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    House and Home, Minimalism, Uncategorized

    How I Saved My Motherhood by Becoming a Minimalist

    minimalist baby, minimalist wardrobe, minimalist mom life, minimalist mom and kids, simple living, simplified life, minimalist quotes, minimalist mom quotes, minimalist style, minimalist blog, simplified kids, simplified mom

    Minimalism is a huge part of my life but it hasn't always been.  Prior to becoming a minimalist my life was chaotic and my kids were spoiled. I never wanted my kids to become spoiled, it just happened.  Before having kids I knew exactly the type of mom I was going to be. I would sit and play with my kids every chance I had, I would show my kids how to appreciate their toys and to be respectful of others and most importantly, I would NOT raise spoiled kids. 

    RELATED POST 40 Bags in 40 Days

    What Happened... 

    I became a parent. My son had everything he ever wanted or needed from the day he was born. We bought him toys left and right to make him feel "happy'.  For some reason we thought happiness came in the form of things and foods. He ate popsicles every day and seemed to have every new hot wheel car. I was far from becoming a minimalist. 

    "I was failing at the parent game and that wasn't okay with me."

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    My Thoughts...

    It was in that moment that I took a step back and realized how deep we had become in spoiling our children.  I started researching minimalism and tiny houses.  That left me with so many questions- "Why do we have all of these unnecessary things? Why do we fill our life with clutter? Where do I start?" I didn't want to empty my life of every single thing I owned but I wanted the few items I did own to mean something to me.  What I wanted was to spend LESS time picking up toys and cleaning and MORE time with my kids. 

    "If I woke tomorrow and all my possessions were gone I would still be the happiest person in the world, I have an amazing husband and two little kids who make me smile each and every day."

    Inspiration...

     It was around this same time last year that the wildfires devastated Sonoma County.  They tore through some of our favorite spots and destroyed homes.  I couldn't sit back and watch as I was surrounded with everything I ever needed and they lost everything they ever had. I started to think hard about what I would grab on the way out- it was simple- my kids, my dog, my 2 cats, my husbands guitar, my camera and as many pictures as I could hold. Those were things that meant the most to me. Those are the things that fill my heart with never ending happiness. It was at that moment that I knew I had it in me to become a minimalist. 

    My son carried each bag to the car with the biggest smile across his face. On the way to visit the family he asked me many questions about their situation, "what happened? where will they go? are they okay?".  At one moment he got very quiet. I asked him if he was okay. He reached up and handed me three of his favorite cars that were sitting in his car seat. He held them out, "mama will you give these to the baby, I don't need them anymore".  That my friends was my proudest mom moment. The moment I knew that my kid was going to be just fine in this big bad world and that his kindness will felt by many.
    My son carried each bag to the car with the biggest smile across his face. On the way to visit the family he asked me many questions about their situation, "what happened? where will they go? are they okay?".  At one moment he got very quiet. I asked him if he was okay. He reached up and handed me three of his favorite cars that were sitting in his car seat. He held them out, "mama will you give these to the baby, I don't need them anymore".  That my friends was my proudest mom moment. The moment I knew that my kid was going to be just fine in this big bad world and that his kindness will felt by many.

    RELATED POST Give More

    How I Took Action...

    I rallied my kids and we came up with tons to giveaway. That giveaway led us to throw a community wide garage sale and all the funds went straight to the fire victims. I was so proud of myself, my family and my amazing community. You can read more about our garage sale here

    I knew a community large garage sale wasn't in the books this year.  As much as I wanted to throw one again, life was getting in the way and summer was passing by too quickly.  I was scrolling facebook I saw a post from a local mom. Her house caught fire and they lost most of the things they owned. It was as if it was a sign to once again pass on things we no longer needed. We made it a family event. Our goal was to fill the kitchen table. Guess what?! WE DID IT!! The entire kitchen table was full of 15 stuffed bags. To say I was proud of my family was an understatement. 

    My son carried each bag to the car with the biggest smile across his face. On the way to visit the family he asked me many questions about their situation, "what happened? where will they go? are they okay?".  At one moment he got very quiet. I asked him if he was okay. He reached up and handed me three of his favorite cars that were sitting in his car seat. He held them out, "mama will you give these to the baby, I don't need them anymore".  That my friends was my proudest mom moment. The moment I knew that my kid was going to be just fine in this big bad world and that his kindness will felt by many.

