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“… go home and love your family.”

Amidst the heart-wrenching news of the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself seeking peace… The words of Mother Teresa sunk in deep this morning, and have been rolling around in my head all day.

 

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” Mother Teresa

 

Tonight, I grabbed my camera and captured the most beautiful things I’m aware of. My kids. And I do love them, and I so hope that my love for them is enough – that they will grow up knowing all men are created equal. That they will love one another. That they will never doubt that regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, career choice, home size or car you drive, regardless of all of the things that we have allowed to divide us, we are all the same. This wish for my children extends to all of us. I pray that we will all do our part to make the world a better place and I truly believe that this effort has the farthest reaching effects when practiced within the walls of our own homes.

 

“Go home and love your family.” 

 

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Nikon D700, Nikon 35mm 1.4, cheap prism

Dejunking is good for the soul

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I’m a little bit rusty at this whole blogging thing. What you should see here are several photos: 6 diaper boxes full of clothes and toys heading to donation, 3 large garbage bags full of clothes and linens heading to donation, a truck load full of recycling and the garbage bags of actual garbage that are now in the dumpster. Saturday we spent the day purging through every drawer, closet (okay, I have to do the coat closet still…) and the random accumulated piles of junk and we purged. Purging is something I have LOVED doing over the last several years. Living in a smaller home with a family of 5 is no joke. I think, really, any family with small kids probably has to do a lot of dejunking as time goes on. But, still, I do think it’s magnified in a smaller home where you have to be a bit more choosy about your possessions, lest ye become hoarders. The week before Christmas has become “get the house clean and purge the crap” week, traditionally, for us. It just feels good to go into the holiday and then the New Year without a bunch of unwanted, unneeded junk sitting around.

I have been familiarizing myself with Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering. (Just a heads up, the link to her book is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase via that link, you’re also supporting this blog! It doesn’t cost you any extra, isn’t that great?!) Kondo is a genius and her book should be required reading in every high school across America! We SHOULD be taught how to maintain clutter free happy homes, right?! I have been listening to it on Audible and reading snippets in my free time, too. I’m hoping to have dedicated time to sit and read it cover to cover so I can highlihgt and take notes as well. Such a good book.

While I did not follow her method to a T during this past week’s purge-sesh, I did use many of her ideas. I freed myself from hanging on to belongings simply because they were expensive, given to me or held a place in the nebulous future where I somehow have a small enough figure to fit into them. I touched each item of clothing and made quick decisions. “Do I like this?” “Does this fit?” “Is this something I feel happy wearing?” “Does this represent who I am?” “Does this serve a purpose for me?” It just made the process so quick. I did this as I purged through the kids clothes, too. I involved them and asked them similar questions on things I was unsure about and they had such good input. We did this with their toys as well, which, actually, they are so used to purging their unused toys at this point that they practically did that part on their own. Mommy heart = proud.

I was amazed at how quickly we blasted through all the things. In the past I’ve hung on to the things we were getting rid of for a time – to think it over, to find a friend to give them to, to try and sell the things worth a bit of money. But the last few times I’ve gone through this process, I’ve found so much more peace and joy from making the decision that these items no longer had a place in my home and immediately removing them. Hauling them to the car that day so I could drop them off at their donation spots the next time I was in the area has worked so well. It’s allowed me to really close the door on those items, rather than find them recirculating in the laundry and feeling ragey feelings over the fact that I was washing, drying and folding something I had decided was dead to me!! Never again!! So. That’s pretty much done. Bring on the holidays!!

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Oh, I did get a quick snap of this cute boy. He’s my helper, every day. Isn’t he edible?!

Friday Favorites | 12.18.15

argan hair oil, goat cheese, green olives, adele, erin condren, copper stamped book mark, muk luk slippers, carly

 

Friday is a good day for favorites, no? Here are a “few of my favorite things…” (yes, I’m singing to you!!)

1. Organix Argan Oil of Morocco Renewing Hair Treatment – I deal with dry hair that gets greasy quick. Riddle me that. It’s super annoying. Anyway, I found this AWESOME argan oil spray and have used up nearly 2 bottles of it in the last 4 months. With daily use, usually just a spritz after styling, my dry hair is quenched and manageable yet still light and not weighed down in the least. Plus, it smells amazeeeeeiiiiinnnng… Would make a good stocking stuffer y’all!!

2. Goat cheese and green olives – Yes. Together. I know. Try it… seriously. This with a little deli turkey on top of a cracker is my favorite snack right now. I eat it almost every day. I have always been a big fan of pimiento stuffed olives! Aren’t those to-go cups convenient and adorable, though?!! Love!

3. Adele’s new album, 25 - So good!! We all know Adele is the bomb but her voice on this album is transcendent. The perfect “jammin’ in the car while I wait to pick up my kids from school” album.

4. My Erin Condren Life Planner – My EC Life Planner is like my brain on paper. I’d be totally lost without it. I use the horizontal planner in Jolly Jester (isn’t it CUTE?! I thought it matched my logo and just could NOT say no…). There are about a million awesome planner-gals on YouTube that share how they decorate and plan with their ECs. I, personally, minimally decorate mine but I do like to cute it up a bit now and then. I’ll share more of my favorite planner accessories soon!! For now… take $10 off your first purchase when you use my referral link! https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/carlycarlson0128

5. Michelle Mach Jewelry & Gifts - I recently commissioned Michelle Mach to create some beautiful hand-stamped copper bookmarks (both the full sized style, pictured, and the smaller clip bookmark style, too) for the girls on my Usborne Books & More leadership team. They LOVED receiving them as gifts (the responses were so fun to hear!!) and I kept one for myself as well. ;) I just finished reading my first book using this bookmark and it just made the whole experience more special and enjoyable. Yes. A bookmark can do that… get one (and give one, too)!! :)

6. MukLuk Slippers – I luh-ovvvve my MukLuks. They are so fuzzy, cozy and warm. I wear them as my go-to house slippers and only change out of them when I must go outside. And even then, I sometimes pop them in my purse to take them to put on once I get to our destination (you know, like if I’m going to my parents house, I’d rather wear my comfy slippers than anything else!!)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, however the opinions and views are entirely honest and my own!