Friday, February 26, 2016

Take a Break


I interrupt your Friday afternoon to share this. Take a break. 

Are you overworked? Overscheduled? Are in you mom dealing with your millionth epic toddler meltdown (right here!)? 

Then take a break. 

We wish for vacations, relaxation, and to getaway. That isn't always possible. But you can take 5 minutes to yourself. Don't argue with me on this one, you can give yourself 5 utterly indulgent minutes. 

I sat my wild toddler down with a bowl of hummus and cucumbers and Daniel Tiger on tv to have 5 minutes to gorge myself on crackers with goat cheese. It felt completely out of the norm (compared to shoving rogue cheddar bunnies into my mouth) and luxurious. I sat in the kitchen by myself and slowly savored every bit. 

Did I feel like a new woman at the end of those 5 minutes? Well... no. But I felt a little more zen and ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon. Self-care doesn't have to be extravagant. It just means taking the tiniest amount of time for yourself. 

So take a break! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Counterculture


I am breaking a couple of my self-imposed rules of blogging today.

Rule One: Never ever post about politics or current events. Save that for your personal facebook page. 

Rule Two: Limit the religious talk. Brief mentions of God or Jesus or maybe even a religious book review is fine. Surface level stuff only and keep it infrequent. 

I imposed these rules in order to avoid the inevitable arguments that would/could come. However, I feel compelled to not only write this post but to share it. I have given fair warning what this post will contain so if you want to skip over it, feel free. Ok so now that my disclaimer is out of the way...

Saturday night I sat on my computer continuously refreshing the South Carolina State Election Commission website watching the Republican primary results roll in. I naively thought that maybe just maybe Donald Trump would not win this one. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. Sadly, I watched the votes roll in and Trump's percentage increase. By the time I went to bed Donald Trump had been declared the winner and I felt defeated.

Sunday morning rolled around and when I had a minute to myself I sat to double-check that the night before had not just been a bad dream. I crossed my fingers and hoped that maybe Donald Trump didn't actually win... he did. The feeling of defeat washed over me again. Why even bother trying to change people? Why bother hoping and praying for peace? Americans are repeatedly showing that they prefer hate, division, and fear-mongering. To say I had a poor and pessimistic attitude would be an understatement.

I went to church Sunday on my own. Landry wasn't feeling 100% and Daniel told me to go ahead and he would stay home with her despite my protests. I tell you this because I truly believe God knew I needed to here the words that would be spoken from the guest pastor that day. He knew I needed a major attitude adjustment and it wasn't going to happen by my own accord.

The gospel for this particular Sunday was Luke 13:31-35.

Some Pharisees came and said to Jesus, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." He said to them, "Go and tell that fox for me, 'Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.' Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'"  

Upon hearing the passage read during service I wasn't really blown away. Obviously people wanted Jesus dead. And the whole part about Jerusalem? Oh ok. Honestly, I hoped she would focus on another one of the readings from the service. They seemed to be a little bit juicier, not so factual and just a recount of an interaction. But as always God's word has more to it that we might realize.

Naturally, our guest pastor's sermon focused on Luke 13:31-35 but I was really intrigued by her different take on the passage. She focused on Jerusalem and it being a city at a crossroad. Jesus condemns Jerusalem as a city that kills prophets but in the next breath shows his hope and compassion for the city. The pastor used that passage to draw parallels with America (and ultimately the world) and it's current state.

"Politics is simply the symptom of a larger problem in our country" she exclaimed. She spoke of peace, love, and understanding. More so, she reminded us that those virtues and qualities are the ones that Jesus demonstrated and have always been counter-cultural. Respecting one another's truths, valuing each person as a child of God, that is not the cultural norm. Our world is at a crossroads, one in which we can continue down this path of hate and civil discord or we can finally embrace the message of Jesus.

In the moment I was moved to tears.  My heart broke for those who are continuously discriminated against. My heart broke for those listening to the hate-filled words coming from Christians. 

