Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Ready for Spring!!!

I feel like I always say this every year when I am tired of the cold whether, but I am soooo ready for Spring!! Just warmer weather, really! We keep getting glimpses of it and then it gets cold again! With today being the first day of Spring, my hope is that it only continues to get warmer from here on out! This girl needs to get out of the house!

Here is what I have been doing to get ready for Spring..

1. Declutter / Un-decorate & Decorate / Organize. This might be one of my favorite times of the year! I joined in for fun with Emily Ley for the Ruthless Declutter Challenge. You should join too!

2. After I finish everything from number one, I clean everything, REALLY GOOD! Here is my favorite cleaner that I use for everything, Thieves Cleaner!!

3. We have a really big open bed in our back yard that we always just fill with mulch. Well, this year I plan on making it into a beautiful garden! I can't wait! I have been drawing up a plan and making a list of all the flowers/bushes I want to put in there. Here is a picture of what I am going for. The area already has a rock boarder and I have a bench and a chair. Not sure if I will do stones inside, but I will definitely share with you as I go.

4. I go back to work in 10 days, so I have been trying to wake up a little earlier each day to help me prepare. I have been on a bit of a different schedule since I have been home on maternity leave, and I know it is going to take me some time to get back into a routine. Wish me luck!

5. Every three months, I like to do a quarterly check-in with my goals! I take a look at what I have been doing to achieve them, and see whether or not it's working. Then I see if I need to re-evalute some of them. With the changing of Seasons, there is always room for change and growth. It's an opportunity to start fresh and to look forward to what lies ahead!

6. Going back to number one, decluttering and organizing, I did the same for my clothes, and created my Spring Wardrobe Capsule! I have been doing this for over a year now and it's life changing. Head on over here --> Capsule Wardrobe to learn how to create one for yourself!

What you Missed......

Last month I did a Giveaway, featuring all of my favorite things. One of my favorite items, Beauty Counter lipgloss seemed to get a lot of attention!! It is the perfect color for Spring and you can order it from my good friend Alison. Just follow her link --> Beauty Counter and you can order any of their products through her. I use several of their products and I love them all. They are definitely worth every penny!!

Just last month, I launched the first Touch of Simple List! This is different than my regular blog posts, as you can only receive this list, via email. This is something that I have been working on for awhile! I am sure that you will love the content. Be sure to sign up to receive the next one. Follow the link here --> Sign Up.

And if you missed it, here is the link to my last post, What I Learned This Winter.

What I am Working on...

100 Days of Watercolor/Hand Lettering Challenge, coming this Summer if you want to join with me!! Follow along for more details!

I am working to re-vamp my Pinterest page. I thought this was going to be an easy thing to do, but it's proving to be quite the task, so stay tuned!!

I am working to try and put together a free organizing class. I am only in the beginning stages, but I hope to have it finished and ready to share with you by mid-Summer!

Laundry Room Redo! At last, I have been waiting and waiting to re-do my laundry room and finally we have started! Stay tuned for the latest updates on the progress and the final reveal! Should be finished by the end of April!!

Thats it for now! Many Blessings,

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

What I Learned This Season: Winter

Things have been pretty busy in this house lately. I wasn't even going to write the post this time, for this link up, but for some reason, I just love participating and sharing all that I have learned every season! It is a good way for me to sum up everything into one post, especially during busy seasons of life, when I don't have as much time to post more. I feel like my last few posts have been ones that I have written for this link up, with maybe one or two in between. So it goes, when you have two little ones.

Here are the seven things that I learned this past Winter Season.

1. Being content with what you already have, can sometimes be very hard, especially if you are on social media these days! It's hard for me to admit, because I have so much to be grateful for, that I feel guilty at times for wanting more. One verse that has really helped me with this, comes from 1 Timothy chapter six verses six and seven.

 "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it."

How very true this is and when I think of it this way, it really puts things into perspective for me. Taking the time to give thanks each day for specific things really helps too!

