Slowing Down

Lifestyle, Spirit & Soul

Seeking a life of simplicity and stillness in a fast paced world is recipe for calm gentle days. The older we get the more we realize that the small simple things hold the most significance in life. Today, I want to encourage you to seek your own rhythm of slow.

Do Less Enjoy More

I’m sure that by now you’ve learned that the more you do in your everyday life, the faster you burn out. Re-evaluate the things in your life and your routine, and try to subtract one or two things from your plate every once in a while. Subracting from your plate will result in a life of more.

Daily Routine

While we’re on the topic of re-evaluating, now really is the time to take a moment to re-evaluate just about everything. Create new routines that will work for you today and the slow lifestyle you’re trying to create, and make room for things that bring you joy. We must be open to change when things are continuously changing around us, especially when we’re aiming for slow living.

Protect Your Time

Time is very valuable and precious. Prioritize what’s important and manage your time wisely so you don’t wonder where your time went. Protect your time like you protect your space and energy, and leave no room for the things that drain you.

Quiet The Noise

For a lot of us, our first instinct in the morning is to reach for our phones, check our emails, play some music, or listen to a podcast in the morning before mentally preparing for this new day we’ve been blessed to see. We often go on with our days without ever creating moments of peace by simply being still in the morning. Start your day with gratitude, sit in silence, hear the birds chirp, take it all in. You want to build intention for your day free of mind clutter, quieting the voices around you will give volume to yours.

Be Present in Every Moment

What a blessing it is to wake up to see another day. We rush through our day and don’t realize what a miracle it is to be alive. Stop rushing through life and enjoy every moment. Be present. Stop trying to do everything all at once, multitasking is great but it can also pull you in different directions and it can be overwhelming at times. We’re trying to slow down, not live on auto pilot. One task at a time will allow you to be fully present.

Create A Life You Really Love

You hold the power to create a routine you really love; the best way to slow down is to create margin for the things you love doing! You can change and subtract anything you feel that isn’t fuel to purposeful slow living. Find beauty in the mundane, mostly always, it’s the little things in life that brings us the most comfort and joy.

“There is magic in simple everyday life” -Sally M.

Hugs,

September Favorites.

Beauty, Home, Lifestyle

I’m not at all surprised we’re in October already, every month flies by faster than the last. It’s Autumn and soon we’ll be entering the holiday season and saying goodbye to 2020, God willing.

There are only a few favorites I have for the month of September, nevertheless, I’m sharing them.

Starting with a book because I just finished this one today-

+Midnight Sun

This book exceeded all my expectations all while taking me back to another time in life. I loved reading through Edward’s perspective and getting to know his emotions and thoughts behind his actions. If you’re a Twilight fan I definitely recommend you checking this one out. I’ve been #TeamEdward since the beginning of time, what about you?

Get it here: Midnight Sun

Beauty-

+Shell Lipstick by Lauren Conrad Beauty

Lauren Conrad’s newest beauty line is absolutely beautiful. Ethically clean and perfect for the everyday minimalistic woman looking to embrace her natural beauty. I look forward to trying a few of her other products sometime in the near future. This lipstick has already become a favorite of mine in such a short period of time.

Get it here: Lauren Conrad Beauty Shell Lipstick

Style-

+Plain Tees

Plain Tees are my go to these days. They are so easy to style and they provide great comfort.

Find my favorite here: Casual Tees

Home-

+Hearth & Hand Dinnerware

I’ve really been enjoying our dinnerware now that we’ve finally completed our collection. I love how minimal and stunning these ceramic plates and bowls are.

Get them here: Hearth & Hand Dinnerware

Artistic-

+Procreate / Apple Pencil

Over the last couple of months I’ve been exploring calligraphy & illustration on the app Procreate, and I love it. It’s such a great app & tool that help you develop illustration skills (+more) with practice overtime. If you’re looking to find a calming hobby to pick up and something like this interests you, this is your sign to try it out.

