What are some of my favorite summer activities? These are my favorite things about fall? What do I love to do in the winter? These are the things that excite me most about spring? What are five things I can start doing tomorrow to better my life? How can I save more money? What makes my family awesome? My favorite things about my hometown… My ideal day would be… Some things that inspire me are… My personal mantra is… What does love look like to me… How have I supported others in a positive way lately? Describe me in a sentence Describe my life in a sentence… How has a painful experience in my life transformed into something positive? Some personal lessons I have learned in life… The best advice I can give is… Here are some things I love about my appearance… What does my dream life look like? This is what I need to hear today… These are the most important things in my life… What is the bravest thing I have ever done? Here are all the things that make me feel confident… What are some of my current interests? If I could change one thing about my life this would be it… The best part of my day today was… Would I ever consider downsizing? Why or why not? What does simplifying my life mean to me? What inspires me to succeed? Where is my mental happy place? Who has strongly influenced me in my life? Ways I can be a better partner/friend… Why being kinder to myself is important… What are some things I have done that make me proud? What is my 5 year plan? How have I grown in the past year? What has been my favorite part of this week? What are some habits I would love to start? I would love to learn more about… What are some ways I can treat myself without spending money? Here are some of my short-term goals? Three ways I can give back to my community? Some things I really respect about women? Some things I really respect about men? My fear holds me back in these ways… These are the things that give me anxiety… Are there any things about my personality that I was insecure about but am now ok with? What are some of my deepest insecurities? I hold myself back in what ways and why? What makes me totally unique? This is my bucket list… What is my most treasured possession and why? These are the things that relax me most… Something I am loving lately is… Here are some things I can start doing to be more productive… What are some things I am really good at? What is the last romantic gesture I initiated? Here are some ways I can deal with stress better… What is something that has been making me feel unhappy lately? How can I change my perspective? Find a quote and reflect on it today… What are some challenges in my life lately? How can I personally try to overcome them? Five ways I can start improving my health… What are some negative beliefs I have about myself sometimes? How are they untrue? What are some ways I can truly care for myself when I am sad? How can I stop sabotaging myself? I have improved at these five things… What were some highlights of my day? What are some books I would like to read this year?
One of the most effective ways to rejuvenate your mind and motive your spirit is by doing a little cleaning. Seriously, a happy and clear home equals a happy and clear mind. There really is no bad time to begin revamping your home and life. Many people gravitate towards spring cleaning, fall cleaning or even around the holidays. However, you can do it anytime. My personal favorite time to do a huge cleaning rehaul of my home is during spring. Just as the flowers start to bloom so does our sense of adventure, goals, and spirit. And nothing should get in our way of anything we wish to take on, no old baggage, no old habits, and no old mindsets. Spring is the perfect time to revamp your home, your mind, and your life and begin new habits that will be beneficial for us. The spring season has been my main motivation for creating this challenge. This is a challenge that is a little different from the challenges I have hosted in the past. As it has a little bit of everything to get you into the cleanest of mindsets for whatever reason has motivated you to do so. I urge you to try a different cleaning challenge every day or try to commit to at least a few a week. This is a challenge designed to help you become completely refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever exciting adventures lay ahead with an open mind and heart. Time to roll up your sleeves and tackle your home and your life. Let’s get cleaning! 1. Closet I went through how I effectively clean out my own closet in this post. If you are like me then you probably store items away in the summer and winter months. Take this day as an opportunity to pack away those winter sweaters, coats, and hats and bring out your pretty summer dresses and sandals, or vice versa. Don’t forget to get rid of anything that you no longer need before storing. Taking your spring/summer clothes out will also give you a good idea of what you might need to purchase should you decide to add to your wardrobe a little. 2. Books Take this time to reorganize your books and give away or donate the books that you no longer need. Who knows an old favorite read of yours could be someone else’s new favorite read. 3. Food This is a cleaning venture that I personally dread doing. Go through your cupboards, fridge, and cabinets and reorganize all the food that your little squirrel self-have been hoarding. Don’t forget to donate anything you don’t need or want anymore. 