And then I felt convicted. No I'm not Donald Trump up on a stage calling for a nationwide ban on Muslims. No I'm not a cop who has targeted minorities. I am not a church stating homosexuals are unwelcome. But I am a person who has not loved their neighbor as themselves. I have remained quiet in the face of injustices. I have driven by a man who is homeless on the side of the street and diverted my eyes. 

Jesus calls us to live differently. Not just a little, not just what is comfortable for us, but radically different... counter cultural. We can no longer sit idlely by and watch individuals and communities not be seen and heard. We must fight for love, peace and justice. So the next time your backwards grandpa makes a racist remake, your co-worker makes a sexist joke, or you just simply see someone in need, do something. The Donald Trumps of the world, the politicians of this world, will not change until the majority of our society changes. And our society will not change unless as as individuals start doing the work. 

Go forth today and "Depart from evil, do good; seek peace, and pursue it." Psalm 34:14

Monday, February 22, 2016

Currently v. 1


making: Homemade bread. I've always wanted to try my hand at it. I used this recipe but next time I hope to go a healthier route with this whole wheat recipe.
cooking: Homemade chicken and noodle soup because Landry is sick and refusing to eat most things. drinking: Coffee... always! I just finished off this coffee that I got in my mistobox and I'm now working on my favorite from Dynamite Roasting Co.
wanting: All the boho dresses. I just bought this one and I hope it is as amazing as I'm hoping. looking: around every corner for Spring. I can tell it is almost here. Birds are chirping and days are getting longer.
learning: To show Daniel how much he means to me in little ways.
creating: Lots of personal essay style blog posts. I guess I have just been having all the feels as of late.
wishing: Landry would feel better. She is so pitiful and I miss my active, silly girl.
enjoying: My time away from social media to really focus on not only my little family, but also creating things!
liking: Breathe Right Nose Strips! Those things are saving our marriage.
loving: Making new friends that you immediately hit it off with and your children hitting it off too!
needing: A sunshine filled day. I need just a day that Landry and I can spend outside.
smelling: Peppermint essential oil and lavender. It is pretty much my cure all combination for any aches or pains.
listening: To Dixie Chicks Pandora station. It is fantastic!
noticing: How Landry is looking so grown up lately. Sometimes I look at her and all I see is a kid... not my round squishy little baby.
thinking: About Daniel and I's DC vacation in April. It can not get here fast enough!
reading: In Defense of Food. A little too much science for my liking but definitely helping change my perspective on food.
giggling: At Landry playing dress up. It is her new favorite game and mommy's clothes, shoes, and accessories are her favorite pieces!


Oh and for family (and some friends) who have asked... pictures of Landry! Haha






Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Stories


I remember sitting in wonderment whenever Joan would recount tales of her childhood. The stories might not have even been that grand (well except the one about the tub of lard, it was exceptional!), but Joan's storytelling abilities could have made a trip to the grocery store seem fantastical. She knew exactly when to give a long pause, when to softy whisper, and the arm movements... oh the arm movements! It was like watching a one woman play! She had a flair for the dramatic which always was a plus when it came to her stories. Over the years parts would be exaggerated to keep her adoring audience enthralled. Even as a grown woman I enjoyed listening to her stories for not only entertainment's sake but to see how they had evolved.

So I guess when your wife is such a talented orator you decide to sit on the sidelines and let her do her thing. My Papa was always great with that, letting Joan have her rightful spot in the limelight. Joan was one of those women who should have been famous. She would have loved it! And her penmanship was fantastic, so signing autographs would have come naturally to her.

I digress... so Papa took the back seat. Now when I think back there was very few stories of my Papa's childhood shenanigans. Any stories I heard about Papa were always ones that Joan told. Since Joan's passing Papa has started sharing more and more. He is still a man who prefers to live his life in a way that does not demand notice, praise, or extra attention. However (like all of us) he still has a story uniquely his to tell. Maybe it is losing two grandparents in 2 years, maybe it is having a child of my own, but now in days I pause and take the time to hear his quieter, but just as interesting of tales.