Find more of my creative work here: @lightlylived

Shows-

+Sister Sister

I’m not one to binge watch a lot of tv anymore, but how could I not when one of the shows I grew up loving as a child is finally on Netflix? SO good. Its funny, it’s family oriented, and simply nostalgic. “Go Home Roger!”

Watch it on Netflix.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read all about my September favorites, what were some of yours? May October treat you kind and may the Autumn breeze and crisp air bring you the familiar coziness you missed and love.

Hugs,

Wardrobe Refresh + Shopping Smart

Lifestyle, Style

Cleaning out your closet can be one of the most liberating things you can do. I’ve learned a few things over the last few months that have helped me downsize to a wardrobe that speak true to who I am. Today, I’ll be sharing what has helped make this process easier for me + a few shopping tips I’ve picked up that help prevent me from overspending.

Keep only those things that speak to the heart. -Marie Kondo

Cleaning Out Your Closet

The easiest way to start is by following the KonMarie Method. Take your entire wardrobe and place it over your bed for you to go through, and make 2-3 piles. Donations, Keep, & Sell. Do this on a day you have a few hours to spare so that you may try on any pieces you’re unsure of. This is the time to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in months or anything you’ve outgrown and no longer fit your lifestyle. Letting go of certain pieces may be harder than you think, but I can guarantee that you’ll feel a lot lighter when you finally do. Make room for the new and improved you, and discard of anything taking up unnecessary space.

Where to Donate and Sell

You can easily donate to any local thrift shops in your town nowadays. Find your nearest thrift shop and donate what you can. If you find that you have more than a few clothing pieces that are of great value and are still in great condition, you may want to consider joining a marketplace platform where you can list clothing items (+more) for sale. The one I’m currently using is Poshmark. I’ve had a pretty good experience selling my preloved pieces through the app, and as a new seller I found it pretty easy to use.

Tips for Shopping Smart

The 4 Q’s

Whenever out shopping, ask yourself:

+ Do I really need this or do I want this?”

+ Can I and will I wear this on more than one occasion?

+ Can I make the most out of said piece? (Can you wear this repeatedly styled differently?)

+ IS THIS TRUE TO WHO I AM?

If you don’t already have a system you follow when shopping, try this the next time. The answers to these questions should help make the decision of moving forward (or not) easier for you.

Identify Your Style

Identifying & knowing your style will simplify your curating and shopping by helping you stick to what you know you look best and feel most comfortable in. Are you more of a casual everyday kind of gal? Or maybe preppy or boho chic or vintage speak more your style. Define your style and go from there.

Colors and Textures

I tend to get over clothing pieces very quickly so I’ve become a little picky about what I add to my wardrobe, give yourself permission to do the same. Stick to the color palette and textures you know and will always love no matter the season we’re in. Be extra picky when it comes to busy patterns. Will you like this busy pattern after one or two wears?

Staples > Trends

In a world where trends come and go as fast as the next day, shopping practical for your everyday lifestyle is key when building a wardrobe that is true to yourself. Trends are temporary, think something long lasting and invest in staple pieces instead.

Quality over Quantity

If you’re looking for long lasting clothing pieces take the plunge and invest if you can. It is not the quantity in your wardrobe that matter, but the quality.

Sale or No Sale?

How many times have you bought something just because it’s on sale? I’m not saying to stop shopping sales altogether, we all love a good sale, but what I really mean is, stop buying things you like just because it’s 20% off. It’s important to be mindful of what and why you shop.

Seasonal Shopping

This can be done one or two ways. Only shop once during season, or shop for the season ahead when sales hit the stores. Again, sales are great, just keep your “why” in mind.

Thrifting

Thrifting is one way to help the environment by shopping ethically all while spending less. Sustainable shopping is something I would love to get into in the near future. Have you heard of conscious shopping before? Check out your local thrift shops, you never know what great vintage pieces you may get lucky finding.