    My son carried each bag to the car with the biggest smile across his face. On the way to visit the family he asked me many questions about their situation, "what happened? where will they go? are they okay?".  At one moment he got very quiet. I asked him if he was okay. He reached up and handed me three of his favorite cars that were sitting in his seat. He held them out, "Mama will you give these to the baby, I don't need them anymore".  That my friends was my proudest mom moment. 

    "The moment I knew that my kid was going to be just fine in this big bad world and that his kindness will be felt by many."

    I learned two things the day that I became a minimalist: I never wanted any type of possession holding me back from being an amazing mom and I wanted a simple life, full of simple things.

    RELATED POST Minimalist Newborn

    I learned two things the day that I became a minimalist: I never wanted any type of possession holding me back from being an amazing mom and I wanted to live a simple life, free of stress and worry. These two things are how minimalism saved my motherhood and reminded me of the kind of humans I wanted my children to become.

    I learned two things the day that I became a minimalist: I never wanted any type of possession holding me back from being an amazing mom and I wanted a simple life, full of simple things.
    I learned two things the day that I became a minimalist: I never wanted any type of possession holding me back from being an amazing mom and I wanted a simple life, full of simple things.
    Crafts, House and Home, Parenting, Recipe

    DIY Marshmallow Play Dough

    Today I stumbled upon the perfect rainy day activity. It wasn’t rainy but the Nor Cal fires have been keeping us indoors for most of the week. I have been pulling out old toys, puzzles with a million pieces and lots of pots & pans to keep them entertained. Somehow the days spent inside always seem to last forever, naps never happen, and we all get cranky. But today we made something sweet to keep our spirits up- Marshmallow Play Dough!

    This post contains affiliate links to keep free content flowing. 

    RELATED POST Gummy Bear Slime

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    Marshmallow play dough was the perfect mix of creativity and endless play. The best part was they could eat it! It was almost too simple to make (somehow we still messed it up) and super easy to clean up.

    Marshmallows, ​coconut oil corn starch and food coloring - super simple and convenient ingredients, all of which we had in the cupboard.  We found a few recipes online, but decided to create our own little mix. It’s almost impossible to mess up, but we still did! 

    The first batch we made was PINK play dough. We added 12 large Marshmallows, 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of ​corn starch. Heat this mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds then add in as much food coloring as you want. We started with 4 drops and stirred it all up. You may need to knead with your hands to get it mixed really well. Our mistake was TOO much coconut oil. We had a bowl full of oil! So much so that after we mixed a good ball we could squeeze out the oil. To save this batch I had to add an extra 1/4 cup of corn starch to soak up the rest of the oil.

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    We balanced out our ingredients in our second batch. Our BLUE play dough turned out perfect!! Here is the combo we found worked out best.

    Austin loved rolling it out on his silicon playmate placemat and using his play dough toys to cut out different shapes! He is becoming a professional play dough man! Do I see baking in his future? Yes please!

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    Things to remember for next time?

    Start with less oil, add corn starch throughout play to make sure it doesn’t get too sticky, and don’t eat so much you get a belly ache!!

    Favorites, Must-haves, Parenting

    38 Must Have Summer Dresses

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Okay I went a little overboard with this one! I started looking for a couple dresses to get me through the next few months of summer. Dresses are an essential part of my minimalist wardrobe. One piece of clothing that you can dress up or down with a few accessories? YES PLEASE! 

    Here are my top favorites that can take you from a day at the beach to the perfect wedding guest look (okay not all of them are versatile but you get the point!).  

    Scroll down to see the 38 dresses that I fell in love with! I am only buying two but a girl can dream right?! If you see any you love, click on the link and it will take you directly to where you can purchase it.  Happy Shopping! 

    Which summer dress was your favorite? Share your summer wardrobe staple in the comments below <3 

    House and Home, Minimalism

    Simplified Mom: 40 Bags in 40 Days

    This is a minimalist dream - get rid of 40 bags of things in 40 days! But let’s be real that’s a lot of stuff! So this is my 40 bags in 40 days remix.

    I am starting off a little late this year, but lucky for me I have two boxes in the garage full and ready to go to giveaway, so doesn’t that make me ahead of the game?

     

    What is 40 bags in 40 days? 40 Bags in 40 Days was a tradition that coincided with lent. It is the idea that instead of “giving up” something for lent you will donate 40 bags of items. 