When Papa comes for his monthly visit I relish the time when Landry is down for her nap. Yes, yes, of course I want Landry to have quality time with her Papa. But I look forward and cherish the hours we get just the two of us. I fix us up a pot of coffee and we sit around my dining room table and just talk. Usually our conversations begin over politics. Papa and I are always solving the world's problems. I bring my slightly liberal perspective and Papa brings his compassionate conservatism. We discuss how no side has it right, and no one is looking after the middle class anymore. "Did you hear what Donald Trump said now?" We both sign exasperated with the game of politics but equally captivated by it.

The conversation always takes a turn towards religion next. We discuss predestination, free will, and dissect different verses in the Bible. Papa... my self-taught theologian. The man knows the Bible better than almost anyone I know. Try going against him in Bible trivia, you will lose! And from religion comes recounting stories and sharing memories...

This week I was treated to the tales of his days in the army. Like I said before, stories of ole' were always Joan's speciality so these stories were brand new to me. Papa tells me that he usually paid someone to iron his uniform, but when he was desperate he would simply lay his clothes under his mattress and sleep on it. I chuckle because that behavior is so Papa, ever the resourceful man. Work smarter, not harder! He tells me how he got out of several days of training to drive. I think about how I am grateful the military didn't break him, how it didn't turn him into a tough man. How thankful I am that he made it home before Vietnam because I am certain he couldn't have handled the atrocities taking place. His gentle and compassionate spirit would not have lasted.

Papa said he was a terrible marched. His sergeant would come up behind him and yell "you're not pushing a plow or following a mule!" I giggle and tell Papa he was probably just like Gomer Pyle in the military. He agrees. A country boy from a small town slightly out of his element but good natured!

I'm always a little sad when our time comes to a close. I am more than aware of how fleeting time is, how the untold stories, unshared memories will be lost forever someday in the not so distant future. I have so much I wish I still knew about Joan and my Nana. So I try to take every opportunity to listen a little more when Papa has something to say, and soak up every bit of life's wisdom he has learned along the way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Life Lately

As I said yesterday, I gave up social media for Lent. Full disclosure: I am still posting to my blog's Facebook page. But in order to avoid temptation I am using an outside app that posts to Facebook for me to avoid the temptation to start looking through other things. 


If I had been on social media this past week it probably would have looked a little something like this:

Twitter:
Numerous tweets about the New Hampshire Primary results.
"5am wake ups are for the birds #momlife #sleepchild"
"My diet has primarily consisted of coffee this week #coffeecoffeecoffee"
"Jeans shopping is hell on earth. #mombod #Ihatepants'
And lots of tweets about The X-files because the revival is everything I have ever wanted in life and I just want to be Dana Scully.

Facebook:
Happy Birthday to whoever's birthday is today.
Liking tons of people's statutes and pictures.
I would have definitely shared this post and said that it completely and totally explains the last several months of our marriage, even though we only have one child.
I would have complained about ice and how I am going stir-crazy in my house! Especially with Daniel gone right now!
All the pictures of Landry. Including these pictures from a fun excursion with friends to a children's museum:




Y'all should have seen these two angels at the coffeehouse across the street! They were so well behaved! We had other customers comment! 

Oh and I would have shared some of these pictures of Landry because I am just obsessed with my kid, ok?



Instagram:


A picture of coffee to drive home the point that I neglected to really drink anything last week but coffee.


A perfectly staged picture of Landry and I enjoy snacks together in bed. You know, right before the dogs decided to try to gobble everything up and Landry started screaming for another episode of "DAAAAAA" aka Daniel Tiger. But it looks nice and peaceful, right? 



Pictures of our fantastic hotel! Daniel surprised me with having his mom watch Landry while we spent a night in Charlotte just the two of us. Embassy Suites were very impressive along with free drinks! Highly recommend! 


Coffee and daily Lenten meditations are the starting point of my days around here. 

