Impromptu Hiatus & Happy News

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I never ever thought I could just take a blogging break for six weeks out of nowhere. I had posts planned for the rest of the year and one small (big) change and it went out the window. I make no apologies, though! I loved taking a break from not only the blog, but the online world and computer in general. Over the last six weeks I have spent no more than 20 hours on the computer, total. In SIX WEEKS. Normally I spend at least 30-40 hours a week sitting on my computer chugging away. However, immediately after our anniversary trip to Morro Bay (pictures soon!) we found out some exciting news: we have a little one on the way!

Lucky for us, though the symptoms started during our vacation, I didn’t start feeling really awful until the day we left. From then on? Queue the nausea and the all day naps. I managed to sleep through the entire month of November and the beginning of December! But now that I’m feeling a bit better, though still very much suffering from some pregnancy symptoms, I’m in planning mode.

Taking a break gave me a good look at my life, our life and what direction we’re going in. It gave me a lot of clarity on what I want to focus on, where I want this blog to go, and what kind of life we want to lead. While I’m just dipping my toes back in the whole working on the computer regularly thing, I know I don’t want to spend entire days glued to this little machine like I was before my break.

I’m excited to spend the rest of the holidays relaxing and planning 2015 — possibly the most exciting year yet!

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Holiday Declutter Challenge

holiday-declutter-challenege The Holiday season is usually stressful and busy. It’s also a time when we bring more into our homes than we remove, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. This Holiday Season I’m having a Holiday Declutter Challenge. The goal is to simplify your home and life for the holidays and to go into the new year with a more peaceful and clutter-free living space.

The Holiday Declutter Challenge will be running from November 1st through December 31st! I challenge you to join me in trying to rid your home of 200 items. That number sounds big, but that is just about 22 items each week. To keep on track with the challenge I will post a place to focus on Saturday of each week for the week ahead. In terms of this challenge a week will be Saturday – Friday so that each weekend is grouped together.

Spend as much or as little time on this challenge each week, but remember – the less you have in your home to manage the more time and peace of mind you’ll gain.

My personal goal is to spend a minimum of one hour on each area each week and get rid of at least 22 items.

This week’s focus is The Lingering Stuff

This is the stuff you’ve meant to fix, sell, donate, give away or toss for as long as you can remember. Off the top of my head is a curling iron that hasn’t worked in years, a couple of dresses I’ve meant to fix, etc. It’s a great head start because these are already in the back of your mind bugging you.

Take a tour of your house with a box or bag and go through the closets, the drawers, the boxes, etc. and pull out the items that you’ve been meaning to do something with. If there’s something you need to take somewhere to get fixed take it there this week or get rid of it. The items you’ve been meaning to sell? Sell them! Been meaning to donate? Donate them! Been meaning to toss? Toss it! Take action on all these items that you’ve been telling yourself you’ll get to “eventually”. Get them out of your house and off your mind.

I’ll be back Saturday, November 8th with an update on my progress this week and the new area to focus on next week.

I hope you’ll join me for this Holiday Declutter Challenege! I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’re joining in and feel free to use the image above if you decide to blog about it, all I ask is you link back and spread the word.

Would you like to join me? Do you have any Lingering Stuff in mind that you need to take action on?

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A Few of My Favorite Things // October

a-few-of-my-favorite-things-october The blogging world, and life in general, is full of wish lists, photos and visual collections of things we’d love to have. In my effort to simplify, get back to the basics and love what I already own, I like share MY favorite things (and non-things). These monthly posts will focus on things that I love that are already part of my life, rather than things that I’m lusting after.

Dumdums. At the beginning of the month Blaine, my sister Lauren and I went to the store and each got one bag of candy as our Halloween treat. We don’t get any trick or treaters (maybe three in the years we’ve lived here), so we don’t need to buy candy for that. I chose dumdums hoping that since they’re small and take a long time to finish off, I won’t feel the extra calories on my thighs or in how I feel during the day. I LOVE them and my favorite are the mystery flavor because I’m indecisive. Silly, huh?

Fresh flowers. The flowers above are from Blaine for our 3 year wedding/8 year dating anniversary and I absolutely love having fresh flowers in the house. It’s something I usually only have when Blaine buys them for me a few times a year so I savor them and put them right next to where I’m working. It makes my workspace feel fresh and always puts a smile on my face.

Scary movies. My sister and I binge watched some scary movies a few days ago. We didn’t watch as many as I used to watch around Halloween time, but I’ve been able to fit a couple in and I’m happy about that.

Crisp air. Before Venice, my foster puppy, went to her new home I was happy to let her out in the AM. Something about the crisp fall air in the early morning makes me feel so awake and fresh. My routine was to let her out and sit out on the front porch and read a few pages of whatever book I was currently reading. Depending on how cold it was she would finish her business and then come get in my lap for snuggles and to warm up. Now that she’s gone I’m going to do my best to continue that routine even though I don’t have a silly puppy to force me outside in the morning.

Simplifying. This is always something I love, but with the excessive amount of sorting and organizing I’m doing for my own house as well as with my parents stuff, I’m obsessed with it right now. I think once you get in the right mindset getting rid of stuff you really know you don’t need, it gets easier to get rid of things you previously guilted yourself into keeping. I still have plenty to do, but I’ve been spending a good chunk of my time each week doing this and it’s leaving me feeling productive and refreshed. This has shown in a lot of my recent posts like: How to Declutter Your Closet, Declutter 500 in 2014 Update and How to Sell on Instagram eCourse.

Check out more of my monthly favorite things posts here.

What are some of your favorite things from October?

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Wise Words // To Begin

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[Tweet “Wise Words: “To begin, begin” – William Wordsworth via @lifebyaileen”]

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