2. Memorizing scriptures, though hard to do as you get older, is still possible and very necessary. I was so intimidated at the thought of trying to memorize scripture verses, because I have a hard time remembering things these days, but it is possible! I have been memorizing a new verse every week, for the past few months, and it really has helped in tough times when I am able to recall these verses!

3. I have decided to participate in the Ruthless Declutter Challenge by Emily Ley, in an effort to get rid of stuff I don't really need, and appreciate all that I have! It kinda helps with the contentment thing as well. You would be surprised at the amount of junk that we as humans accumulate, that is not really needed. Less is more in this case! Having too much stuff in a room or in you home can cause an overwhelming and stressful feeling. I don't know about you, but I am going for a peaceful, relaxing and cozy feeling!

4. I have learned the secret to Instagram and how to not let it run your life or determine your worth. Do you remember when Instagram used to be the app where you would go to post a quick photo with just a few words, and no re-touching? My, has it changed! I know that Instagram has become such a great tool, especially for business owners and other writers/bloggers, but for me I have tried to go back to the 'post when you feel lead or just have a good picture to share' mentality, and don't over think it. Let go of any expectations you have and just have fun! So what, if you don't get as many likes or followers that you were hoping for. I have learned that the quality of your audience is much more important than the quantity. It makes me so happy to know that the people who follow me, actually like and appreciate what I am posting. It inspires them and encourages them. I don't need people who are just following me because of a giveaway or are hoping that I will follow back and then turn around and unfollow me. Let it go and get back to posting meaningful stuff without expectation!

5. Being a stay-at-home-mom has been one of the best times in my life. I have loved being home with both kids, preparing meals, caring for them, and doing fun activities with them.  It's also great to just have some more time to myself. While I am ready to go back to work, I am definitely going to miss being home with my loves. If you are facing a big change in the future or your time is limited in a particular way, I challenge you to make the most of each day until that time comes. I made it a point to make sure I did something special each day, so that it would help me to appreciate the last few weeks of being at home! I also wrote them down. This way I can look back and say that I truly enjoyed this time and cherished these moments. 

6. Tablets, computers, smart phones, and other technology devices, I am coming to learn, are not good for young kids. I am ok with the occasional educational programs and games, but it must be limited! I used to think that it wasn't such a big deal, but I have been seeing more and more of a change (not a positive one) in my son, after he has spent time playing games or watching videos on a device. We stopped allowing him to go on our smart phone and tablet, and we have limited his time on the computer now. There is just too much over-stimulation of the brain when kids are on these devices. This causes attention problems, anger outbursts and mood changes, and hyperactivity making it harder to calm down. I know sometimes it can be really hard, and I do think it is ok on limited occasions, when you just need a few minutes, but I think as a whole, young kids should not be on these devices for long periods of time.

7. Delta Airlines is the best way to fly! I don't have one bad thing to say about them! My mom travels out to see me at least 4 times a year and on almost every occasion, she has extended her stay. Delta Airlines, not only helped change my moms flight for free, but every person she has dealt with, has been super nice and understanding. They have also provided credits for times when my moms flight was delayed or had to be rescheduled. They just have been very accommodating and the actual flight experiences have been very pleasant. We will fly Delta every time and we highly recommend them!

And that's it! No photos or pretty things added this time, just the facts! I am really looking forward to Spring and the warmer weather. How about you? Many Blessings!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Happy New Year!

Do you know what today is? It's Friday, January 12th, and do you know what that means?......

Nothing! Haha, except for the fact that we are almost 2 weeks into the New Year and I am still going strong with my goals and have settled into our new routines! And do you know why that is? Because I have a new outlook on this year! I even created a motto! Yes, fancy I know! Not just a word of the year but a motto too?!! It may be a little cheesy, but I love it, and it's based off of four principles (simplify, wellness, grace, rest) that I want to try to focus on in my everyday life! So here it is...

Be Intentional. Try Your Best. Receive Grace.

And if you are wondering what I mean specifically, for each area, here it is in a little more detail.

So, if you are cheesy like me, and you like the idea of a life motto, feel free to use mine. I even created a free file for you that you can print out and hang!