4. Bedroom freshen up This is an easy spring cleaning fix. Time to change your thick winter sheets to your light and fresh spring sheets, or vice versa. If it is starting to get warmer then replacing your sheets with lighter ones will help you sleep better and help freshen up your bedroom a little. 5. Makeup Wash your makeup brushes, give away anything you hardly ever use and reorganize your makeup storage. Make sure you put the products you are currently using in an accessible area to avoid cluttering things up again going forward. 6. Bathroom cupboards My bathroom cabinets are a jumble of Epsom salts, face masks, hair products, curlers, hairdryers, etc. I think I speak for all ladies when I say it can get a little out of hand in there. Take this time to clear everything out and create a system that will keep it organized for as long as possible. Maybe that means heading to your local craft shop and getting some storage bins to help you out. 7. Jewelry Go through all your jewelry and clear out any of your tarnished jewelry, mismatched earrings or items you don’t ever wear. Reorganize it in your jewelry box or display. 8. Paperwork and receipts Depending on the type of work you do this might take you a little time or a lot. If you work from home or have an at home office then you probably have much more paper that you will need to organize. However, something that will help anyone is some kind of system. Head to an office supply store and get the organizational supplies that will be best suited for your situation. Shred anything you no longer need and label and refile the documents that are of importance. There is nothing worse than when you cant find documents that you know you have. 9. Bottles and Boxes If you do not recycle regularly then now may be a good time to clean out any lingering bottles, boxes or other recyclable materials. Why not go a step further by creating a recyclable system going forward that helps your family minimize household waste. 10. Broken or unused electronics If in a good working order you can try to sell these unwanted items online. Who knows someone might want that old broken laptop for parts, so putting it up for sale if even for a few weeks could be a good way to give your old items a second life. If you can not sell them then find a way to recycle them. Electronic stores know where these old items can go and often will take them themselves. Avoid throwing electronics in a landfill because often there are spare parts that are very usable. 11. Dusting day No cleaning challenge would be complete without a dusting day. Time to open the windows and get your feather duster. 12. Clean out your oven I am not sure how often other people clean out their ovens but I feel like this one is essential to have on this list. If you have a non-self-cleaning oven then this might be a long task so be sure to put some time aside for it. 13. Junk mail and organize I am fairly organized when it comes to my inbox. I often sort emails as they come in. However taking an hour or so to sort through, delete and organize is a great way to help yourself in the long run. You will better be able to find those old emails when you need them most. 14. Organize desktop, backup files No one ever thinks to back up their files until it is too late. Whether it be your work laptop or your personal. Take this time to clear away any unwanted files and back up what you got. 15. The clutter drawer If you are one of the few people in the world who doesn’t have a cluttered drawer in their house I commend you and please skip this day. For the rest of us, its time to finally organize that mess. 16. Toys & knickknacks For some reason, all of the extra things in my apartment always end up on the top of my fridge. Take a lap around your home and clear away any knickknacks, toys and random objects that need a home. If you have children then this may be a particularly large project for you. To get rid of old items you can join toy swapping groups on Facebook, sell toys online or give away and donate. 17. Shoes & Boots If taking on this challenge during spring then now is a great time to take your winter boots and store them away for next year. Grab those sandals and flats and put them in an easily accessible space. 18. Re-pot your plants If you have plants in your home that need repotting now is a great time to let them stretch their legs a little. For those of you who don’t have any greenery in your home now is a great time to add some life to your space. Consider heading to your local garden depot and buy a plant or two to add to your windowsill. Plants add a wonderfully refreshed energy to any home and spring is a great time to benefit from that feeling. 19. Tupperware, jars, and containers Throw away any mismatched containers and lids and reorganize your Tupperware. Head to your local dollar store and grab a storage container to help organize these items for future use. 20. Carpet or floor cleaning Do a deep cleaning of floors and carpets. Rent a carpet or floor cleaner for a weekend if you don’t have one to help you get that deep clean that you need every now and then. 21. Mirrors and windows Give the inside and outside of your windows a good scrubbing to let all of that natural light in. Don’t forget the mirrors inside your home they probably need a good shining too. Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall having clear windows will help sunlight enter your home, which is something our bodies crave all year round.
