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d15

Yay, my 15×15 remix challenge is finished! Click here for the first part, and here for the second part.

Oddly, getting dressed hasn’t become easier, but a little more challenging since this challenge has finished. Ha.

But now that I have an arsenal of worthwhile wardrobe lessons to take with me for the rest of this pregnancy, I’d love to share in coming posts my maternity additions as I slowly grow the wardrobe.

The main lessons being:

  • Accessories, accessories, accessories need to be a new focus for me when I shop.
  •  Makeup and hair can make or break an outfit. Especially the hair part. Looking through my 15 outfits, the ones that I cringe at are the ones where my hair was having a bad day.
  • It has to be practical. If it’s not comfortable or toddler friendly, I’m not going to buy it. I have plenty of nice heels that I can use for date night, so there’s no real reason for me to focus on the fancy, and impractical right now.
  • Less is more. Instead of buying an excess of new clothing, I’m going to pull purchase ideas from a couple of my polyvore boards I created instead; like this one, and this one. It simplifies my shopping list and should help me buy less.
  • I came up with a much more focused list of things to buy/add to my wardrobe that I can follow through confidently on because going for 15 days with only 15 pieces makes it painfully obvious of what I actually need or could use.
  • I think I want to do this once a season  to keep me on my toes with what I actually need and prevent (you guessed it) overspending.

That’s all for now lovelies,

Amanda.

Linking up with the Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.

40 days of joy

My top 6 favorite joy experiences.

1) Play outside. 2) Blessings. 3) Freedom from high standards. 4) Resting when I need to. 5) Knowing that being a Mom is a big deal, and 6) The God Pocket in real life.  

My 40 days of finding Joy in the everyday officially ended on April.2. It is now April.20th, so I’m a little late in writing a reflection piece on the whole process, so I apologize.

My main point around starting this series came from that inner struggle of fighting the Mom funk, and finding Joy as a stay at home mom. You can read about this in my first post here. I was thinking it would be a fun, light series, and “happy, happy, happy” (for duck dynasty viewers, as Phil would say it).

In the end it became something much different then I ever planned on. Sure I wanted to blog more then I did. I only posted nine posts for the whole 40 days, but I also imagined the topics I chosed to be much more about balancing time between myself and being a mom and wife. Instead, it ended up being a massive spiritual journey, where I more or less disconnected from the blogging sphere, unless I posted, and really focused on living the series.

It also wasn’t an easy journey. I found that more than ever my Joy was being attacked as soon as I started the series. But after thinking about why I chose 40 days, and how I even prayed for the 40 days, and dedicated it to God, it all makes much more sense. The 40 day excursions that Jesus took, and the Israelites took (insert 40 years) wasn’t a cake walk, but a desert-like experience. Jesus went for 40 days without water or food for crying loud!

Granted, I had food and water, and wasn’t completly isolated, but it did feel comparable to a “desert” season. The fact that I spent more time living the series instead of writing it, made it more authentic because it gave me more time to disconnect online and really focus in on Jesus, the source of my joy.

So did I experience a huge transformation?  I mean, that was sort of my point in this 40 day adventure, to be transformed by it. People, such as friends from Church, have commented on the growth they’ve seen in my life. Maybe it’s related to this 40 day event, maybe not. I mean, how can we really see our own growth that happens on the inside? It’s so much easier for an outside friend to tell you then for yourself to see it.

But I’ve still done some hard thinking to probe whether transformation has taken place, and I’ve concluded that it’s my perspective that’s been transformed. My joy is an everyday gift that comes from no other source but Jesus himself.

You see, even though I’m a Christian I think I’ve believed in the past that if I focus on improving my outside self, my inside self will feel better, but it’s all empty and fruitless. “If I spend more time working out, or being pretty then I’ll feel better.” And while they might help some, they don’t give you that lasting joy.

All the things in my life that give me joy only do so because Jesus is in those everyday moments. When I play outside with my son I can see His glory all around me; I can see His work in the clouds, in the ocean, and in the air. When I count my blessings I know they’re from Him. I’ve experienced amazing freedom from my own shackles of high standards I’ve placed on myself, and it was all from Him.

My walk with Christ is a daily walk. Therefore my joy needs daily renewing. I can still lose it if I lose my focus, but when I live for Him; where I seek my purpose, worth and approval from Him every day I start to experience joy in the everyday, because my eyes are opened to the Jesus that’s in the everyday.  

May you be blessed by this same joy!

Amanda.

Living Frugal

On of my top favorite quotes regarding frugal living goes something like this:  “it’s not about going without, but enjoying the things you love on less.”

Well, that is indeed the angle I want to approach. I’m not trying to be more frumpy, to starve my family, and have a less beautiful home. I still want nice clothing, good food and to enjoy the home we live in, but my mission is to accomplish these tasks for the next month on less.

Perhaps you’re in a similar boat as I’m in. Grocery prices are sky-rocketing, and so is the cost of living. Not to mention the value of food and packaged goods is becoming skimpier and skimpier while the cost is increasing (thanks to inflation).