And if you think the whole life motto is not really your thing, I get it! Here are a few other resources I am using to help me stay on track this year with my goals.

1. Simplified Planner by Emily Ley I'd like to think that I know just a little bit about planners, since I have tried so many in the past. Erin Condren, Live Well, Bloom, Target Brand, Bullet Planner, and a few others. They all seem to have different features that make them each unique, but for me, the Simplified Planner takes the cake. It has a space/section for everything I need to write down and I just love the look and layout. I will be sharing more about why I love this planner so much, next week in my Instagram stories @the.erin.elizabeth 

2. Prayer Journal by Val Marie Paper Since my word of the year is 'Pray', and my goal in fact is to pray more, I knew that I needed some sort of tool to help me with my prayer time. This journal is perfect. It was just what I needed and I am so glad I found it. I will share more about this journal next week in my stories too!

3. Body Love by Kelly LeVeque One of my main goals this year is to get back into shape and feel good physically. My lil one is now almost 4 months old so I have no excuse. I decided to set a goal of working out 3 times a week and making better choices about eating. I have Celiac's Disease and can't have dairy either, so I have already cut those out of my diet. I also purchased a spin bike, no not the Peloton (it's over-rated), just a cheap 100.00 bike that has been just as nice! Body Love has also been so helpful. She explains the science behind eating and eating well to stay full and create balance. I will share more about this book next week as well!

4. Start Today Journal by Rachel Hollis This was a last minute purchase for me, but I am so glad I did. I already have a morning devotional routine that I do first thing, so I just added this to it. It only takes me about 5 minutes to do. They are currently sold out online, but you can still create one yourself with a plain notebook. You don't necessarily need her specific one to do this. I will explain more about it, and how it works, you guessed it, next week in my Instagram stories!

5. Focus Areas Printable Worksheet  When I decided to create a life motto, I was thinking about all of the different areas of my life that I wanted to focus on. I decided to create a worksheet that included all of these areas with space to write ideas. I included the motto at the bottom, so that I would have it as a reminder while I was filling it out. Feel free to download a copy for yourself and start getting those ideas out of your head and onto paper. This worksheet is meant to be referenced all year long and I will probably update as I go. I don't plan on accomplishing all of what I put on here, it's simply just to get the ideas on paper so I don't forget them.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @the.erin.elizabeth so that you can catch all of my stories next week. I will be sharing a little bit more about these tools and resources each day, starting on Monday.

Many Blessings,

Thursday, December 6, 2018

What I Learned This Fall

Every quarter, I write a post about what I learned from the Season's past and I link up with Emily Freeman on her site to share with others. I have done it for over a year now and I have learned lots of new things from what others have shared. I hope that what I learned will inspire you or speak to you in some way! I'm looking forward to this next season of Winter and the amazing things God has for me! So here they are, the 7 things I learned this Fall!

And the most important thing of all that I learned....

Many Blessings,

Friday, September 14, 2018

Living Your God-Sized Dreams

I love reading inspirational stuff from others. I have quite a few bloggers, authors, and podcasters that follow and I just love their content. They all provide a lot of encouragement and really useful information. Sometimes however, they will have conflicting options about certain things and it's hard for me to decipher which one I lean more towards. This doesn't necessarily mean one is right and the other is wrong, I just think it all depends on your personal walk.

More recently, I have been reading and listening about following your dreams. In one book, the author talks about dreaming small, because God is so big. She talks about when we try to follow those really big dreams, we are missing out on the dreams (plans) He has for us in our everyday lives. We are striving to be something great, when we should be striving to serve Him and give Him the glory. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people will tell you to dream big and there are plenty of really amazing people out there that followed their big dreams and became very successful (including Joanna & Chip Gaines). That's even what this one podcaster, I follow, talks about. Dreaming big and never giving up on that dream.

However, I don't want you to miss my point. I think all dreams can be amazing, if they are God ordained dreams. Meaning, whether you want to open up your own little shop one day, or simply to be able to go on a nice vacation with your family, if they are God-sized or God-planned, then I believe they will come true and you will be successful!