Snapchat:


Endless selfies because snapchat is the perfect excuse to send your friends pictures of yourself. Also most pictures from the last few days would look like the one above along with the temperature included because it is too darn cold!

In all seriousness, being social media free has not been so bad! I deleted the apps from my phone and installed an extension on safari so I could block all my social media sites so I wouldn't mindlessly go to them (it is crazy how it is so ingrained in my brain to automatically check facebook and twitter as soon as I pull up my laptop.) And my close friends I keep in touch with through text.

But I want to know... what has your life been like lately? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lent


Lent. I was raised Baptist and the liturgical calendar was not something followed. Heck I wouldn't have even known the phrase "liturgical calendar". Once I started college and was suddenly surrounded by Lutherans I decided to give up something for Lent. Not because I was Lutheran or even fully understood what lent was but instead because it seemed like a good excuse to give up some bad habits.

The first year I gave up meat in an effort to lose weight. Second year facebook (pre-iPhone days). Third year cussing (big failure). After failing miserably at not cussing and realizing I had not attended church in a couple of years I decided to no longer participate in giving up something for Lent. But here I sit now. I've been attending an Episcopalian Church for 5 months and I now understand Lent a little more and realize it is not just about breaking bad habits. It is a time in the church year between Ash Wednesday and Easter that is focused on repentance, self-denial, and drawing closer to God.

This year I decided to give up social media for Lent. The time I spend on social media slowly and slowly has increased and I have not been mindful of my time. My mind has become so cluttered with all the noise on social media and trying to update my instagram, facebook, twitter, and snapchat. So during these 6 weeks I am taking the time I was have been using for social media and focus on completing a daily devotion.

I also have decided to focus on consuming less during this time (including the consumption of social media) and creating more. Taking time to simply write, color, paint, crochet, sew, or bake. Additionally I really want to spend more time reading actual books and not just people's status updates or the thousandth article about something offensive Donald Trump said.

When Landry's looks back I want her to remember seeing me reading a book, trying a new recipe, or painting during my free-time. Not me sitting and scrolling through my newsfeed on my phone. I want what I spend my time on to be a reflection of not only my priorities but also God.

Do your participate in Lent? If so what are you giving up and taking up during this time? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Messy


As a mom I frequently find myself trying to present this organized, picturesque version of our life. Let me hide the crazy, hide the mess in both the literal and figurative sense.

We had new friends come over for the Super Bowl. I cleaned and cleaned. I hid the "stuff", the mess behind things, under things. For goodness sakes I forced my husband to lint roll our entire couch in an effort to hide and contain the dog hair. Obviously if one dog hair was present this whole facade of a perfectly put together life would crumble. 

But here's the thing I am learning every day— there is beauty in the mess. The dog hair on every surface of our house shows the love we have for our pets, how they are accepted into every part of our life. The crayons marks on the wall do not show a neglectful mother (sometimes you have to go to the bathroom y'all!) but that creativity and freedom of expression is encouraged in this house. 

The tears I cry from lack of sleep and exhaustion are messy, but the fact that everyday I get up and push past it to be the best mom I can be (with the help of a ungodly amount of coffee) is beautiful. The arguments between Daniel and I are messy but the hugs that follow and the forgiveness is beautiful. 

Messy, difficult, crazy. They all have negative connotations. But without the  mess would we see the beauty as much? At least we wouldn't appreciate the beauty to the same degree. 

I won't be giving up on cleaning my house in a greater search and appreciation of beauty. But I will try to remember that life is messy and that's ok. It's more than ok, it's beautiful. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Daily Wears




I haven't done an outfit post in forever! And honestly, I might be done with outfit posts in the traditional sense. I honestly just don't want to make it a priority to pull out my good camera and take several pictures of what I was wearing (or force Daniel to do it). I didn't really enjoy doing it.

I also scrutinized my body, my face, and my outfits extra when I did outfit photos. It also got to a point that I was putting together outfits that I would wear to simply take a picture.

