Simplifying

Places I don't like clutter: kitchen counters, bathroom counters, on my desk, on the dining room table...okay fine, I really don't like clutter anywhere. Including my email inbox! Even though I don't have a full time job and I diligently unsubscribe to unwanted ads and newsletters my inbox can feel out of control pretty quickly. But not any more! I've been using a Gmail organization system for over a year that has tidied up my inbox and keeps it tidy. Are your ears perking up? The way email inboxes are set up, with one long list of emails and maybe... Read more →


Something I've learned from meticulous budgeting with Chris is to question everything in the budget. That way you ensure that you're spending your money on the things you actually want to spend money on. It's alarmingly easy for wants to creep into a budget and then establish themselves as needs. So we go through each line item: Do we need electricity? Yes. How about those expensive gym memberships? Yes, we really use and love them. But sometimes asking these questions revealed things we were willing to let go of. Especially if living without something might actually make us happier while... Read more →


I love to travel light on the go. For several years, toting a baby and young kids made this challenging. Now that a diaper bag is far in my past I'm back to my minimal ways. I'm in love with my current purse and essentials situation and would love to share what's working for me. When I've carried bigger purses before I would inevitably find a drift of random things in the bottom – a random toy, enough pens for an entire office, and trash like receipts, grocery lists, etc. Using a smaller purse means I literally cannot accumulate things... Read more →


This might seem strange, but I'm already thinking of Christmas...next year. But then you remember it's ME, and planning for the distant future is my jam. And actually this idea came from Erica, my seasonal decor mentor. On a holiday podcast episode a couple years ago she mentioned making notes about what worked well and didn't during the holidays. Then she tucks that note into the holiday decor to find it next year. Isn't that such a genius future high five? Obviously I loved this. So I wanted to collect my thoughts and notes and what worked well, and didn't, this past Christmas. Read more →


On our way home from work most weekdays we gain a small pile of artwork and scribbles by way of preschool/daycare. Cedric comes home with a creation or two per week but Dashiell is downright industrious. Each day there are freehand drawings, photocopied coloring sheets full of color, a letter-of-the-week-themed creation, and sometimes something large and folded into thirds. One time it was a truffala tree! Especially as Dashiell starts to express his own creativity and imagination each piece of his work feels precious! But if we start collecting now we will surely need an entire storage unit to house... Read more →


I had strong thoughts about how we'd handle screen time with our kids even before I was pregnant. I'd love to share an update on how we're handling screen time with the boys. In short, they get very limited screen time and our approach is essentially as I imagined it would be. Among my in-person and online friend circles my sense is that our family is among those that have the most restrictive screen time rules with their kids. I wanted to share our approach to screen time not to make anyone feel guilty about the screen time their kids... Read more →


When I set my word of CHOOSE for 2017 I was interested to see how I would manifest it in my life. I said that above all else I want to CHOOSE family and writing this year, the two things that are most important to me. At the time I had a very full plate: working full time, parenting two little boys, co-running a household, co-hosting and producing two podcasts, co-owning Copper Quail Style, working part time as a freelance writer, exercising regularly, being active in a book club and trying to write for myself on this blog. On top... 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 →