My strategy is to look at what our family is currently spending, and where we’re getting hit the most with high costs. I’m going to research and investigate a cheaper alternative in the areas of groceries, personal care, toiletries, clothing, home decor, and whatever else trickles out.

I’m fairly “cheap” as it is, but I’m not a purist. I currently do not thrift shop, use coupons, or make everything from scratch. But I do like sales, do a pretty good job at curbing my expenditures, and do not eat out a lot. Perhaps you’re like me or perhaps you’re already hardcore-frugal. In any case, I’m going to share my honest no-holds-barred report on being hardcore frugal for a month and share the changes we make step-by-step, as well as menus and tips and tricks I pick up along the way.

I’d love to hear your input, and things that work for you in the comment section during this little journey.

I’m not sure if I’ll end up with a chicken coop and a victory garden by the end of this, but with the way the economy is going, I might just go there.

Amanda.

Week 1: Frugal Grocery Shopping

Week 2: Frugal Decorating

Week 3: A Frugal Life

Week 4: A Frugal Wardrobe.

Week 5: The Frugal Report.

The Final Report:

The Beginning…

“Question: What one thing could you do (you aren’t doing now) that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life? What about your professional life?”

Stephen Covey

I’m excited to take on the Nester’s 31 day challenge, where for the whole month of October you blog everyday about whatever it is you pick to blog about. It took me some thinking to finally decide what I wanted to blog about…but here it is:

A little bit of a mouthful, I know! Anyone who has read the late Stephen Covey’s book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  know what I’m talking about. For those who haven’t heard of it, I’ll fill you in. When Covey talks about time management, and how we spend our time, he breaks it into 4 different categories in the diagram below (see page 151, The 7 Habits):

Essentially, highly effective people don’t waste their time in the unimportant categories. Crisis managers spend most of their time in the important urgent/ unimportant urgent categories, while the time wasters spend their time in the unimportant and not urgent categories. The important, non-urgent things of life are those things that aren’t pressing, but really increase the quality of your life, and make you more effective. Exercising, relationship building, creative hobbies, planning and so on, are all excellent examples of important, non-urgent activities. They also take something called initiative.

My Time Management Matrix

Important/UrgentAsher  crying Dog needs to go outDinner timeLaundry overflowingGarbage/Recycling Diaper changesFeed Asher Important/Not urgentExercisingRunningTrain for a 5kmPaintBlogQuality time with babyDIY home projectsHomegroupHospitalityMom time: (nails, hair)ReadingDate night
Not Important/ UrgentPhone ringsText messagesSome email, mailTaskingLooking for lost items Not Important/ Not urgentFacebook/ social media overloadInternet browsing  

 

 

As a new mom, it’s very easy to become a crisis manager. The baby cries, the phone rings, the laundry needs to get done, dinner needs to be made…before I know it week after week goes by, and I still haven’t made time to paint, to try this new DIY home decor project, hang out with this friend, help out that neighbor, and so on. And…its…exhausting! It’s a good way to get burned out.

That’s why I want to dedicate the next 31 days to doing those things that I love, that are important to me, but for whatever reason I’ve procrastinated, or let other less important things take over. I brainstormed 31 activities that I’d like to do, and I have to say, I’m excited to do them!

If you want to join me, remember your answers to the first question in this post, and get to it! It will make you more effective, so why not make the time? Remember, if you want to make time for those important things you’ve been putting off, you need to say no to the less important things.

Happy October!

Amanda.

Day 1 (race date), Day 2 (5k training plan), Day 3 (haircut poetry), Day 4 (Becoming an early bird, because I’d like a worm), Day 5 (Welcome), Day 6 (chalkboard projects), Day 7 (Fall board), Day 8 (family photo shoot outfit planning), Day 9 (Finishing what I started: side chalk board projects), Day 10 (Simple, Easy, Cheap DIY Wreath), Day 11 (Wall art), Day 12 (Race: Finding the right pace), Day 13 (a few essential “big day” items), Day 14 (The “Big Day” Month-Long Plan), Day 15 (Sometimes Starting is the Hardest Part), Day 16 (Easy DIY Burlap Message Boards), Day 17 (Building Family Traditions), Day 18 (my top 5 strategies to working out post-pregnancy), Day 19 (Date night), Day 20&21 (And then life happens), Day 22 (Cultivating the impractical: soaking in His presence), Day 23:(How to plan for the important, non-urgent things in life), Day 25 (Home improvement), Day 26 ( DIY 5 minute deordorant that works), Day 27 (My first attempt at perfecting dunkin donuts pumpkin muffin), Day 28 ( You’re Invited), Day 29 & 30 (Our Charleston Vacation)

This gallery contains 10 photos.

In this amazing book by Tsh Oxenreider there is a 10 day plan to organize each room of your house to create a simplier, clutter-free home. My mission? To follow the plan. My goal: to have my home reflect the qoute Tsh highlights in the book, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know …

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