Guys, I am almost 30. Huge emphasis on the almost part. Although I am feeling ok about my almost 30-year-old life I certainly face all the same feelings that anyone does while hitting an apparent “milestone” in their life. Anxious feelings of goals and ambition are starting to creep in. Looking back over my 20s I have so many memories of wild nights, growth, change, fun, new friends, love, and laughter, among other things. That’s what your 20s are all about am I right? Figuring your shit out in a way that will leave you better equipped to deal with the next chapter. I am so happy that my 20s were a decade where I discovered a love for reading that has helped me through tough times, lead me to mindfulness, growth, and greater perspective. It makes me proud to be where I am today and excited to go into the next leg of the race of life. Reading helps redefine you, connect with the world, and helps your brain get the exercise it needs to grow new brain muscles. (Ok I may have made that part up, but it sounds like a thing.) Reading is truly unique in that it allows you to enter the minds of other’s helping you to better empathize with others in ways you would never even be able to imagine. I could go on about the benefits of reading forever, however, the point of this post is to point you in the direction of some true inspirations. Fun and unique books that you should read in your 20s. These are the books that will inspire you to live outside of your normal, push you to try something new, gain new perspectives and nudge you in the direction to become a happy and intelligent 20 something-year-old human. These are the perfect books to read while in your 20s and they will help lead you to start your 30s as the wildly happy and vibrant person you are aiming to be, whatever that looks like. From adventure to finance, to self-development to educational there is something for everyone. Go get em kids! Harry Potter Eat Pray Love The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life #GIRLBOSS The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The UltraMind Solution: The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind Turning the Mind Into an Ally When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (20th Anniversary Edition) Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship, A Toltec Wisdom Book The Alchemist A Short Guide to a Long Life The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out A Thousand Splendid Suns Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail The Diary of a Young Girl How to Win Friends and Influence People The Art of War The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” The Year of Magical Thinking The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now For more reading inspiration or recommendations check out these posts.
To simplify my life is something that I have been striving for lately. A life with less clutter in my mind, body, and surroundings. I find myself at peace and full of my most fulfilling happiness when I am simplifying my life. Living in calm moments and caring for myself. As an overachiever, I keep myself pretty mentally stimulated and like it that way. Work, books, blogging, social media, emails. You know the drill. I know a lot of people can relate. We all have our own busy schedules. This life can get a little crazy and run away from us sometimes, which leads to stress and feeling overwhelmed before we are even aware of it happening. Let’s be honest, this happens more than we would like to admit. However, there is a solution! A holy grail of possibility that will save us from ourselves. And it’s really quite simple. We just need to simplify things a little bit! The benefits of simplifying your life are huge. You will reduce stress, gain confidence, enjoy a healthier wellbeing and enjoy a deeper sense of gratitude for the simple beauty of your complex and unique life. It is important now more than ever to take a little time to change our thoughts, habits, and lifestyle. To become better more full humans for ourselves, our loved ones and the world. Seriously, simplifying your life is the best way to amplify it, turn up the volume on what you love and reduce the white noise of what you don’t. 1. Make a list of the most important things in your life Write down the top five most important things in your life in no particular order. Use this as a mindful reference. When life gets overwhelming or you feel stressed revert back to your list, mentally. “Is the thing that I am spending time and energy on one of my top 5?” This is a simple exercise that can do wonders for defusing your stress levels. 2. Make time for your mental health Taking time to practice mental health by reading, yoga, meditation, therapy or simply chatting with a friend is a good way to stimulate your mind and boost your overall wellbeing. 3. Get a planner Keeping track of appointments, deadlines, events, and occasions is a great way to prioritize your time. Causing less stress because of procrastination or forgetfulness. Don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself. 4. 10-minute de-clutter each day De-Cluttering a little each day has helped me not only have to do less on the weekend when I do most of my cleaning. I enjoy my home all week long due to it being clear and clutter free. 5. No social media for an hour before bed or when you wake up Give yourself time to gently enter or end your day without the onslaught of news, headlines, and ads. 6. One garbage bag of junk A quick way to simplify things in your home is to commit yourself to donating or trashing one bag of stuff. See my blog post 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life for some inspiration. Check out my post on 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life to help get you into the downsizing spirit. 