Let Go of What You Think You Know

We’re all on a creative journey, whether that’s launching a blog, starting a business, writing a book, putting out a music album, being the best (insert job title), finding greater purpose in life, or becoming the person we’ve always wanted to be. It takes creativity (and sometimes patience…and always courage) to stay on the path.

Much easier said than done. I know. I’m along for the ride, too. And some days are bumpier than others. Keeping the metaphor going for a moment, how do we keep from popping a tire, driving into a ditch, or getting locked out of our car? In other words, getting stuck or stressed?

Let go of expectations, and stay detached from the outcomes.

I’m not suggesting we park it on the couch, rip open a bag of Cheetos, and watch our life happen in front of us like a TV drama (or sitcom). While that sounds a liiiittle tempting, we still need to do the work. We need to show up every day like a front-row student who’s ready to work and learn. Just don’t stress about your grades.

We must continue to be curious.

Experiment. Let go of what we think we know. When we start a new project or venture, if we feel the fear of failure, instead of thinking, “Oh no, I’m going to fail” or “Crap, I don’t know how this will turn out,” try thinking, “Let’s see. Let’s find out” or “Hey, this could work!”

Remove the fear of failure with a bigger desire to learn.

Learn to be okay with not knowing, getting messy, and maybe even being wrong. Dare to find out what’s on the other side of letting go!

***

Here’s a visualization exercise to get rid of any negative energy that’s still nagging at you:

  • Sit quietly and make a list of situations in your life where you feel stuck, frustrated or scared.
  • Pick one situation and really look at it. Why do you feel this way? Have you been overthinking it, trying to control the situation, doubting or being too hard on yourself?
  • What is the outcome you think should happen? Picture it.
  • Now let go of that outcome and your attachment to it…
    • Visualize an empty balloon.
    • Breath in, then exhale all of your outcomes into the balloon.
    • Let the anxieties, fears, and frustrations that go along with these outcomes flow out, as well.
    • Take another deep breath through your nose…sweeping up any last bits of negative energy.
    • Then exhale through your mouth, pushing it all out and into the balloon…watching it fill up and expand effortlessly.
    • Now, detach from the balloon. Let it go…watch it fly away.
    • As it’s released in the air, come back to yourself. Feel your toes and legs grounded beneath you. Imagine you’re rooted into the earth like a tree. Stand tall. Feel strong. Be renewed.
  • What can you see now that’s possible? Write it down and make a plan to do it!

Many blessings,

Kate

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Things I Tried This Week

Well, this was a week of some firsts. Not intentionally, either. I just happened to find myself with a few new things and experiences. Some I’d even recommend!

Here’s the rundown…

{ONE} Rockin’ Rose Gold Shoes

Ok, so my husband isn’t the biggest fan of these, and I couldn’t tell if my son was making fun of me when he said, “Hey, mom. I like your shiny bowling shoes!” But both of my daughters LOVE them. And so do I.

That’s all that really matters, right?

I was downright pumped when these metallic oxfords arrived in the mail, so I promptly wore them all day…and then to work the next day. And I have them on now. They’re super comfy.

Where did these beauties come from?

I ordered them from Jane.com, which showcases thousands of smaller boutiques in one handy spot. So while I ordered on Jane, the shoes actually came from SunnyMIA. (Here’s a fun collection of all of their oxfords.)

{TWO} Finding A New Use for Lens Wipes

Whatever possessed me to buy a box of 200 pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes from Sam’s Club two years ago, I will never know. (Yes, two years. And I probably have 150 wipes still left in the box.) Apparently we don’t clean our glasses very often.

As chance would have it, this week kicked off with Clean Off Your Desk Day. And one of the random items I cleaned off (moved, rather) was this giant ass box of wipes. And right there on the package it says “great for electronics.” What?!

Why didn’t I see or realize this sooner? Not that I’d wipe my phone or computer keyboard any more frequently than I do my glasses, but now I have more opportunities to use these handy wipes. Game changer, people.