One In One Out

The one in one out rule is simple. Each time you bring in one new item, take one out to donate or sell. This will help you establish boundaries and limits, and will help prevent further clutter and buildup.

Building a wardrobe that you really love can take time, be patient with this journey and embrace it wherever you stand. I hope you found these tips useful and that you’re motivated to start your new wardrobe journey. If you already have tips of your own that work great for you, I’d love to read them in the comment section down below!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” -Matthew 6:25

Hugs,

August Favorites (Home + More)

Beauty, Home, Lifestyle, Spirit & Soul

Can you believe there’s only 3 months left in 2020? I can’t wrap my head around it just yet, but hey, I am definitely here for having better days ahead.

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites that made life a little sweeter the month of August, things I’ve loved for the home & things I’ve loved using on a day to day basis. I already have a few favs lined up for the month of September, but I’ll save those for a later post.

Home

House Slippers

Currently living in these slippers, I had to get me a backup pair because I love them that much. They’re so cozy and soft AND only $15! You can find the link to them here: Slippers

French Press

I look forward to my coffee routine every morning since learning how to use a French Press. If you don’t have a French Press yet (or anything to make authentic coffee at home), I strongly encourage you to get one. There is something so special about taking the time to make coffee from scratch, and the coffee is honestly so much better.

Find links to my French Press & Coffee essentials here: Coffee At Home

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

My husband gifted me a stand mixer for my birthday this summer, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it already. I know a lot of us have discovered a love for baking during this season in our lives, and I can really say I enjoy it and even find it therapeutic. It is an investment well worth it if you love to bake!

Stand Mixer + Hand Mixer here: Kitchen Aid Mixers

Casaluna Bedding

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of Target’s new bedding line Casaluna, and I was able to get my hands on the comforter I had my eye on when it first launched. It is linen and neutral and just about everything I was looking for in a comforter. Loving all of their neutral and cozy bedding.

Get it here: Casaluna Neutral Comforter

Books

Dream Big by Bob Goff

I’ve really enjoyed reading this book! I mentioned it in my last blog post, and although it’s taking me quite some time to finish it (insert friendly reminder that I’m one busy mom here), it has been very inspirational to read. If you’re looking for something to motivate you to start and chase your dreams, you can’t go wrong with this book!

Get it here: Dream Big Book

New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp

I love starting my mornings with this devotional book. Paul Tripp has a way to break down the word beautifully in every page. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a devotional book.

Devotional book here: New Morning Mercies

Music

Bethel Music Revival ‘s In The Air

I can’t believe I am just now listening to Bethel Music, but I’ve really been enjoying listening to their latest album. They have many great worship songs to chose from, but my current favorite is Champion. God of Revival is also pretty great!

Taylor Swift Folklore Album

I love how different this album is from her latest releases. RED has been my favorite album of hers for years, and Folklore definitely takes runner up. If you haven’t listened to it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s such a good album!

Skin

Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser

Really loving this cleanser. It smells fresh and very spa-like and is very lightweight and gentle on the skin.

Get cleanser here: Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

The older I get, the more I love a soft natural look and the less I wear on my skin. This is a sheer, natural & dewy skin-like tinted moisturizer, and that’s what I love about it. Less really is more.

Tinted Moisturizer here: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Sunday Riley’s Auto Correct Brightening And Depuffing Eye Cream

If you’ve been with me a while then you know I’ve been through my fair share of eye creams. This is the latest I’ve tried and it truly is the most effective one. It is quite pricey for an eye cream, but after 4 kids I needed to make the investment myself. If you’re looking for effective under eye results, look no further.

Eye Cream Here: Sunday Riley’s Eye Cream

Essentials

Face Mask

Loving this reusable silk mask from this one boutique I found through Instagram. Very well made and super cute.

Linking this one and my other fav here: Face Masks

Print Mask: here

That concludes my favorites for the month of August! I know we’re a week into September already, but I really wanted to share all that I enjoyed last month. I’m hoping to share more favorites in the future! What were some of your favorites last month? I’d love to know (:

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead!