7. Ask for help Maybe this means asking for a little extra help at work, or getting help to clean your house, or putting your kids in daycare once a week. Don’t feel guilty getting a little help can help you simplify in so many helpful ways. 8. Give yourself a day Make time for some self-care at least once a week. Check out my post 12 Winter Self Care Activities to help inspire you during these cold wintry months. 9. Clear your workspace when finished Clear your workspace when you are finished so when you start your next project you are ready with a fresh clean slate. 10. Spend more time in Nature There is no better way to simplify your life than to connect with something greater than you, which for me in nature. Whether it be a short walk in the park or a camping trip, being out in nature is a perfect way to reconnect with our primal natural selves. 11. Simplify with a morning routine Being productive first thing in the morning can shape a beautiful day ahead. Check out my own Morning Routine for some direction in helping you create your own. 12. Properly unwind before bed Read a book, meditate, turn down the lights, don’t use your phone, have a cup of tea. A good nights sleep is the most effective way to rejuvenate yourself. 13. Read motivating material Wheather it is through blogs, news articles or books. Consuming motivational and positive material is a great way to keep you grounded and connected to simplicity. 14. A little physical activity each day If you find your workout routine too daunting and stressful, simplify it a little bit by taking a walk around the block or doing a 5-minute stretch instead. Eit, er way make it a priority to get moving a little each and every day. 15. Meditate Buddhist’s have known this for thousands of years and now the scientific world is backing it up. Try incorporating just ten minutes of mindful breathing into your day and slowly establish a deeper connection to your truest self and your thoughts. 16. Do your least favorite tasks first At work, with chores, at the gym. Get the most daunting tasks out of the way first and then it will occupy no space in your mind while you are doing the activities you want to be doing. 17. Watch less TV Try spending that extra time on something more productive or a new healthy habit or a fun hobby. 18. Make a budget & pay off debt Debt complicates life in so many ways. Developing a plan and budget may seem like work but in reality, it will save you time, stress and funds in the future. Ridding yourself of debt is one of the most effective ways to simplify your life. 19. Downsize or reduce When you have less material things you have less you need to worry about replacing or spending money on. Downsizing is a wonderful way to simplify your life and reducing can help you cut stress and worry. 20. Say no more often This could mean saying no to a social engagement, to a project at work, to baking cookies for a potluck. Say no every once and a while you cant do everything. 21. Eliminate toxic people from your life If you have someone in your life who does not add to it in a positive way you need to eliminate them and their drama. Life is too short to deal with toxic people indefinitely. 22. Take a Timeout When in the middle of a stressful situation of any kind take a time out if possible. Whether it be an argument, an assignment or a decision. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed then switch to a completely different task and take a break. Return to the task with a clearer head and new perspective. 23. Make home your sanctuary Take practical coziness into account when decorating your home. Being in style is important, however, having a place you can return to and the end of a long hard day in order to properly unwind and relax is also important. This may simply mean a fuzzy blanket and warmer lighting. Or it could mean a paint job or new photos on the wall. Whatever you decide, just be sure to make the changes you need to make your home sweet home calm and relaxing. Check out my Hygge checklist to help get you inspired! 24. Gather consistently with smaller groups Having a small close group of friends and family that you are close with is such an important part of our wellbeing and happiness. Simplify things a bit by gathering for lunch, playing games or watching a movie with your close and intimate friends more often, rather than making all social engagements large get-togethers, parties, and events. 25. Pick up a hobby Crafting, baking, blogging or reading. Research shows that engaging in our hobbies makes us happier and can possibly help us live a little longer. Find what inspires you and invest a little time into it. Its your life after all. 26. Always value your time and others Valuing your time means spending it with the most important people, and doing the things that you love. Simply put if you don’t value your own time how will anyone else? 27. Reduce how much news your consume Check in on the happenings of the world no more than once daily. This could mean changing your Facebook feed, reducing tv time or steering topics of conversation with your friends and family away from current politics from time to time. 28. Reduce hypotheticals Dealing with facts in stressful moments will help reduce anxiety, anger and even resentments towards people. If you want answers to something try to gather the facts don’t assume on hypotheticals. 29. Drive slower or leave earlier If you are the type of person who is always late then you may be familiar with the stress-induced time spent in your car trying to get to meetings, work or events. Leaving 5 minutes earlier will help you to drive more slowly and take your time. That way if there are delays you have a little wiggle room. 30. Don’t invest in your expectations Stress and disappointment is a direct result of having expectations that did not work out. Whether it be the raise you were hoping for, assuming your partner took out the trash or expecting to lose 10 pounds in one week. goals and expectations are different beasts. Hope for a result, communicate your want for the result and work towards the result but don’t expect it to always work out that way.