So now, I’m like, “Hey, [insert any of my co-worker’s names here]. Need your keyboard cleaned? I have 149 wipes if you do.”

I love finding new uses for old things. <3

{THREE} Drinkin’ Up to Slim Down

According to Dr. Oz, drinking apple cider vinegar with pineapple juice is going to get me into a bikini again. Hahahahaha!

Seriously, though. I’m giving it a try. Because, well, why not. The Wizard of Dr. Oz says you’re supposed to drink 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 4 oz of pineapple juice (or orange juice) before every meal. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not the most awesome taste in your mouth. It’s vinegar. But I’m giving it a solid effort.

Oh, and something I’d recommend if you’re going to try this, too, is getting these mini shots of apple cider vinegar. You can stash them in your purse so it’s easier to have on-the-go. And they come with the “mother,” which might need to be a whole ‘nother discussion.

{FOUR} Not Crying During “This Is Us”

I tried. But it’s simply not possible for me to keep it together during this television show. It’s so REAL. I should have known it was going to be extra, since it was the season opener and all.

This week they finally got back to Kevin and his addiction issues, which ended up pulling the whole family right in – especially the mom, Rebecca.

I think the reason it was so hard to watch (without crying) was because it brought up so many of the worries I have as a mother, like, “Am I providing enough guidance, but giving them enough room to grow? Am I enabling bad behaviors? Am I playing favorites without meaning to?” All of these issues played out this week on the screen as Kevin confronted his family. Wow, it was tough love.

Did you see it? What were your thoughts?

All I know is I need to buy stock in Kleenex, because they’re probably selling thousands of boxes each Tuesday in preparation for the cry fest. Sigh.

{FIVE} A Hanacure Facial

{This is the full kit. It has beautiful packaging and works like a DIY science experiment.}

My sweet friend, Anna, tried one of these a few weeks ago and she loved the results!! She was brave enough to show me a “during” picture, too. I decided to give it a go, and it was strange and amazing all at the same time.

After you scientifically mix all of the ingredients, you “paint” the product on, then let it dry like a shrinky dink on your face. It was the weirdest, tingling and tightening sensation. It “pulled” my skin so much that I couldn’t even blink!

Once I washed it off, though, it was like magic. Instant smooth skin and smaller pores. You should totally try it – even if it’s just for the experience alone.

That’s a wrap for this fantastic Friday. I’ll see you next week with some inspiration, discoveries and lots of other ramblings. 😉

XoXo,

Kate

PS. Be sure to check out these linkups for fashion, fun, family stuff, and friendships!

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Up Your Creative Game in 2018

If you feel the good energy 2018 has in store, let “new” be the spark that lights your inner fire to be awesome.

Decide and know your creativity is super important for co-creating your life, and then find ways to stay inspired.

I’ll do my best to post pieces of inspiration for us every week. So be sure to keep coming back for Creative Tip Tuesdays!

For today, here are some thoughts about what causes creativity:

Take a minute to really think through this list in terms of your abilities. Maybe even score yourself in these areas. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being best), how do you stack up?

Don’t get bummed about the low scores. Find your strengths and run with them.If you’re insatiably curious, stay that way. If you’re an energizer bunny, keep pushing forward. Work with what naturally comes your way and use it to your creative advantage.

PS. This list came from a fantastic blog about creativity. I highly recommend it. Also, watch this movie. I’d love to know what you think about it.

Until next time, here’s a little personal pep talk…

Fist bumps and blessings,

-Kate

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Let’s Celebrate “Clean Off Your Desk Day”

If there’s a national holiday that’s right up my alley, this is certainly one of them: National Clean Off Your Desk Day. And today is the official day!

I sure love a good, clean desk that’s free of towering paper piles, old cups of coffee, and random things like shoe polish. (That last one is sure to happen if you have a home office like I do.)

