I can't believe that tomorrow is the first day of October. Already?! I'm not ready. While October is truly one of my very favorite months, this is always the time when I start trying to make deals with Mother Nature for just a few more days of hot sunshine before the chill really sets in.
And, with only three months left in the calendar year, I start freaking out a bit with regards to my annual 'to do' list...feeling like there's not enough time to accomplish all that I'd envisioned for the year back on January 1st.
Deep breath. No need to spiral out of control.
October also brings with it the opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone as a writer. It's time for a challenge.
One that I know helps to get me back on track.
This is the third October in a row that I've taken the Write 31 Days Challenge started by The Nester and now hosted by Crystal Stine.
Wishing you could try it? It's not too late. Here's the link for more information. You can also check out my previous entries here...
31 Days of Travel and 31 Days of Simple Style. Links to each day's post can be found listed in these two master posts. Hope you enjoy:-)
The assignment is simple.
Pick a topic. Write about it for the next 31 days.
It certainly isn't easy, but it's a wonderful way to explore a subject more completely and it's a cool opportunity to push yourself to write everyday.
So, beginning tomorrow, I will write a blog post every day. Up to and including Halloween. Then I might take a break until January:-) Just kidding.
I've picked a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.
I turned 50 last December, so this was the obvious choice for me. However...you could easily apply these thoughts to any decade. In fact, I wish I'd begun pondering all of this in my twenties or thirties.
I'll share my sincere thoughts on (and tips for) cultivating simplicity within the boundaries of a full and hectic life.
I'll do my best to keep the posts as concise and helpful as possible. Each post will be a "free write" of sorts.
I've decided to use an A to Z (plus a few) approach again this year. This format keeps me focused and I like that the alphabet provides some parameters.
I hope you'll follow along...and maybe even take the challenge for yourself.
And...what I'd really love, is this:
Your thoughts on each day's word.
What does it mean to you?
How does the word show up in your life?
What have you mastered and where do you struggle with regards to refining life in your own decade?
I want us to learn from each other, no matter where we are on life's journey.
Please comment after a post that hits home for you.
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A link to each day's post will be available below. I'll add them as we go.
I'm thrilled to have you following along and offering your thoughts on the words that matter to you!
October 2016 - Write 31 Days
3. Be you
16. Meditation & Morning Pages
21. Refine, Rest, Right, Romance
27. Wisdom & Wonder
31. The Final Post
Thanks for being here. Have a beautiful October:-)
Let me just tell it like it is. It is a tough time to work at Anthropologie. As the summer shifts to fall, fabulous new merchandise appears by the truckload! Almost daily! Each time I walk into the store, I'm overwhelmed by the 'must have' list that begins appearing in my head!
Today, I'm sharing my newest favorites. These pieces are super good, but there are so many more. It was difficult to choose just a few. I picked sweaters since there's already a chill in the air where I live. I'm ready!
Hope you like...
Fairview Pullover - by Moth. $88 This yummy cotton sweater comes in grey and pink. Both colors are great. It is soft and thick and slouchy. The perfect transition piece before it's time for wool or all winter, if wool isn't your thing.
Belgravia Colorblock Cardigan - by Lili's Closet $88
I love this sweater! It looks great buttoned all the way up or open over a tee or blouse. Super soft with an awesome swing.
Delaney Pullover - by Moon River $98
This sweater is truly dreamy! It's acrylic and nylon, so no itching! It looks amazing on! We received it in camel, but online it's also available in cream and in black! It's good enough to own in more than one color. Don't wait on this one...it will definitely sell out!
Candlefish Ceramic Candle - $9 -$28
This is a new line of wax for Anthropologie. The company is based in South Carolina. The vessels are beautiful. Their candles are also available in small $9 metal tins. My favorite is the No. 9: marine notes; stone fruit, rose and moss, but they're all wonderful!
Hoping these finds helped you get psyched for fall!
What an awesome season for clothing. The fabrics are rich and the looks are layered. Oh, I can't wait to pull out my warmer clothes...and add a few new pieces to the mix!
Does your wardrobe needs a wake-up call?
There's still time to sign up for my new online course. It's available through The Together Act Academy on Teachable.
Wake Up Your Wardrobe will help you define your style and create fabulous outfits, using only what's already hanging in your closet!