One of my most favorite things about owning a hard copy of a book is the unchanged craftsmanship that goes into the creation of this timeless form of entertainment. Whether it be the artwork, the colors, the graphics or the words. A beautiful book is something to be cherished and revisited time and time again. Beautiful books make their way to our bookshelves, coffee tables, kitchens, and hearts. I wanted to share my own personal favorite beautiful books with you all. These are the books that will forever hold a special place in my heart and remain a staple part of my home for years to come. I hope you find a little inspiration and wonder from my own favorites and that these books motivate you to take a deeper look at your own beautiful books. Harry Potter: Illustrated Edition I can not be the only person who would put Harry Potter as their favorite story of all time. I have read the original books at least three times and if there was some kind of apocalyptic world meltdown where I could save one part of humanity forever it would be HP. In which case, future generations post-apocalypse would probably grow up thinking Harry was a god or something, but I’m cool with that. So when these magically illustrated versions of the books began to come out, of course, I had to add them to my collection. I love the images in these books, the illustrator Jim Kay has done an amazing job of capturing the mood of each chapter and the character that we all love so much. I confess that I have imagined myself nestled up with my hypothetical unborn children reading them the Harry Potter books and now with these beautifully illustrated versions I feel I have a better excuse to keep on buying them. Do it for the children people! Oh She Glows Every Day This is the first and only cookbook I have ever purchased and I am so happy I did. This is a beautiful book for your kitchen table. The recipes found in this book are all vegan and beautiful once made, although some of them do take some time. The photos in this cookbook really bring the recipes to life and inspire me to eat better and to cook outside of my comfort zone. And if nothing else, it looks so pretty! Shakespeare and Company I bought this book while at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France which may be why I love it so much. It is a thin book all about the most amazing bookstore I have ever seen. I purchased the book to remember the magic I felt while browsing the winding nooks and crannies of this old Parisian bookstore. Each corner of the store has a story to tell. An old desk where Ernest Hemingway slaved away writing his next masterpiece. An old musty couch with paper laid haphazardly about where Scott Fitzgerald would sleep until his artistic ambitions drove him mad. This book brings me back to that wonderful place and keeps it alive in me. Just picking it up makes me feel like I am back there and inspires me to travel, read and to write. Love Poems Poetry has never been my thing, however, while browsing in the above-mentioned bookstore this bright and romantic book popped out at me. I mean where better to buy a book of poems than in the most romantic city in the world? This is a sweet little book filled with modern poetry that is easy to follow and is relatable. I love reading a poem or two while drinking a glass of wine in the bath. Oh, the romance. The Alchemist This is one of my favorite books of all time. It is such an inspirational story filled with hidden life wisdom and wonder. It doesn’t hurt that the book itself is very pretty. The cover is colorful and inviting and the pages are this unique texture making you feel like you are reading a book that has traveled a long mysterious distance to get to you. There are also little images inside the book that add a little extra charm. This is a beautiful book that I will certainly revisit time and time again. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well This is my most recent beautiful book and my main inspiration for writing this post. This is an easy and fun read. You can literally pick up this book, skim any page and feel cozy and inspired. I will be keeping this book on my coffee table all winter long. Whenever I feel the dark cold winter days are dragging on I will pick it up and embrace Hygge all over again. If you would like to embrace Hygge check out my post on mastering the art of Hygge. There you have it! Some of my favorite most beautiful books. What are some of your favorite beautiful books? Check out my book recommendations here.