I’m totally inspired by this swoon-worthy home office, btw. >>

Having a clean, organized work space not only makes you feel less stressed, but also makes you look more professional.

It’s important to respect the space in which you work. The way you treat it is an outward sign of how you feel about your job and the activities you do in that space. So take a moment to review it now…what is it saying about you?

(My space is saying I’m a little overwhelmed. Eek.)

In honor of this special day, I’m going to clean off some of the clutter. In fact, here are three things I plan to do right now:

{ONE} Remove what doesn’t belong. So long shoe polish, you’re headed to the closet. Also, all of those mugs I’ve been collecting are headed to the kitchen. I’m even moving my books to a shelf. This seems like a no-brainer, but I just realized how many books are on my desk – and how much room they take up.

{TWO} Clean all surfaces. I think this holiday lands smack dab in the middle of flu season for a reason. Desks rarely get cleaned – like with Lysol wipes. It’s good to sanitize your space every now and then. So I’m going to wipe down my desk, phones, lamp switch…anything I touch on a daily basis. Some sources say it’s okay to wipe down computer keyboards with regular ol’ wipes, but I like to use these for electronics.

{THREE} Add some life. Part of the “cleaning off” process should include oooone little add on. Y’all know how much I love fresh flowers. Well, I’m going to add a colorful vase of tulips to my desk to brighten things up a bit. I especially need this in the winter.

And there’s research that suggests adding plants (in addition to your flowers) makes you happier and more productive. Cheers to that!

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating this special holiday. What’s the most random thing you’ll be cleaning off your desk? Or what will you add?

Blessings,

Kate

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Things That Make You Say, “Yay!”

What a whirlwind of a week! During the course of taking down Christmas decorations, sending kids back to school, heading back to work, and dealing with a few messes along the way, I managed to find a few delightful discoveries…

{ONE} Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

This is the “after” photo.

Naughty, naughty Leo found a purple gel pen in the girls’ backpack and decided to chew on it until it exploded. He also thought it would be fun to shake his head with the pen in his mouth so the ink would fling all over the carpet.

Oh, and he carried the pen to our bedroom where we have brand new carpet…that’s white. Yeah, there’s that.

After the immediate wave of horror, Brandon helped me Google WTH to do in this situation. It turns out, dabbing rubbing alcohol on the stain will pull it up from the fibers. Then follow it up with warm water. I’d say we got 90% of the stains out.

One small spot (where the initial explosion took place) was so full of ink, we had to call in the professionals. They used their magic potion (which turned out to have an alcohol base) to get the rest out. I’m finally breathing some sweet relief. Alcohol to the rescue. Lol!

{TWO} Burning Serious Calories Cleaning the House

As I’m making plans to exercise more (because resolutions) I stumbled upon an article that basically shows me how to multi-task like a champ.

According to this list, I can burn 119 calories in 30 min by vacuuming the house. And…I can burn more than 160 calories in 30 min washing windows. So now I be like…

And then there’s this article that explains if you simply believe cleaning is a form of exercise, you can lose more weight. Powerful stuff. I’m going to believe cheesecake is a health food! #wishfulthinking?

{THREE} Pretty Winter Decorations

We took down all of the Christmas decor this week, which means now our house feels empty. Isn’t that such a funny phenomenon? The house feels so drab – when it was perfectly fine before the decorations went up. Maybe it’s the cold weather outside?

One thing that helps me through the doldrums is forcing bulbs. It adds life and color to the house. These are paperwhites I grew last year. >

I’m excited to try a new trick this year and dress up the vases with sweaters. Look!!

Aren’t these darling? I plan to take a trip to our local thrift store this weekend to upcycle some sleeves.

Another post-holiday tip: If you remove all of the red decorations from your Christmas decor and keep all of the greenery and other wintery, white touches, it keeps the place looking pretty until the spring thaw!

Here are a few inspiring pics:

{FOUR} The Bachelor: Season 22

The Bachelor kicked off this week, and it’s still one of my guilty pleasures. I know…these shows are completely ridiculous, which is why I love to watch them.