So instead of focusing on your dreams in terms of big or small, how about we just say they are God-sized dreams. Knowing, that these dreams were placed in your heart by God and prepared in advance, for us, by Him. 

A verse that comes to mind when I think about God-sized dreams is....

"Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4

What this says to me, is that when we delight in His Word and His plan for us, then he will make those dreams come true for us, because it is part of His plan for our life. It is not a dream that we are chasing because we saw how successful somebody else was with theirs. This can be hard sometimes though, because how do we know which dreams are God-sized dreams? I can tell you that there have been plenty of dreams that I have had in the past, that never happened or just didn't work out. I figured out later on, that those dreams were never meant for me. They were not placed in my heart by God. They were my own desires that I was chasing and therefore they didn't turn out to be successful.

One dream of mine was to become a mom, and even though it didn't happen when I had planned, and we had to suffer through some hard times to get there, He made that dream come true for me. He gave me the desires of my heart. I have an almost 5 year old now, with another one on the way! And when I think about this dream I had, I don't think about it as a big dream or a small dream, to some, it could be both. Instead, I look at it as a God-sized dream that I had. It was something God placed in my heart a long time ago and I trusted in Him that His promise would come true when the timing was right! So to you I  say, don't follow YOUR dreams, follow His dreams, those God-sized dreams! Many Blessings! 

Simply Yours,

Friday, September 7, 2018

Feature Friday: Grove Collaborative

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Hey friends! Hope you all enjoyed your Summer! I just wanted to stop in and talk to you about one my absolute favorite companies!! Grove Collaborative!

I have been ordering from them for almost three years now and I have never been disappointed! It is a monthly subscription that you can change from month to month. Shipping is only 2.99 and you have the option of skipping a month if you want! They offer all sorts of products from household items to beauty products, they even have stuff for your kids! Below I created a list of some of my favorites that I order often! I could go on and on about how awesome their products are, but you just have to check them out for yourself.

From top to bottom, left to right: Caldrea countertop spray, Schmidts lavender + sage deodorant, Mrs. Meyer's hand
soap, Head to Toe lavender body lotion, Grove reusable storage bags, Collagen Beauty Tonic, Method daily shower spray

Right now, when you join, you will receive a Mrs. Meyers gift set with your first purchase!
I love Mrs. Meyer's products I use a lot of them! This is a great deal, that you don't want to miss out on. Included in the gift set:

Mrs. Meyer's Hand Soap
Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap
Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Spray
Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponge
Free Shipping & VIP Trial

Follow the direct link below to get started today!! ---->      Grove Collaborative

Simply Yours,

Monday, September 3, 2018

What I Learned This Summer!

I can't believe we are already through another season just about. Fall is only a few weeks away and as I sit here typing this post I am filled with a mix of emotions. I don't want to say goodbye to Summer, it always go by way too fast, but I am ready for the Fall and all that God has in store. The changing of seasons can be hard sometimes, but I am so grateful that He walks through them with us, guiding us, helping us through the change. As I think about this Summer, I definitely learned so much, and I wanted to take some time to share those things with you. Emily Freeman does a link up at the end of every season and it is fun to read through what everyone has learned each season. Each post has something inspiring and encouraging for me, so I hope to do the same for you!!

1. There were some new habits that I wanted to create for my life and a few bad ones that I wanted to break. I was listening to a podcast one day, and the speaker was talking about creating new habits. She said that she will do/try something for at least 21 days, and see if it sticks. I guess research shows that in order for something to stick, you have to do it for 21 days straight. I made a list in my notebook of things I wanted to do more of and bad habits I wanted to break, and I kept track of each of them for 30 days. I figured doing it for the whole month was just easier. Guess what, it worked and I'm hooked. Some new habits I created were reading 30 minutes a day, taking 3, five minute quiet breaks for myself each day, and family prayer time every morning. Some things I wanted to work on getting better at were, less phone time each day, no work on Sundays, and less road rage (yes, I get easily frustrated in the car). Please don't judge!! If there is something that you want to start doing more of or a bad habit that you want to break, try it for at least 21 days and keep track. It works!