Because I've had people reach out and say they enjoy seeing how I make my capsule wardrobe work in action and how I get dressed as I mom (and a bigger girl) I want to continue sharing my outfits, but in a different way. Instagram has been my jam! It's perfect for quickly and easily sharing what you are wearing. But I understand not everyone is on instagram so I thought every few weeks or so I would share round up of my instagram outfits.

Usually when we are headed out the door for the day I quickly hit the self-timer, balance my iPhone on my our trashcan, and snap away. My hair hasn't gotten crazy yet, if I'm wearing makeup I haven't seated it off yet and I always have a bag (or 5) in tow. It's real life y'all! It's what I wear as a stay-at-home mom running around with my 18 month old.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Winter Capsule Wardrobe

I have put off sharing my Winter Capsule Wardrobe because I have shied away from outfit posts the last several months. As the days have gotten shorter there really hasn't been the best time for me to get pictures of what I worn. Also I kept finding it increasingly difficult to write a full blog post about what I wore. If you follow me on instagram I have taken to sharing some of my daily outfits over there. I can easily tag the companies who make my clothes and I don't feel the need to write some long something another about what I am wearing.

Also in complete transperency, towards the end of my outfit posts I was showing outfits that I very rarely actually wore. The outfits really were not working for my stay-at-home mom lifestyle. With instagram I can just snap a picture with my iPhone on the way out the door.

With that being said I have found capsule wardrobes to be super beneficial to me and I really want to be able to show exactly what my wardrobe looks like as a stay-at-home mom. I have had numerous moms tell me they appreciate seeing how I make a capsule wardrobe work for me so I want to continue sharing. Maybe every few weeks or so I will do a round-up post of my outfit pictures from instagram or something.

I have really tried to focus on shopping with a purpose. However, my winter clothes budget was practically non-existent so a couple of items bought do not fit my standards. Also I really liked how Indiana included where the items were purchased/manufacturing conditions in order to be transparent with her thoughtful closet so I am going to be doing the same from here on out.

Anyway... on to the winter capsule wardrobe

Sleeveless Blouse | Eloquii via Poshmark (secondhand, fall of 2015, use code PQZZN on the app for free $10 to use *limited time)
Turtleneck | Old Navy (fall of 2013)
Chambray Shirt | Old Navy (this winter)
Plaid Shirt | Old Navy (fall of 2014) 
Color Block Shirt | Old Navy (fall of 2015) 
White Shirt | Corner Clothing via Zulily (made in the USA, summer of 2015)

Fonta Flora Tee | Fonta Flora Brewery (local, fall of 2015)
Hello Tee | Hello Apparel (made in the USA, Christmas 2014)
NC Tee | c/o Mountains and Valleys (made in the USA, fall 2015)
Mama Bear Sweatshirt | gift (small business, Christmas 2015)
Hello Sweatshirt | Hello Apparel (made in the USA, spring 2015) 

Cream Sweater | Old Navy via ThredUp (secondhand, fall 2015, free $20 to spend on 1st purchase)
Marled Sweater | Old Navy via Poshmark (secondhand, fall 2015)
Pull-Over Sweater | Old Navy (fall 2015)
Tan Boyfriend Cardigan | Target (fall 2013)
Fox Sweater | Old Navy (fall 2012)

Plaid Dress | Old Navy (fall 2014)
Midi Dress | Old Navy (this winter)
Black Dress | Corner Clothing via Zulily (made in the USA, summer 2015)
Black Skirt | Old Navy (summer 2014, similar on clearance for $4.97 right now!)
Plaid Skirt | Old Navy (summer 2015)
Maxi Skirt | Old Navy (winter 2011)

Herringbone Vest | Old Navy (winter 2014)
Denim Jacket | Old Navy via ThredUp (second hand, fall 2015)
Parka | Old Navy (winter 2013)
Utility Vest | Old Navy via Poshmark (second hand, summer 2015)
Black Harem Pants | Mondetta (socially responsible, fall 2015)
Jeans | Old Navy (fall 2014) 

