Hi friends! My name is Emily Thomas and I live in the Triangle of North Carolina. I am the very lucky lady who gets to be the Creative Director at Southern Weddings magazine (going on five years now). I also have a personal blog where I write about everything I find marvelous (including but not limited to personal finance, house projects, weddings, donuts, and living an adventurous life). My husband and I are high school sweethearts; he is my absolute best friend and the love of my life and I could not be more grateful that our good God brought us together. I love traveling, growing things, browsing at flea markets, generosity, hiking, going to outdoor movies, and spending time in my native New England.
How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?
Our family of two has recently undergone some lifestyle modifications, including eating more cleanly and being more intentional about exercise. Setting up a schedule has worked well for us over the last few months, so now we play tennis on Tuesdays, ride our bikes on Thursdays, and run trails on Sundays. The two best things I do for my mental head space are take walks with John (great time for uninterrupted conversation) and sit on our front porch rockers eating cherries late at night (also good for conversation – and yes, I understand that makes us sound like we are 80. We embrace it.).
In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?
I actually wrote an entire post about how we meal plan and how it fits into my Home Base Binder, but the short version is that John and I choose meals and shop together. He does the cooking while I sit at the bar and respond to email or write blog posts (which frees me up to spend more quality time together later in the evening). I am always on dish duty!
What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?
This is kind of a funny one, but no matter what happened during the day or how I’m feeling toward John at the moment, every night, right before going to sleep, I always say to him, “I love you” and then, “You’re my best friend.” The reminder never hurts.
Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?
I have been brainstorming my “pick six” since you started this series!! First, though, it has to be said: God is my rock and my redeemer, and I could do nothing without him. It also has to be said that John is my other rock and my trustworthy friend, and I could do little without him. Now, on to the goodies!
1. Doodle: My friends are the best, but they’re also ridiculously busy. There’s no “just putting a date on the calendar” with these people. If I’m trying to plan something with more than one couple, I send out a quick Doodle poll to gauge availability, which saves tons of back and forth emails.
2. My phone’s Notes app: This incredibly simple and incredibly handy app helps me seem more together than I am and be a more thoughtful person than I would be otherwise. I keep so many lists on here, including gift ideas for my husband, restaurants I want to try, books I want to read, things I’m looking for at the flea market, measurements of crucial areas in my house, and the food preferences of my friends and family members (which makes buying treats for them easier!).
3. EBates: Good golly, if you shop online, you MUST sign up for eBates!! It’s a simple way to earn cash back on most purchases, and though it sounds too good to be true, it’s the real deal – we’ve gotten over $750 back in about two years. Yes.
4. Sermons: For my Etsy shop, I spend a lot of time with my hands busy and my mind wandering. To put that time to good use, I listen to sermons while I work. My favorites are from Church of the Resurrection and Church of the City . There’s no way I’d be able to keep my head on straight if I didn’t intentionally fill it with the good news day after day.
5. Bare Minerals Ready Foundation: I am not much of a makeup person, but I do make an attempt. This powder foundation takes about two seconds to apply, is foolproof, and provides light but even coverage. Jackpot!
6. Frozen cookie dough: I’m one of those people that needs just a little something sweet after dinner. To avoid indulging beyond that, I’ll make a batch of cookie dough, roll it into balls, and freeze it – then voila! After dinner, I pop two onto a cookie sheet and they’re ready in minutes. The Immaculate refrigerated dough is also great in a pinch.
Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?
I suppose I could also add that personal finance is something near and dear to my heart. If it’s something you struggle with or that you feel like you’re not interested in, I’d encourage you to check out my Marvelous Money series . I’d also love to hear if anyone has a personal finance topic they’d like for me to tackle in a future post!
Follow along with Emily:
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
We want to know how you intentionally create joy in your life as well as the ways you make your busy life simpler. Submit your story here.