That's right...no shopping required.
For more information...click here
Hurry, enrollment closes on September 20th!
And...there's still time to use the coupon code AWAKE50 for 50% off the course price.
This offer is only available to the first 100 students! We're getting close...
I hope you'll join us!
Happy almost fall:-)
Seven months ago, my family and I moved. In many ways, when compared to our last move in July 2013, this recent move was uneventful and insignificant. I mean, we barely moved 2 miles. Nothing really changed except our four walls...same schools, same friends, same grocery store. And this time around I was wiser. After all, I’d used the Konmari Method in my entire home. I was prepared and organized like never before. Right? Well, maybe not so much:-)
If you’ve ever moved, you know that regardless of the distance...moving is an enormous endeavor!
It’s truly like a fairy-tale giant lifts up your house and dumps the entire contents out inside your new digs.
It’s not pretty. It’s not easy, but sometimes, it’s necessary.
We currently rent and our lease was up. The right house appeared at just the right time and we were excited for it to become our next home.
So, we began packing.
And packing some more.
In the end, the packing was way easier than with our move across the country. We had much less stuff this time around. The things being packed were items we truly loved and used. At least most of them:-)
Since we moved, I've received many requests to do a House Tour video. I kept putting it off for various reasons...we weren't settled, we were so busy, it wasn't properly decorated, everything wasn't super clean...the list goes on and on.
For months, I've been working on something I'm really excited about. I'll share more info next week... but in order to work on the project, I needed more space on my phone. As I deleted photos and videos, I came across the moving clips and decided it's finally time to share them and a house video, too. Thanks for your patience.
As I walked though our home with my camera, I felt relieved that I own less stuff than I have in the past. I also became inspired to make some changes based on what I've learned over the past 7 months.
Here’s where I am today...
I still keep too much.
I can now see the areas where I continue to save things “for later” or “just in case”. There is such clarity in hindsight. When I watch the moving video below, I’m reminded how far I’ve come. And I also know I’m not finished yet.
My journey towards simplification and a more minimal lifestyle has been evolving for years. It’s only in looking back that I realize I’ve actually made great strides in paring down and eliminating.
Most importantly, I realize that I am truly happier when I have less stuff.
My life feels richer and more full when I have less clutter, less mess and less stuff.
I couldn’t find peace in the midst of all the junk!
Now my mind is more relaxed and I am finally able to feel real joy.
All of this sounds trite and cliche even as I type it...but it is the absolute truth.
Note: I think these videos feel kind of long with no talking. Apologies. My top video guy wasn't available;-( and I was left to my own editing abilities...which are poor:-)
Hoping you find some inspiration from them!
The light bulb is on!
I finally understand what all of the minimalism and simplicity pioneers were so excited about! There is an indescribable delight and a true peace that comes from intentionally surrounding yourself with fewer belongings.
Keeping up with your neighbors isn't easy...
and it certainly isn't healthy or necessary!
I’m aware that it's early in my journey. I have lots to learn about living with less, but I am so ready.
I plan to explore the beauty of living with less right here. I really hope you’ll join me.
If you don’t already receive weekly updates...now’s the time!
Don’t miss what’s next… Sign up here!
The season is officially about to change. Autumn is just around the corner. Is your wardrobe ready? I have a plan….stay tuned.
I’m going to be sharing some big news in a few days.
I’d love to hear how you create a simple life. I believe we can all learn from each other. Please share below…
It's a bittersweet time. Today marks the end of summer vacation in the United States. With the holiday weekend upon us (already), I'm feeling the urge to revisit how my summer began. In May, I learned (for the millionth time), how easy it is for me to become stuck in wanting things to go my way...and how much better my life is when I ease up and simply go with the flow.
In addition to looking back, I'm going to spend the next few days gearing up for a brand new season. There are some big things on the horizon for me professionally and personally. It's been a wonderful summer, but honestly, I'm eager for some change. I'm super excited for what's ahead...
Wishing you an awesome weekend!
Just for fun here's a glimpse of where my summer started and what I learned...
I love to travel! I sometimes become myopic with regards to how I see a vacation playing out. I conjure a certain (usually very detailed) vision of the entire trip from start to finish. Over the years, I've obviously learned that often trips (and other things) don't flow exactly as planned:-) but I still get stuck, wanting my own version to play out.