    Why do I love this idea so much? I’m a minimalist at heart. I dream of living in a clutter free world! I love the idea of living with just necessities and getting rid of the distractions around us.

    How does it work? Simple, your goal is to fill 40 bags, one bag for each day until Easter. 

    Follow my simple steps on how you can achieve this and be sure to check out the hashtag #40bagsin40days to see the progress of others. If you decide to follow along and participate, Post your picture of your progress using that hashtag! I would love to see what you clear out of your house! 

    • Create a list of all the areas in your home, thinks small! You may not have time to accomplish your entire room in one day, but if you break it down you can! 

      Example: closet bottom, closet top, drawer 1, drawer 2, drawer 3, drawer 4, under bed, top of dresser, dresses, shoes, pants, jewelry, belts…  You see you can easily break it up in little sections to not overwhelm yourself. 

    • After you have each location set pull out the calendar. For each day, write in the place that you will declutter or clean out. That way you are committing yourself to the task and making time to complete it.  If you have a big event on a certain day then only schedule in a small task.
    • Get to work - place boxes in your garage for giveaway, trash and sell. The goal is 40 bags, but realistically you may not have 40 bags in your house. I know that I don’t because this is something I do almost monthly. 
    • 40 days and 40 bags ends on Easter. I like to take the day after Easter to deliver all my items to where they need to go. Don’t forget to take a photo on the last day of all you have accomplished and pat yourself on the back - not only did you rid yourself of all these things, but you also will be able to help someone by donating these items.

    ** If you have the time instead of simply taking these items to Goodwilll you could sort them and take them to places that can use them right away rather then sell them. I like to split the men and women items and take them to the shelters and take the food to a local church. Ask around and find out where you can take items in your town that will be of more use. 

    Is this something you are going to try this year? It’s not too late to start today! Every little bit helps. Last year I did it for 10 days and I still made a huge impact. Let me know in the comments below if you plan on participating this year and what you hope to get out of it.

    If you’re interested in reading more, subscribe here to get my FREE DECLUTTER WORKSHEET. This is a step by step plan to help you declutter your home in one week. 

    House and Home, Minimalism, Must-haves

    Valentines For the Minimalist

    This post contains affiliate links. I make a small percentage when u click and purchase from that link.

    Candy, stuffed animals and roses, are just a few of the classic Valentine gifts. But let’s be real, are those gifts that we really need or will even use?  I love Valentine's day, mostly because my first date with my husband was 10 years ago on Valentine's day. Every year we still try to outdo one another and surprise each other with something. This year I decided to throw together a list of our favorite gifts over the years and why we love them. They aren’t all romantic, but they are the type of gifts that keep on giving throughout the year and some that just make us feel special! 

    Vitamix We love our Vitamix and get endless amounts of use out of it.  It starts in the morning when my husband blends up his coffee, protein powder and cream to make the perfect cup of joe. We use it throughout the day to make protein shakes, smoothies, popsicles mixes, sauces. The list literally goes on and on. In my opinion this is the gift that just keeps on giving. You can find our favorite here

    Coffee Maker My husband and his many coffee makers. The minimalist in me is cringing because he owns around 3-5 but this is what makes us happy. My husband and I like to think of ourselves as coffee connoisseurs. I dream of having a lovely little coffee machine that will make mornings, afternoons, pick me ups sooo much easier. (hint*hint*) My husband on the other hand enjoys spending time on his cup and making each one special.

    Griddle Starting to see a theme here? We love making pancakes and only recently did my husband start thinking about a griddle . I know we will have endless days of pancake mornings. So this year (shhhh don't’ tell him) he may be getting his pancake griddle

    A Class Such a wonderful gift for someone trying a new hobby! Recently my husband signed me up for a photography class and it was so incredibly sweet. He planned it for days when he could be home from work to watch the kids. I am so excited to grab my coffee, notebook and learn in peace. There are so many fun classes! Pottery, dance, workout. Trying something new is always fun and exciting. I love the idea of signing up for a class together too. That way you ensure you have at least one date night a week. 

    Membership/Subscription Along with classes, it’s fun to have a new membership somewhere. Maybe that yoga class you have been dying to try or a membership to amazon prime! Or a subscription to a curated box with treats each month! There are so many possibilities. You can sign up for a prime membership here

    Flowers This goes against what I said earlier BUT flowers make me happy. They bring me warmth and joy. So yours may not be flowers but something that brings your significant other joy. 