Ankle Boots | Old Navy (fall 2015)
TOMS Classics | TOMS (give back model, Christmas 2014) 
D'orsay Flats | Franco Sarto (fall 2014)
Black Tennis Shoes | Converses via Shoe Dept (2010)
Bronze Tennis Shoes | New Balance via ThredUp (second hand, winter 2016)
High-Top Tennis Shoes | TOMS (give back model, Christmas 2015) 

So if you're keeping count that is 34 items total. I was actually surprised that this capsule ended up so small but I guess I really kept it to the bare minimum. In the winter I am really all about comfort so I really didn't feel the need to add a lot of extra things. Looking at my wardrobe (and after using it for a month already) I do wish I had a couple of nicer/cuter tops. There are definitely days I am just not wanting to rock a knit tee/button up/sweatshirt and I don't really have as many options.

Also I promise Old Navy doesn't sponsor my life I just in the past have gravitated towards them and over the years my favorite pieces really have lasted. I would like to get away from buying NEW things for Old Navy because they are more fast fashion. However, I love buying secondhand brands that I know fit me so I keep an eye out for Old Navy.

So there you have it! My capsule wardrobe for the winter!

Have you ever tried a Capsule Wardrobe? What are the pieces of clothing you could not live without? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February Goals


You know you didn't really focus on your monthly goals when it comes time to write your blog post about them and you really can't remember what they were (except for drink water). January went by surprisingly fast, especially given it is my LEAST favorite month of the year. It is the dead of winter, your coming down from your holiday high, and everything just seems to suck. But this year January wasn't too bad, but I am more than happy we are now in February cause February is one step closer to March which is practically spring.

January Goals:

1. Drink Water✓ Overall I did really well with this! Most days I got well over my 48 ozs goal in. My only downfall is weekends. Some reason on the weekends I just don't drink enough water, I think it's because my daily routine is disrupted with Daniel being home. I can tell a difference in how I feel when I don't drink enough water, headaches galore!

2. No TV during the day✖ Hahahaha... no. Not even close. I tried for like 1 day to read a book as my leisure activity and it was great. Then Pretty Little Liars came back on tv along with Dance Moms AND Netflix finally put the past season of The New Girl and the final season of Hart of Dixie. Feel free by the way to judge my tv show choices because I am somewhat judging myself after typing them out. No excuses, I love watching TV shows while Landry naps. I can prop my iPad up and watching whatever while putting away dishes, doing laundry, etc. This is a habit that I am just going to embrace, but in moderation.

3. Attend Mommy and Me Gymnastics✖ Big no. January somehow just got away from me. Plus there was snow and we managed to stay pretty busy. Maybe we will try this month, maybe we won't. I've heard mixed reviews about our local place so I am hesitant anyway.

4. Survive 4 days without Daniel✓ Yes we did! It went so much smoother than I thought. Poor Daniel was exhausted when he got home but managed pretty good. Landry didn't have any meltdowns and I had family come up so the time just flew by! Also I didn't really get scared being in the house by myself.

Onto February Goals:

1. Start a Morning Routine. One of my minimalist challenges was to start a morning routine. Well I didn't do it the day it challenged me to and I haven't tried since. I want a morning routine. I am such a happier person the mornings I get up before Landry. It is hard because Landry isn't always consistent with what time she wakes up (meaning lately we've been going through another 5am spell). But I determined to have a morning routine!

2. Take Landry to Kidsenses Children's Museum. Kidsenses is this great little children's museum about 40 minutes from our house. We get in free because we are members of our science center. Daniel and I took Landry one time this past summer right after she started walking. It was fun but I know she would love it even better now! Every time I think about going I make up some excuse or reason for us not to. Gas is so cheap right now and we get in free so I need to take her!

3. Go Swimming. I am trying to be more physically active and find ways to do so that I enjoy. I am not a gym person. I do not want to do the elliptical for 30 minutes. And honestly gym memberships aren't cheap. When I was younger I loved swimming so I want to go at least one time to our local aquatics center and swim laps to see how I enjoy it.