And these hilarious and honest write ups are worth a read each week.

{FIVE} Day Designer: Week One in the Books!

I really do love my planner, and I was super excited to spend this first week of the year filling in dates and plannin’ my dreams in this beauty.

I went with a pretty blue pattern this year and am loving the decision. >

{Order yours here!} #affiliate

That’s a wrap. Yay!

Okay, what’s on your list? Name at least ONE thing that made you happy this week!

Blessings,

Kate

PS. I’m linking up with these amazing bloggers again. Be sure to check them out.

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Baby Steps to Getting Organized

First of all, Happy New Year! 2018 has a good vibe to it. It truly feels like a fresh start with the fist day of the year landing on a Monday…and on a full moon. There’s good energy all around, which is inspiring if you’re sincere about wanting to make lasting changes or keep up any good habits you started last year.

As we make plans to do things like exercise more, eat better and save money in the year ahead, one of the first places we should assess is our home.

Home is where your heart is, which means it’s the center of your life. If command central is in a shambles, how can you truly feel healthier and more productive?

Getting your house in order doesn’t have to involve a giant time-consuming makeover. Taking a few small steps each day or even each week, and done with an end-goal in mind, can make a significant impact.

How to start small?

Let’s take for example the clothes on your bedroom floor (or piled up in laundry baskets). If they’re a constant reminder of your messiness, this would be a great place to start your efforts. Find your nemesis and peck away at it one task at a time.

For example, you could break it down into steps:

Step 1: Downsize

Leave the mess on the floor for now. Look at your closet and dresser drawers while they’re fairly empty. These are the clothes you haven’t worn recently, so it should be a lot easier to go through and pull out anything that doesn’t fit or feels out dated.

Yes, there’s a chance things will come back in style, but by the time that happens, will you really love wearing them? Go ahead and sell or donate. It’s way more fun to shop later.

Step 2: Develop a Plan

Figure out why you don’t put your clothes away and develop a plan. A few reasons could be:

  • You don’t have enough hangers or the right storage options. The plan: Go shopping! Get yourself matching hangers and pretty baskets for smaller items. And consider adding hanging storage or plastic bins for your folded shirts or sweaters.
  • Maybe you don’t know what to hang or fold. The plan: Follow this easy guide >
  • You’d much rather watch Netflix than put clothes away. The plan: Find something that motivates you – like playing good music or rewarding yourself with a trip to the spa after a job well done.

Step 3: Do it

This is where you put your plan in place. Use the hangers, fill the baskets and storage cubes, and jam to your favorite tunes while you put those clothes away. Here are some great tips to consider:

  • Group clothes by color so it’s easier to plan outfits each day.
  • Place all hangers facing forward and reverse it once you’ve worn a particular item. This helps you keep track of what you’ve worn (or not) all year.
  • Keep everything visible, because “out of sight out of mind.”

That’s a basic plan for your clothes, and it doesn’t have to happen all in one day. Baby steps count!

Good luck getting off to a great start this year. If you’d rather tackle a few smaller projects around the house, get some inspiration on a few ideas.

Blessings,

-Kate

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The Best Holiday Thank You Cards

This is one of my most favorite quotes from the movie Elf. (There’s also, “You have such a pretty face. You should be on a Christmas card!”)

When it comes to spreading cheer, I couldn’t agree more. The best way IS singing loud for all to hear.

The second best way is to share your gratitude.

In this season of giving, it’s good to be ready at a moment’s notice to respond with a thoughtful “thank you.” And even if gifts aren’t exchanged, it’s nice to send a year-end thank you to all of your helper angels, like carpool mamas, hair dresser, vet, pediatrician, postman, etc.

So…I like to stock up on pretty thank you notes. I’ve pulled together some of my favorite holiday-themed cards in case you’d like to shop and stock up, too!

(PS. None of these are affiliate links. I just really like these cards.)