My husband and I went to Mexico in May to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was an incredible trip. Relaxing, delicious and beautiful.
We didn't take the trip we'd originally envisioned, but the results were even better than we'd imagined.
We originally thought we’d opt for an adult, all-inclusive (airfare, too) resort in the Riviera Maya. We spent lots of time on TripAdvisor and other sites, researching and reading reviews.
We wanted/needed this trip to be affordable and romantic.
We wanted sunshine, good food and a whole lot of alone time.
I figured that an all-inclusive (which we have never done as a couple) would be the way to go...great deals, no grocery shopping, cooking or clean up...easy living.
We began our search for the perfect accommodations.
After much discussion and deliberation...Matthew and I agreed that we weren’t finding anything in our budget that really matched our style. We read tons of less than glowing reviews of all-inclusive resorts..."crazy loud music at the pool, tons of construction noise, mid-May is rainy season, too loud to nap, terrible food, super crowded, lots of hidden charges".
I was becoming a bit discouraged.
And, we kept seeing comments about the dreaded rainy season! We really wanted sunshine!
Matthew decided to check the weather in other parts of Mexico. The weather on the west coast seemed to be more stable in May. We moved our search to Los Cabos and beach towns on the west coast of Mexico.
Again, mixed reviews on the more affordable all-inclusives.
I was slipping into a pre-vacation funk, feeling like we might not be able to make it happen.
Then Matthew looked at airfare options from Denver to Mexico. Living in Colorado makes traveling to Mexico fairly easy. Lots of affordable, direct flights.
It was time to shift my thinking and consider some other options for accommodations. Not easy for me...
Enter the amazing world of renting a home away from home. We have done this many times, in many cities, but it took me a while to come around to this idea for our anniversary getaway.
A little time online and it was clear that we could find an awesome rental in Mexico for a great price.
In the end, we chose a small casita in Sayulita, Mexico. We found it on VRBO. It was perfect for our anniversary getaway!
We rented Casa Escondida for five nights. Check it out!
In case you'd like to stay there, here are some details of our experience...
The owner was a true delight to work with remotely. Every single detail was handled. There is a property manager available on-site when needed.
The owner offered the option of arranging transportation to and from the airport in Puerto Vallarta. This round-trip service included a stop at the Mega Supermarket outside of Puerto Vallarta where we could stock up on groceries and wine for our visit. Our driver, Javier met us at the airport. He drove us to the Mega and parked. Then kindly told us to take all the time we needed, he’d be waiting:-) There are small food markets in Sayulita, but not a real grocery store. This added service was very affordable and enhanced our stay.
Sayulita was wonderful!
What rainy season? Sunny and 85 degrees every day. Absolutely breathtaking!
That time of year, the town was lively, but not packed. The people were incredibly friendly. We always felt safe...even on the mile-long walk from town back to our house on pitch dark streets. This walk was delightful as it allowed us to walk off our dinner and then enjoy a swim and a nightcap at home:-)
Planning a trip? If you haven’t ever tried a rental, I urge you to go for it! Renting a home away from home can be incredible!
Here’s why I love renting homes on vacation:
Want to start looking for a great rental?
Check out these sites…
It's funny how I need to be presented with some lessons repeatedly before I finally 'GET IT'. I've lived long enough to know that things usually work out in the end. Yet, I still become strongly attached to 'my way'. Seems I could make it my life's work to master the art of letting go. Gracefully.
The struggle is real. I want situations to go the way I picture them. I'm often not good at letting things unfold at their own pace and in their own direction.
The thing is, when I finally, actually do let go...most times (if not, every single time) the result is far better than I could have imagined.
My mind wants to limit the outcome to only what I can see.
Silly mind...there is something far greater beyond the horizon.
My goal in the coming months is to let go more often.
To really loosen my grip on 'my way' and allow the Universe to show me the way.
I'd love to know how you manage the art of letting go.
Please share your tips for letting things happen without holding on too tightly. Just add your thoughts in the comments below:-)
I'm working on new projects for fall!
I'll be sharing some exciting news very soon!
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Thank you so much for reading.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a super weekend! Don't forget to just let it unfold...
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,