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What Can YOU Learn From Minimalism?

“The average American household contains more than 300,000 possessions.”

Read that sentence. Now read it again and really consider it. Astounding, isn’t it?

It’s just one of the tidbits I learned in “Essential,” a book of essays written by The Minimalists. I known I’ve written about these guys before, but wanted to touch base on their book of essays, published in 2015. I requested my library purchase a copy and finally got my hands on it!

At its core, minimalism is about making you think. Rather than mindlessly buying more “stuff,” think about WHY you’re doing it. Rather than stashing things in your closet to collect dust for months, think about WHY you’re doing it. In a world of often-mindless consumption and consumerism, it’s nice to take a step back and think about WHY we own the things we own, WHY we do the things we do, etc.

What value is this [object/person/job/relationship/experience/etc.] bringing to your life?

That’s the question we should all be asking ourselves, and it’s definitely one I need to ask more often. The Minimalists look at that question from a number of perspectives, and in respect to various subjects, in the course of their essays in this book.

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The Navigator’s Council & Beating 50 Percent

For those who aren’t familiar, Beating 50 Percent is a mission started by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff, inspiring couples to give more than 50 percent in their marriages. It’s about having an “above-average” marriage and honestly – I’m all for it. A lot of the mission and its readings are faith-based, which isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. But the basic principles are about giving more to your spouse, to your marriage.

As part of their mission, the Roloffs created the Navigator’s Council, a weekly journal for couples designed to foster communication, conversation, and commitment.

My husband and I just finished our seventh week using the Navigator’s Council. In a world where things can get crazy and schedules are chaotic, it’s nice to spend even one hour every Sunday together focusing on nothing but our journal. Every week, we answer the same six questions together. It’s a nice way of checking in with one another and setting aside specific time for conversations about what’s bringing us joy, what’s difficult in our lives, and what challenges or stressors we need to deal with together.

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Fifteen Real-Life Wonder Women

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Although I’ve yet to actually go see it, I’m thrilled by the hype floating around on social media regarding the new Wonder Woman movie. There’s just something about seeing a film surrounding a strong, powerful woman succeed that sends chills up and down my spine. It’s fantastic – and I wanted to feed off that energy by reminding everyone of some of the incredible women who have brought about change in society!

Hopefully you’ve already heard of these 15 powerful women and are familiar with their accomplishments, but in all honesty, you might not be. Their stories deserve recognition and acknowledgment, far more than I can give them – but I hope this is a start.

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33 Self-Care Tips in a Trying Time

Alright, we all know these recent times have been, well, tough. The political climate in the United States is certainly stressful for me, and I’m not the only one. During these crazy times where it’s easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on in the news, what move Trump is making next to further destroy the country, and what else could possibly be going wrong, it’s easy to forget to focus on ourselves. But self-care is SO important, now and always.

Maybe you already have routines, big or small things that you do to take care of yourself – or maybe you don’t. Either way, we can always use more self-care in these trying times, so check out the list of 100 self-care tips below! (And feel free to share in the comments what *you* do for self-care, if it isn’t on the list.)

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The Biggest Risk I’ve Ever Taken….

Two years ago, I took the biggest risk of my life – and nothing has ever felt so right! In May 2015, I asked my then-boyfriend (now-husband) to marry me. It was awfully scary, but obviously – he said yes!

We’d been dating almost eight months. The way things were progressing, it felt right. We’d already talked about ‘forever,’ and we’d just signed a lease on our first apartment. Maybe part of it was that surreal, hopeful longing people in love have. But it felt right to me, so I went for it.

Relationships are all about what feels right for you and the other person involved. There’s no timeline I can point to that says “date for this long, engaged for this long, etc.”

Every relationship is unique, and it’s up to you & your partner to determine the course of action and what’s right for you and your journey together.

Just over seven months in, I knew I wanted to marry him. At some point, I thought about asking him… and then I thought, can I really do this? Hell, why should I have to wait for him to make the first move?

That’s part of why I’m writing this blog, two years later. When I thought of the idea, I asked around the Internet about it. Is it common/acceptable for a woman to ask a man? Today’s society is more modern and YES, it’s okay. But a lot of the relationship blogs I read were adamantly AGAINST a woman asking a man. They called it backward and said a man would feel emasculated. To hell with that. Any man who doesn’t support a strong woman making her own decisions and moves isn’t a man I’d want to marry anyway.

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