Best Holiday Thank You Cards

{ONE} Wonderful Wreath & Rose Gold

If you haven’t shopped at Minted, yet, you definitely need to check it out. It’s a marketplace of independent artists who sell their designs as art, stationery, invites, gifts, home decor and more.

I stumbled upon this pretty wreath design with rose gold foil stamping. You can even personalize these, which is always a nice touch. Depending on how many you order, they’re about $3 per card. The price goes down per card with higher quantities.

{TWO} Whimsical Greenery

This is another personalized card that has a simpler design compared to the first option (no foil stamping).

These sweet thank you notes are from tinyprints and are closer to $1.99 per card.

{THREE} Golden Garden

It wouldn’t be a proper card roundup without including Rifle Paper Co., of which I have a slight obsession. In fact, I can’t believe I didn’t lead with this one.

This gorgeous number has a rose gold design on soft white paper. You can buy individual cards, for those super special people in your life, for $4.50 each. There’s also a boxed set of 8 cards for $16.

Since they’re not overly Christmasy, you could use them any time. Maybe add a fun holiday stamp on the outside to make it more seasonal? Check out these joyful stamps from Minted. >

{FOUR} Lovely Chalkboard

Aren’t these so pretty? I actually ordered these earlier in the week.

Much like option #3, they don’t scream “Christmas.” So I’ll use them throughout the year. I bought a packet of 36 cards for $9.99. Super deal.

The cards came with brown Kraft paper envelopes, which are cool but not very festive. So I picked up some of these pretty A6 red envelopes from Office Max (below). They’re $5.99 for a pack of 26.

I’ll use a gold Sharpie to fancy-up the address a bit. Yay!

{FIVE} A Couple for the Kids

I like teaching my kids to write thank you notes, too. So I plan to get them some of their own cards.

I love these “Herbie and Friends” cards from Papyrus that are accented with a blue border and fun polka-dots. The envelope is built into the card, so once you write your note, you just fold it up and put a stamp on it.

As a bonus, these are currently on sale for $6 for a box of 10 cards!

Here’s a closeup of the illustrated woodland creatures. >

Now, a simpler route (maybe for younger kids) would be to download these free printables. The note has prompts, making it super easy to fill out and personalize. 🙂

That’s a wrap! I hope you have a holly, jolly weekend, my lovelies. Go spread plenty of Christmas cheer.

Thankfully yours,

Kate

PS. Be sure to check out all of these amazing bloggers!! >

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Digital Detox: Pruning Your Garden

Welcome to week three of our December Digital Detox. As a quick recap, we started by picking one day a week that’s free of social media.

I chose Facebook Free Fridays since that’s the site I check most often. Feel free to pick Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest…whatever pulls you away the most.

Next, we focused on our bodies and the physical cleansing of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) through grounding or earthing. Pretty wild. Did anyone try this? I’m super curious if it’s making a difference for you. I’m still giving it a try.

This week, let’s get back to assessing our digital usage and prune back our emails, social feeds, desktops and more.

Here are three great things to do this week:

{ONE} Unsubscribe

If your notifications and emails are piling up, it’s probably time to purge.

Leave the online groups you never engage in. Asses your Facebook friends, Twitter following or Instagram feed and prune the negative influences. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails (or change the preferences so you get fewer emails from the companies you actually like.)

Tip: For a total email makeover, create a free email account (through Gmail or Outlook) so you have an email address to use when you sign up for things. That way you don’t have to rummage through so many emails looking for what’s important. 

{TWO} Declutter

The desktop on my computer and home screen on my phone were both so cluttered it was taking twice as long as necessary to find anything. I created a folder system and stored files, apps and photos in more organized spots.

For example, all of my blog file are organized inside of a Neat Nook folder. Inside of that, I have sub folders for each month of the year where I store photos and other files.

I did the same for my phone. All of my “shopping” apps are now inside of a single folder on my home screen.

