habits & routines

Tracking our spending assiduously, including my own personal allowance spending, continues to be so satisfying. I'm finding it easy in some ways to stick (pretty much) to my budget of $100 of personal allowance spending per month, but hard in other ways. There are SO! MANY! things I want to buy during the month. By sharing my purchases at the end of the month I might make it look easy to stick to a personal allowance budget but please know that it is not without plenty of restraint! I've noticed that I'm especially bombarded with "wants" scrolling through Instagram or... Read more →


The year is trucking along and it feels like a good time to check in on my 2017 goals and recommit to them. At the beginning of the year I was reminding myself of CHOOSE on a daily basis and reflecting on gratitude often. February ended up feeling so full and I fell out of the practice. March is a perfect time to recommit to choosing family and writing, gratitude, and action. Big things happening in March: + St. Patrick's Day. Not usually a big deal for us but we love to make any holiday a little special for the... Read more →


Last year I read Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and I still think of it often. Erica and I even discussed it in a Girl Next Door Book Club! In the book, Rubin outlines four habit tendencies - Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, Obliger - which describe how a person responds to internal and external expectations. (You can take the quiz here to find out your tendency.) I'm an upholder and respond equally to internal and external expectations. In other words, I love goals and enjoy meeting them. Surprise!! I had so many lightbulb moments while reading about my own personality... Read more →


What you see above is my new and improved grocery list. It makes me ridiculously happy. So does talking about grocery list habits (totally serious). So let's talk about it. Let me answer a few questions. Yes, the columns are arranged by aisle content at my Trader Joe's. And yes, our most frequently purchased items are listed according to where they are in the store. And yes! there is a spot for listing meals and items to purchase elsewhere (Target/other grocery store) at the bottom. I KNOW. Designing a grocery list template like this is something I had on my... Read more →


In October, even when it was still hot, my thoughts were pulled towards the new year and what goals I would set. My day to day was feeling too busy and I was craving reflection and focus. In six years of developing a practice of goal setting I've found that a few quiet moments, a blank piece of paper and a pen (or even a fresh note on my phone) can be incredibly calming and powerful. By my own design and doing my life is full. In 2016 I filled my plate more than I ever have. I got a... Read more →


Every year is significant but this past year felt especially so for personal growth. Heading into 2016 I hoped that over the year I would begin to emerge from the intensely demanding period of having two boys under three, waking many times during the night and breastfeeding. I was looking forward to reclaiming my body and energy, and focusing some of that new-found energy on myself. So I declared 2016 The Year of Kelsey. I made goals of building a capsule wardrobe, a capsule skin care and makeup routine, going on creative field trips and traveling by myself. I worked... Read more →


Last Saturday, in those long hours between nap and dinner, the boys were getting restless and so was I. Chris was happy to be at home with Cedric and so Dashiell and I made plans for an outing. First, we headed to the library where we walked hand in hand through the doors and Dashiell returned our books through the slot, one by one. We stopped by the giant doll house behind glass and searched for the hidden pumpkins, as is the theme this season, before combing the shelves in the children's section. After filling our canvas bag and checking... Read more →


In June we hired a sleep coach to help us establish better sleep for Dashiell and Cedric. It made a big difference for us and I'd love to share a bit more about the experience. It feels like great sleep has never come easily for us with Dashiell, as I've alluded to many times here and on my podcasts. Early this summer we were in a very frustrating - and exhausting - pattern that involved drawn out bedtimes (our 7 pm bedtime was delayed until 8 pm), multiple night wakings and very early mornings (4 am hour). At the same... Read more →


During the 2016 Year of Kelsey I am vowing to get serious about taking care of my skin and finding a makeup routine that works for me. If I start a great skin care routine now I'll look amazing when I'm older! And having a reliable routine of great makeup products is definitely something I want in my life. My skin care routine is inconsistent but since January I have been wearing sunscreen nearly everyday, a habit I have been wanting to adopt. In the makeup department my goal is to have a simple makeup routine that leaves me feeling... Read more →


We all know that the secret to keeping your skin health and looking young is to protect it from the sun (not to mention to prevent skin cancer). Despite knowing this my habit of using a daily sunscreen was, until recently, a B- at best, maybe a C. Starting in high school I would occasionally get into a habit of using a daily moisturizer with SPF although it never seemed to stick, I think because I never found a product that I loved. But I live in Arizona where we have 300+sunny days per year. Even if I'm just driving... Read more →