4. Schedule My Massage. This was a goal of mine back in November. Y'all Daniel got me this gift certificate way back early last spring. It expires in another couple of months. I NEED to schedule it. Or maybe my awesome husband would just go ahead, call, and schedule it for me (ARE YOU LISTENING DANIEL??).

5. Go on a Date with Daniel. I am bound and determined to have monthly date nights with Daniel, damn it! We constantly say to each other "let's really try to have date night once a month" and then it never happens because we both suck. Neither one of us takes the initiative and then I get all pouty and resentful and in my head refuse to do the planning because Daniel should "be the man" (I know what the crap is my problem) and plan a date night for us. So this month I will freaking plan it and have the date night I've been wanting!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Minimalist Challenge- Week 2 Recap


I'm a little behind on sharing how week two of the minimalist challenge went but better late than never, right?

Day 8: Learn to Enjoy Solitude
Done, been done since I was a child. Growing up an only child really helps in teaching you to enjoy your alone time. Even in my more extroverted past I cherished my alone time. This week was the perfect time to practice this skill too. Daniel was gone out of town for work for 4 days and 3 nights. I rarely get evenings in our house alone so it was really nice to have a few hours after putting Landry to bed that was just for me.

Day 9: Downsize Your Beauty Collection
Already done. Right after Christmas I had a freak out over all the stuff in our house and ended up doing a gigantic purge, like going through every room in the house and mercilessly giving away all the things or trashing stuff. I did go through some of my Birchbox samples that I knew I wouldn't ever use and send some to friends who I knew would use them or trash them.

I'm thinking in the next few weeks I might share my updated skin care routine (did y'all know my first skin care post was my most popular post ever?) and maybe share in another post my 2 minute makeup routine (I am all about fast and easy!). Let me know in the comments if you would be interested!

Day 10: No Email or Social Media Until Lunch
This day actually got switched with Day 12. I kept forgetting and checking my email first thing in the morning. Goes to show how ingrained it is for me to automatically check my email and social media first thing in the morning. I am determined to figure out a morning routine and make sure to leave those two things out!

Day 11: Evaluate Your Commitments
This really wasn't difficult for me. Since having Landry I have really tried to ensure that I don't over commit myself. I am really enjoying and embracing a slower season of my life. The only real commitments I have is volunteering on Thursdays and being an advisor to my sorority. I don't consider church a commitment. Landry isn't involved in activities yet besides the story time at the library but that is only 30 minutes of our week. I know this will be something I have to keep in mind as Landry gets older and becomes involved with more activities.

Day 12: Define Your Goals for the Year
This was challenging. I do monthly goals because I am all about short-term goals that I can check off sooner rather than later. I actually avoid overarching year long goals because it stresses me out and I feel like they are never big enough or they are too big to achieve.

I decided to keep my goals on the simpler side (meaning not that many of them).

  1. Monthly Dates with Daniel.
  2. Physical Activity 3 times a week. 
  3. Become involved with our church (meaning not just attending Sunday morning service). 
And that's my goals for the year. I have my monthly goals I share here on the blog (tomorrow I share my February goals!) but I really am not a big overarching goals person so these three really show what I want to focus on this year, my marriage, my physical health, and my community. 


Day 13: Clean Out Your Closet
I finally photographed my winter capsule wardrobe (I know I know over a month into the season). I will be sharing it later this week!

I also went through a few of my other season's capsules and got rid of a couple of things I knew I wouldn't wear again, or didn't fit right.

Day 14: Take a Step Towards Learning a New Skill
I wouldn't say I really completed this one. I thought about pulling out my guitar and trying to watch some youtube videos to finally learn how to play, but it never happened. I didn't want to just try something to check it off this list, so I am still searching for what skill/hobby/activity I would like to learn.


Anybody else participating in the challenge? Any insights on good hobbies that are not expensive?