This whole exercise also prompted me to delete apps I never used and trash files I knew I’d never need again. It felt really good.

Next up is decluttering my email folder. In addition to unsubscribing, I plan to clean out my inbox, sent folder and trash. All three of these folders use up storage space, especially if you send and receive large files, so it’s good to clear them out at least once a month.

{THREE} Check Out

If you’re like me, you have a knee-jerk (or maybe it’s more of an elbow-jerk reaction) to answering the phone, text, emails or any other notification that comes pinging through at any given hour.

I’m going to cut back on my reaction time and practice not responding immediately to everything that comes to my attention. I’m going to choose more consciously when to respond so I create better boundaries for myself.

This means turning off my phone during dinner with my family. It also means putting my phone down after at 9pm and resting my mind and eyes from the screen before bed.

***

I know this week is crunch time before Christmas, but I truly hope you’re able to pull back and enjoy simpler days ahead.

Good luck and many blessings,

Kate

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Shaping Your Holiday Wishlist for New Year’s Resolutions

I’m excited to share this guest post from a fellow blogger, Julie Morris. She’s a life and career coach who thrives on helping others live their best lives. Today she shares some thoughts with us on creating the most helpful holiday wishlist.

Hopefully this gives you some inspiration on some last-minute gift shopping – for others and yourself!


{Image via Pixabay}

It’s that time of year again…

The days are shorter and the malls are more crowded: the holiday season is upon us once again! Not only do you get presents, but also the fresh start of a new year come January 1st.

New Year’s resolutions are about shaping your life to be more like you want it to be. Whether you’d like to get back in shape, become more creative, learn a new skill, or simply take time to be more present, you can give yourself a little head start on your resolutions this year by crafting your holiday wishlist to include things that will help get you there.

Here are some of our favorite ideas.

If You Would Like To Get Back In Shape…

Ask your loved ones for the gift of fitness with your very own kettlebell! Kettlebells are all the rage right now. You can get a full-body workout from the comfort of your own home. You can build strength using full-body movements that work various muscle groups at the same time. Check out this free workout tutorial from PopSugar and see just how fun and effective kettlebells can be.

If You Would Like To Be More Creative…

To help ignite your imagination, ask for art supplies this holiday season! Getting new supplies will inspire you to use them and you can explore where your mind goes from there. What kind of art supplies depends on your preference, but if you really want to push your mind’s boundaries get something you’ve never worked with before. If you’re already pretty good at drawing, ask for modeling clay that you can use to create unique shapes. From there you can transcribe your vision in other ways. There’s no better inspiration than yourself!

If You Would Like To Add More Music To Your Life…

Put an instrument on your wishlist this year! Stringed instruments (like a guitar or ukulele) are affordable options for your friends and family. Plus, there are endless online lessons that can teach you how to play from the comfort of your own home.

Ukuleles in particular are a great option if you are just starting out. These smaller guitars help you establish the finger dexterity you need in order to move up to a full-sized guitar. Plus, they are super cute. Not sure what kind of ukulele is right for you? Check out this helpful guide to explore your options then put the best one on that wishlist!

If You Would Like To Be More Mindful…

Coloring books for adults are a fun, inexpensive gift to add to your wishlist this year. Coloring has many benefits for mental health, including reducing anxiety and improving focus. However, one of the reasons it’s a huge trend right now is how it promotes everyday mindfulness. If stressing out over hypotheticals and the future was a regular occurrence in your life this year, a coloring book could be just the gift you need to put things in perspective looking forward.

***

It may be a coincidence, but it’s pretty cool how the biggest gift-giving season falls next to the biggest starting day for self-improvement. Merge the two this year by asking for gifts that will help you realize your goals. Whatever they are for the year ahead, take advantage this of the season and ask for things that will help you achieve them.


Great advice, Julie! I personally want to exercise more, so I’m going to look into those kettlebells.

Friends, I hope this was helpful. What would you add to your wishlist this year?

Blessings,

-Kate

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