    Gift Cards Something you know everyone loves! It is simple, easy to get and can be used alone or with someone. My husband loves going to lunch at work and stopping for a cup of coffee so I know he will love this! 

    Get away together Plan a getaway, include all the details so they don’t have to  worry about a single part of it! Plan the babysitter, meals, activities. This one requires a little more thought but can be so incredibly sweet! 

    Romantic dinner at home-Sometimes there is nothing more special than staying home and getting cozy. Plan to have the kids to stay at grandmas! Make your favorite dinner and some yummy cocktails. 

    What are your favorite Valentines gifts? Share in the comments below! 

    House and Home, Recipe, Uncategorized

    Starbucks Copycat Vanilla Scones

    This post contains affiliate links. I make a small percentage when u click and purchase from that link.

    My toddler has been whining more and more lately about wanting to go to Starbucks. Wait hold on…my toddler?! Yup you heard that right. He loves Starbucks more than me and his love for scones has become quite the negative influence on my own eating habits because when he doesn’t finish his scones, who ends up eating them? ME!!!


    His favorite thing at Starbucks are the Petite Vanilla Scones. He always requests two for him and one for his sister. He holds his pudgy little fingers up and shows me two fingers on one hand and one on the other. How can I resist? Whenever we are on the way to see friends he asks if we can stop and get them for him and his friend. 

    There are two simple reasons that I despise these little scones.

    They are incredibly expensive.  Even when you order one you get greeted with the “you get a discount if you buy three”. These little babies are not cheap.

    They are not nutritionally good for you at all. Lots of sugar and obviously carbs. It’s a waste of food and something my little guy just does’t need. 

    Today was a rainy day, and I decided we were going to stay inside today. This coupled with my New Years goals fresh in my mind, I couldn’t imagine making a trip to Starbucks without ordering something delicious for myself too. I decided why not make the scones ourselves and let the kids have fun with it? We made do with the ingredients we had in our kitchen and they turned out divine. Such a scrumptious little treat and I think my little guy liked them better than the real thing. The best part about these scones - they are gluten free, dairy free and PALEO! So they are healthy in small doses.

     A few notes..

    We didn't have baking powder so I created a substitute. For 1 teaspoon of baking powder, combine 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. 

    The dough is supposed to be thick! Keep mixing and it will form. 



    What's your favorite guilty snack?  We would love to try to make a copycat for you! 

    House and Home, Recipe

    Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas

    This post contains affiliate links. I make small percentage when ​u click and purchase from that link.

    I feel like I am so late on the Instant Pot train! We bought our Instant Pot last year and so far I have only used it to make hard-boiled eggs, steam veggies and make chicken super quick. We had yet to try anything fancy in it. Why? I have no clue. It’s practically the best invention since the microwave and you can have warm delicious food almost at the snap of your fingers. 


    I knew I had to try something different and exciting for dinner, but after opening our fridge I quickly realized we were limited on ingredients.  It was pouring rain out and the last place I was going was the market. I pulled out our sad looking onion, still good under a couple layers and 2 red peppers that were almost past their due date. My first thought was to chuck them and order take out, but with a little more digging in the freezer I found some frozen chicken. Hmmm.. FAJITAS! I knew it! I had been craving Mexican food all week and this was just the ticket.

    This is my healthy version of fajitas but are they really that bad for you anyways?! It’s so incredibly simple you will laugh that you hadn’t thought of it yourself.

    Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas 

    Cut chicken into long strips and place in Instant Pot. Add spices or taco seasoning packet and mix. Slice pepper and onion and place on top of chicken. Add 1/2 cup of water and quickly mix everything. Place lid on and make sure the vent is closed. Set manual timer for 30 minutes. 

    Once time is up let the instant pot vent for 10 minutes or if you’re in a hurry go ahead and release it. 

    I placed fajita mix onto of rice and added some fresh tomatoes and avocado! ENJOY! 

    New to the Instant Pot? Looking for some other great dinner ideas? Check out these yummy and simple recipes! 

    The Instant Pot has quickly become one of our favorite tools to use in the kitchen.  We use it for boiled eggs, oatmeal, dinner and everything in between. What is your favorite thing to make in the Instant Pot? Let me know what we should try next in the comments below!