I live in Independence, Ky, which is a few minutes south of Cincinnati, Oh. I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur, but just this year I’ve taken the plunge to work on my heart’s dream full time, from home. That dream is writing (on my blog) on the topics I’m passionate about and growing my shop of knitted goods (I sell things I knit, and am branching out into creating patterns). My family is small and is made up of my husband, Alex, and our sweet little two-year-old, Ezra, plus a cat (Caspian) and a dog (Aslan).
How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?
Taking time for myself is a big part of ensuring I’m physically and mentally prepared to be my best self. Knitting plays a huge part of that; it’s my mental down time as well as my inspiration. I’ve gotten into hot yoga recently, too, and I can’t believe how alive it makes me feel. But, above all, the most important piece of my health – and this goes for physical and mental – is continuous time spent with Jesus, through prayer, music and study. It sounds silly to say that helps me physically, but it’s true. Just having that emotional and mental connection relaxes me physically better than anything I could do myself.
In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?
Meal planning and grocery shopping are two things that go hand-in-hand in our house. It starts on Sunday when I put together our meal plan. I’ve learned that, for me, if I’m choosing recipes that are different and exciting, I’m much more likely to stick with the plan so I always check out Pinterest to see what I can find. After that, I write down the ingredients I don’t have from every recipe I’m using in my kitchen journal. Where we live, Kroger is one of the main grocery stores, and it’s where we primarily shop so we can get fuel points to put toward the cost of gas. So, once I know what ingredients I’m missing (plus whatever other incidentals I need to replace from the previous week), I check Kroger’s weekly ad and digital coupons, and I also go through the weekly coupon inserts and match as many of the manufacturer and digital coupons as I can to what’s on my list – and I match what’s on my list, as best as I can, to what’s on the weekly ad.
The fun part happens on Tuesdays when Ezra – my official grocery shopping assistant – and I head out to the store. He picks out his favorite car cart (Kroger has shopping carts in the shape of cars) and off we go. I organize my list and coupons in order of how the store is organized so I’m not scrambling while we’re there. The moment of truth is always at the checkout; sometimes, to avoid the element of surprise, I will keep a running total on my phone’s calculator.
Ezra’s favorite thing – apart from the car cart! – about our grocery trips is helping to get ingredients from the shelves and picking out the fruit we’ll snack on throughout the week. And my favorite thing is spending time with him and, hopefully, showing him that it’s fun to plan our meals, it’s fun to gather up coupons and play the savings game, and it’s fun to bring it all home and see the recipes come to life. Meal planning and grocery shopping – though definitely mundane – is my favorite little routine we have in our family.
What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?
Our life tends to center around our combined kitchen and living room area, and our evening routine that unfolds around there is really important to our family. In the evening, everyone is home and the stress of the day is gone. We’re all at the same place, at the same time, and we relax around the table for a meal. When we’re done and everything is all cleaned up, we play in the living room until it’s Ezra bedtime. Once he’s in bed, the routine centers around Alex and I – that time we spend together, even if it’s just watching television, is so important. Our lives are busy, but I know every evening, the pace changes and slows down and I appreciate it so much.
Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?
1. Macbook Pro – the majority of my work is done online, so I definitely can’t live without my Mac!
2. Planner & Powersheets – Right now, I have planner pages slipped into my Simplified Life Binder (I never was able to nab up a Simplicity Planner – Looking forward to September!) and my Powersheets are housed there, too. These pages are extremely important in my day-to-day life and help keep things on track with my work – professionally and at home.
3. Clarisonic – This little gadget is one of my favorite parts of my night. I wash my face with it every night, right before bed, and it’s so refreshing!
4. Yarn bag – Knitting is such a huge part of my life, and I could not live without my yarn bag. It’s full of projects for my shop, for my son and (sometimes!) for me.
5. Bunn My Cafe coffee maker – This little guy came into my life when I broke our Keurig. It has a few different attachments that let you brew anything from a k-cup, to loose ground coffee, to tea bags, to just plain hot water. It’s probably my favorite kitchen gadget ever.
6. Norwex Enviro Cloths – I didn’t really believe the hype, but these are the real deal. I can usually clean things up with just water + an enviro cloth, and you can’t get much more environmentally friendly and kid safe than that.
Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?
My biggest tip is to constantly re-evaluate, in order to keep your routines and systems fresh and always relevant to your life. When something stops working, don’t give up – just re-think it. Sometimes a simple little tweak can make the biggest difference.
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The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34
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