Hugs,

To a Friend, From a Friend

Spirit & Soul

The world looks a lot different today. Some of us have lost our jobs, and some of us are stuck at home filled with depression, anxiety, and fear of the unknown. Our entire lives have changed, and a lot of evil is being exposed as people become more aware of the ugly evil that has lived upon us all along.

Hi. It’s been quite some time now. More than a few months actually. Truth is, I haven’t given much thought to blogging, let alone make time for such a thing in a time like this. How have you been? How has this season treated you? It’s been one heck of a year and one whirlwind of emotions, am I right?

It really is times like these that open our eyes to what really matters in life. It’s times like these I hope make a shift in us to change and be better and DO better. Times like these have me clinging on to higher hope and His guidance.

Anyway, I hope you’ve used this time to dig deeper into who you are becoming, and I hope that you find yourself well, mentally. As for me, a lot has changed, yet some things seem.. the same. I started reading The Word a little more, and I really just want to grow my faith and build a relationship with The Lord. I can’t say it’s been an easy journey, & I’ve honestly just been in a battle with undoing and re-discovering who I am as a person and trying to become the woman God has called me to be.

I’ve been reading this one book called Dream Big by Bob Goff, and I’ve found it very inspirational and motivating. This book has been so inspiring that I find myself writing again at 11pm with no goal in mind for what I want this post to be about other than simply wanting to check in and say “hey”.

So, if you find yourself reading this, know you are not alone. Wether you finally opened up that business or you’re struggling to find your true calling and are literally just trying to survive these days, I see you and I wish nothing more for you than peace and love and light.

But if you are having a bit of a rough season, I want to encourage you to use this time to get in tune with yourself. Take baby steps if you have to, but do it. Find new hobbies and try new things. Get to know yourself again. Turn off your phone and LIVE.

There is something this season is teaching us, and I believe that something good will come from the hardships we face.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecc #:1

What is new in your life? I’d love to hear how you’re doing in the comments down below.

Hugs,

Things To Do At Home

Lifestyle

I’m sharing these checklists I made to keep my boys and I busy at home as we stay indoors for the time being. Online community is needed to motivate and empower one another in times like these as we practice social distancing. I hope you all find yourselves well and healthy, and that you’re able to find a silver lining in the midst of chaos. Here’s a friendly reminder to take a break from all media + news throughout the day as many times as needed. Stay home, stay safe, and stay calm. This too shall pass, God Bless!

Things To Do At Home Free Downloads:

Books To Read in 2020: Personal Growth| For The Soul

Lifestyle, Spirit & Soul

Welcome back to the blog friends. I’m super excited about today’s post because it’s dedicated to one of my favorite things ever: Reading!

I’ll be sharing the books I’ve wrote down on my reading list for the new year, and I’ll also be sharing some of my favorites I read in 2019 -so good!

For the Soul and Spirit:

Read More: here

Starting off the year with When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley, and wow. Seriously so amazing, I highly recommend it to all my mama friends out there!

Read More: here

You Are The Girl For The Job by Jess Connolly seems like the perfect book for me to read next. I’m in a season of life where I could use all the encouragement and empowerment.

Read More: here

Rhythms Of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons. I’ve read such great reviews about this one and I can’t wait to read it!

Read More: here

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Read More: here

I started reading It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst as I was going through a life changing experience, and it was such a good read. I’ve yet to finish reading it but I definitely plan on picking it back up to finish it off. SO good.

I don’t know why I’m so late on finding out about Sadie Robertson‘s upcoming release: Live, but I’m so excited and I can’t wait!

Personal Development:

Read More: here

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Back. I listened to a podcast last year where Author David Back was interviewed and I remember loving all the wisdom he had to offer. He is most known for his Finish Rich book series so I definitely had to put this on my reading list.

Read More: here

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Another book I’ve been seeing everywhere lately that is highly recommended.