2. I realized in order to keep the peace in my life and at home there are three things that really keep me balanced and in a routine. 

                 A. Morning quiet time with my coffee, praying and reading the Word.
                 B. I write everything down! Anytime something pops into my head I have to write it down 
                      so I don't forget. It really helps me to clear my head & not become so frantic when   
                      I can't remember something.         
                 C. Straightening as I go. My house may not always be the cleanest, but it is tidy, and that is
                      because I clean up as I go. I was taught when I was young that I needed to clean up  
                      after myself instead of letting things pile up. It really does help, because then there is 
                      less stuff to do all at once and more time for me to spend with my fam!

3. Just recently, I took a break from all social media. I also did it this past Winter and last Summer. We have also cut back the amount of screen time (tv, computer, etc.) for all of us. Let me tell you that it has made a huge difference! Taking a break from technology or at least cutting back, can help your overall mood, health, and forces you to do other things, that in my opinion, are better for you. You can spend more time with your family going places together, playing games, and just really being present in the moment. Pick up a book and read. There are so many good books out there. I used to say that "I don't really have much time to read", but when I cut back on my phone time and screen time, I was able to find at least 30 minutes to read. Taking a break from social media is also good, because we tend to get caught up with comparing ourselves to others and feeling the need to keep up and we end up getting overwhelmed and stressed out. I will continue to take these breaks at least 4 times a year!!

4. After reading, The Magnolia Story, I was even more impressed with Chip and Joanna. They are two amazing people and they have such a great story. It was such an easy read and I learned so much. The one thing that she talks about in her book is 'thriving or surviving' and what she had to do to make the switch. It got me thing about my own life and what my motivation is for certain things. Am I thriving or am I just surviving? Am I just getting by everyday, missing out on the joyful moments because I am so focused on getting things done and making my house look perfect or am I making the most of every moment, even the bad ones? I am so glad I read this book and you should too. Below are my three must reads that I finished over the Summer! They were all equally good!!

5. In one of the books I read over the Summer, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, she talks about doing a half day of prayer. At first I was like, wow, that's gotta be tough. I thought about it for awhile, I decided that I really wanted try and do it. I picked a day when I knew that my husband and son would be out the house, so I could be alone. The writer also suggests maybe going away to a quiet place if you can, but I preferred to stay at home. This also gave me the chance to go through every room of my house and pray over it. I have to be honest and tell you that it went way faster then I anticipated. Once you start to pray, you realize that there is so much to pray for, that you just keep going. I should also mention that I didn't sit in one spot the whole time. I moved around and I also wrote stuff down and read scriptures out loud too. I definitely enjoyed it and I think it is a great thing to do especially during the changing of seasons or when something major is coming up. I am going to make it a monthly practice for now!

6. One thing that was on our bucket list this Summer was to plant a vegetable garden. I am no green thumb, but just the thought of growing your own veggies and doing something with my son was enough for me to at least try. My good friend knows a lot about gardening, so I went to him for some advice. It didn't take much to put the whole thing together and my son really enjoyed planting the veggies. We even made some pretty rocks for the garden. We decided to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and zucchini. All of them ended up doing really well, except for the zucchini, which we ended up pulling up half way through. I really enjoyed using all of the veggies in our meals and my son loved when it was time to pick one off. It turned out so well, I think next year I am going to grow some pumpkins!!

7. This Summer I got back into using essential oils again! I had purchased a starter kit almost 2 years ago, but didn't follow up with the research and got overwhelmed. This time, I had a good friend approach me about using them and I was hesitant to start again. The thing that I did differently this time around, was I made sure that I joined a community of other oilers and made sure I had a sponsor  that I knew, so I could message her with any questions I had. I also did some of my own research and even bought a book devoted specifically to essential oils. I am so glad I started up again, because there really are so many benefits when you use them continuously! If you have any questions about essential oils and would like to try them out, feel free to send me a message!! Young Living has the best oils and the biggest selection. It is so easy to get started!!

And that's pretty much it! It was a great Summer. We definitely made the most of every moment and hope you did as well! Many Blessings!

Simply Yours,

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