via Amy L. Cummins

While I was in Mexico, I had nothing but time. Time to sleep in, time to lounge, time to sit back with a drink in hand and think about Life. And that’s exactly what I did. I thought.

I thought about heading home after vacation and falling right back into the daily grind. Cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, chasing dogs, and struggling to maintain some sense of peace as the chaos keeps building and building.

So I made a promise to myself upon my return that I would declutter. I would let go of all that baggage that was – IS – weighing me down, physically and spiritually. I will finally tackle the guest room that has also become my home office / storage for miscellaneous items. I will clean out my closet and toss anything that doesn’t fit my body or state of mind. I will organize the pantry. I will restart my daily journaling. I will set aside time to decompress. I will revive old friendships. I will rediscover love. And I will build my confidence up by tearing preconceived misconceptions and anxieties down.

Picking Peonies  via James Fitzgerald III

via Flickr

Because Life is too short to hold on to all that negative energy – in the end, that is exactly what holds you back. The fears, the insecurities, the excuses. They eat away at your better self and breed more fear, insecurity, and excuses. A vicious cycle. So why not stop it?

Instead of harping on the weight of the world, find ways to relieve it. Let go of that negative energy. Perhaps that means liberating yourself from a bad relationship. Or finally dropping that last 15 lbs. Or maybe it simply means cleaning out your garage. Start small if you must. Organize your spice rack, then move on to your bookshelves, then tackle your closet. Toss or donate anything that is too tight / too big / too short / too whatever and keep only those pieces that make you feel good, damn good, and wear them frequently. Perhaps then you will find the energy and gain the confidence to hit the gym. As your body grows stronger, so will your confidence, and perhaps then, and only then, will you find the strength to leave behind a toxic relationship. Keep the end goal in mind, and take as many steps as you need to get there.

 White Free People Dress

via Frank Vinyl

It only makes sense that the less negativity we hold on to, the less negative we will feel, right? So I created what I like to call the Declutter Checklist as a kind of big picture affirmation that I am responsible for my own happiness. It’s not your typical to-do, check off as you go kind of list, but a reminder to eliminate the negativity and chaos by creating and embracing positivity.


And finally, if you need a little more positive motivation, head on over to this lovely and newly discovered blog: Amy L. Cummins. Or, if you prefer to just sit and contemplate Life, you may want to have this little treat in hand while you do so.

Happy Friday!



YOU ARE A BADASS (or so I keep telling myself)

No Apologies…

Be yourselfWith motherhood looming, I find myself re-examining myself and this thing called Life. Not that I’ve been unhappy, but I have been in a bit of a rut for what seems like years, coasting through life rather than actually living it.

Sometimes, I think I just feel so much that I become overwhelmed, overstimulated, and over-sensitive to the world around me. So I simply shut down, out of fear I suppose. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of not living up to expectations, fear of judgment.

I look at all the other amazing and inspirational blogs out there and think, “wow, why can’t I write like that? Or decorate like that? Or cook like that? Or even look like that?” Where  is my sense of style and creativity? Where is my passion? Where is my personality? And how did others get to be so lucky? These are questions I ask myself with a growing sense of dread. I will never be perfect…

But perfection isn’t what we should be striving for. Character is what we should be striving for, with all of its ups and downs, its messiness, its risks, its heartbreaks and failures, its grace, its pride, and above all, its love.

No one is perfect, no matter how hard they make themselves appear so, and I am no exception. But, taking a little inspiration from this post, I am offering no apologies.

I don’t apologize that:

My house isn’t clean 98.8% of the time. I have berated myself for this time and time again because somehow, I got it in my head that my house should be 100% magazine ready 100% of the time. This reach for perfection has led to many a tear, more than one argument, and a crap ton of needless stress. For what? So I can brag that I have a clean house? Ridiculous.

My photography skills are less than amateur. I have no idea how to work my camera most of the time, and Photoshop still requires a huge learning curve. But it is a work in progress and something that I can actually see developing into a passion.

I DO NOT jump out of bed with a smile on my face every morning. In fact, there are some days, even weeks, when just getting out of bed at all is a struggle. More often than I care to admit, I wake up grumpy. Grumpy as hell. Sometimes, I remain grumpy all day. And yeah, this makes me feel pretty damn guilty, which makes me even grumpier. But hey, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate my happiness without a little bit (or a lot…) of grumpiness thrown in there, right?

I cook only because I have to, not because I like to. And by no means do I cook gourmet meals. Or even attempt to. I’m a chicken and rice kind of girl. Like, salt and peppered chicken in a skillet and a box of flavored rice. Sometimes I’ll go out of my way and mash some potatoes instead. To give myself a little credit though, I do try to go fresh and organic as much as possible. And I always have a side of veggies.

My closet is NOT full of brand name clothing. Kohls, Old Navy, and Target have become my staples (actually, I recently discovered Steinmart, which will now be added to the circulation). This isn’t to say that I’m not into fashion – I actually do try to keep up with the trends, but in a casual, comfortable, and frugal kind of way. And honestly, I’m in yoga pants more often than not these days, so…don’t judge.

I snack far too often on cookies rather than carrots. I like my carbs. So what? Particularly in this last trimester of pregnancy. I dream of cookies. But every darn time I have that delicious morsel, that little voice in the back of my head screams at me, “don’t you want to fit back into your post-pregnancy clothes?! What the hell is wrong with you? Carrots, carrots, carrots! Cookies are the devil!” And then, because I feel so damn guilty, I grab another cookie.

I work out spontaneously – at best. I love going for a walk on those beautiful, sunny days. Before I was pregnant, I would even break into a run. And on those not so great days, I will very occasionally motivate myself to go to the gym, but that is only because I ate those extra cookies…otherwise, like most people, I count cleaning the house as exercise.

And I am scared to death of becoming a mother. Sometimes, I can hardly take care of myself, and very soon I will have another human being totally and completely dependent on me. This innocent, tender-hearted being for me to shape and mold and build into a man. Hopefully, a good man. No, a great man. And, dear God, that is a great responsibility that I can only hope to live up to. Where do I even begin?

But that last point there, that is really why I am re-examining my life. Because while I know I will not be perfect, I want to be the best version of me that I can possibly be. And I don’t think I am there yet.

You see, I want to live my life with pure intention and joy, rather than basing it around to-do lists and petty insecurities. I want to find enjoyment in the small things, rather than enduring them with machine-like intensity. And I want to stop hiding behind this façade of perfection, let go of my fears, and embrace this messy, chaotic life…because heck, life is only what you make of it! To me, that is the greatest lesson one can ever share with a child: to live life to its fullest.

So, with ALL of that said, my friends, I am going to take a week or two off in order to give myself and this little blog o’ mine an overhaul. Because I believe that a part of living with intention is writing with intention, and I think I have been failing in that respect.

Of course, there will still be plenty of posts about fashion, home décor, and DIY because frankly, that’s where my passion lies. But I will be writing only about what truly and honestly inspires me – not about what I think you want to hear – with the hopes that it will inspire you too. I also hope to insert a little more of my very imperfect self: my beliefs, my frustrations and heartaches, my fears and insecurities, my progressions and successes, and little tidbits of my daily thoughts. ME.

Because truly, what’s the sense in writing if not from the heart? The very best I can offer you is myself and for that I have no apologies.

XOXO. I will be back soon.