Read More: here

Excited to read Atomic Habits by James Clear and see how this will help me undo and replace bad habits.

Read More: here

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero is known to be a great book. I picked it up last year and I didn’t get around to read it, I’m hoping to cross it off my list sometime this year.

Read More: here

How To Have Your Life Not Suck by Bianca Juarez concludes my Reading List!

You can find my favorite books of 2019 down below!

My favorite book of 2019 has to be A Love Letter Life by Jeremy & Audrey Roloff. It was so good I read it all in two days. It’s filled with so many good nuggets and I highly recommend it to anyone who is married, in a couple, and even to all who are single. Soooo good!

Other Faves:

Girl Stop Apologizing: here

Own Your Everyday: here

Anxious For Nothing: here

What are some of your favorites & what’s on your list this year?

XO,

Preventing Burnout As A Mom

Motherhood, Spirit & Soul

Hello friends! I’ve had this topic in mind for a while now, and I’m so happy to finally get the chance to sit down (lay beside my baby actually) and get to work!

Ironically enough, this topic came to mind just as I was feeling a little burnout myself, and now that I find myself in a better headspace, I can finally speak on some of the things that carried me on to better days.

-Learn to say NO:

Now that I’m a mom of four, you can only imagine how full my hands are on a day-to-day basis. Adding extra responsibilities to my to-do list is a big no no. As moms we want to make sure we’re only taking on duties that resonate with our lifestyle & the season we are currently walking. I learned to say “no” to certain events & people when I started to prioritize what was most important. Having too much on our plate can lead to burnout, so in order to stay sane we must subtract and not add to our list.

Say “no” to the unnecessary so you can say “yes” to the things that truly matter!

-Ask For Help:

You can do it all, just not all at once.

Acknowledging you need help can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes. I know this from experience when I once believed I needed to do it all myself, almost as if I had something to prove. If there’s anything I can tell you from this experience, is that it’s okay to ask for help. Shamelessly. Because as we all know it, it really does take a village. Raising tiny humans is HARD, and my gosh, I am so thankful to have a village behind me that helps out whenever they can, however they can.

When it comes to chores, simply divide or set tasks aside for your spouse & children to help you with. My oldest has a daily chore list he needs to complete before having any play or screen time. Even if it’s only one thing they help check off your list, it still helps you immensely while also instilling good habits on your child.

If you’re on the verge of feeling burnout because you’re constantly doing it all yourself, I really want to encourage you to ask for help. You won’t regret it!

-Make Time For What’s Important:

God. Family. Self-care. Relationships.

I find that I’m my best self when I make time for the people I love & when I make time for the things that are important to me. Being that I’m a mom of four boys, practicing self care is HUGE in my case, and squeezing in some “me” time allows me to refuel and recharge.

Make a list of the things that matter to you most, and MAKE time for them. Those are the little things that keep us grounded and makes us who we are.

Don’t let the tasks of your everyday life consume you. It’s important to disconnect to make room for yourself and the relationships that surround you.

-REST

I. Cant. Stress. This. Enough

We’ve all heard it a million times before and it seems so simple, but sometimes we tend to escape our reality by binging on our favorite TV show after a long day of work, and/or lose track of time scrolling as we “rest”. Make it a priority to put your rest before anything else, and go to bed early! If you’re constantly going to bed late & you wake up feeling tired every morning, you should probably take a look at your nighttime routine & make some changes. Getting enough rest will change the way you wake up in the morning.

As my friend Rachel Hollis likes to say:

“If you own your day, you own your week. And if you own your week, you own your month”

I hope that this posts is helpful to some of you & that it blesses you in one way or another!

Leave some of the things you do to prevent burnout down bellow in the comment section! ❤️

Xo,

Postpartum + Baby Must Haves

Motherhood

If you don’t follow me on Instagram you probably missed the announcement of our baby boy’s arrival. Our little one arrived July 9th, 2019, healthy as can be, and we are so over the moon with him.

Today, I will be sharing a few of my postpartum must haves that have made this beautiful season go a whole lot smoother for me.

The first on my list:

Lansinoh Laninol Cream-

Nipple Cream is my best friend the first couple of weeks entering my postpartum journey, and if you’re familiar with breast feeding then I’m sure you understand why. But, if you’re a first time mom who’s planning to breast feed, trust me when I say it’s a definite must have. This nipple cream soothes & relieves the pain of any cracked nipples. I like to apply a generous amount after every feeding.

Blanqi High Waisted Nursing Leggings-

I’ve never been one to splurge on leggings before, but I really wanted to give these a try after reading all the reviews on these and I was not disappointed! They became my favorite pair of leggings at first try, they’re extremely comfortable and they hug & hold everything nice & tight. They’re a little on the pricier side, but they are totally worth it.

Bellefit Corset-

I can’t believe it took me four pregnancies to finally get myself a girdle. I’ve always just used the binder I leave the hospital with, but this time around I wanted something more effective. This makes my third cesarean so I ended up going with a girdle that’s safe & c-section approved. It’s still too early to see any results since I’ve only used it a few times, but I have high hopes & expectations. Not only does the girdle help with my posture, but it’s also been a great support to my abdominal & incision area. I’m excited to see some progress and results in the weeks coming ahead.

Stainless Water Bottle-

Staying hydrated is key when breast feeding. Since I broke my last bottle a while back, the hubs picked up this stainless 3-1 water cup for me, and I love it. It keeps my water nice & cold for hours, I have the option of drinking from the straw or not if I’d like, and it’s perfect for when on the go (it fits in my car’s cup holder perfectly).

Boppy Pillow-

I mentioned this makes my third cesarean, this boppy pillow has been such a huge help when I’m holding my baby close & feeding him. Especially the first few days of recovery, I lacked a lot of strength & this pillow gave me all the support I needed. Boppy pillows are a great support for feeding & for propping baby for tummy time & sitting when they’re ready.

Dock A Tot-

We were gifted a Dock A Tot & it has been such a life saver during nap time. The first week we came home from the hospital, Baby was having such a hard time sleeping anywhere that weren’t my arms or my chest. Our Dock A Tot has come to our rescue most nights as it helps baby sleep comfortably for a couple of hours at a time. We love it and we couldn’t be happier with our Dock A Tot. Happy baby = happy mama.

I hope you enjoyed & found this post helpful one way or another. I’d love to hear what were/are some of your favorite postpartum must haves in the comments down below if you have any you’d like to share! (:

XO,

What’s In My Hospital Bag? (+Free Checklist)

Motherhood

My pregnancy is finally coming to an end and as I nest & continue to prep for baby boy’s arrival, I wanted to share all the things I’m packing in mine and Baby’s hospital bag.

Prepping your baby’s diaper bag is so exciting and if you’re a first time mom who’s expecting, let me just say that you are just as important. Getting your own hospital bag ready is also a must! I remember being clueless when it came to packing when I delivered my firstborn almost a decade ago, and lucky for you, this makes my fourth delivery & checklists are kinda sort of my thing. I made these lists with all mamas-to-be in mind (myself included of course), and I am so happy to be sharing them with you today. Keeping it simple and ONLY mentioning what I know is truly necessary.

I didn’t include “Chapstick” on my list since I always happen to carry one with me, but in case you’re not a Chapstick fanatic, please make sure to pack one in your bag as it will surely come in handy!

Last topic I want to touch base on while we’re here is hospital food. It’s not always the best if I’m being honest, so you may want to bring snacks along with you. Anything light & healthy is always best as your body heals & recovers, especially if you plan on nursing your baby! A special thanks to my mama who always sends me soups & “caldos” during my hospital stay, God bless her heart.

I hope these lists serve you great purpose, and that they’ve at least given you an idea on what to bring with you the day you deliver. Good luck mama, and best of wishes to you and your bundle on the way!

Xo,