Category Archives: simplify

Turning 30, and Changing Paths

I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday.  As birthdays go, 30 is pretty much a biggie, though I certainly don’t feel any older, any more responsible.  But, it does tend to make one a little introspective about the meaning of life and the general state of things.

Turning 30 makes you think about the direction your life is taking, the road you are walking down every day, and the final destination you’re headed for.  Is it a good one?  Is it a place I’ll enjoy when I’m 50, 60, or 70?  Or will I regret not branching out and doing things my way?  Is there still time to change course, or is the journey already set in stone?

Friends, the journey is never set in stone, and it is never too late to change your life into what you want it to be.

I desperately want a simpler life.  I want to come home to less stuff and more time with my family.  I want to have less debt and more money to share with others.  I want to have less work and more time to pursue the interests that make me feel like a whole, alive person.  I want to eat less chemically laden supermarket factory “food” and relish over more organically-grown-straight-from-my-own-garden food.


All of this doesn’t mean that I need to sell my car, sell my house, and move my family off into a yurt at a hippie commune (though I don’t doubt that would be fun!).  Change, lasting and real change, best happens when it is incremental.  Baby steps and tiny choices snowball over time into a completely changed life that lasts.

For me, baby steps are decluttering my house, once drawer at a time.  Growing one pot of tomatoes and a few herbs.  Transitioning harmful, useless chemicals out of my home.  Learning to NOT bring new stuff home in the first place (which is the hardest part for this impulse shopper).

Turning 30 isn’t something I dreaded, or something that makes me feel “old.”  Instead, it just reminds me that you are never too “old” to start making life amazing!

What about you?  Is there something you’ve always wanted to do with your life?  What could you do today that would set you on the path to your own awesome life?  I’d love to hear about it! 

Five Easy DIY Craft Storage Solutions

Today, I’ve spent quite a bit of time cleaning my bedroom and organizing and sorting through all of my craft supplies.  I’m nowhere near finished, but I’ve learned that really good organization is always a work in progress.  I’m always on the lookout for great new storage ideas to keep all of my crafting supplies neat and tidy.  craft room storage as display

Here are a few I found on Pinterest that I’ll be trying out soon:

Mason Jar Craft Storage – Linda over at It All Started with Paint used run of the mill mason jars, some chalkboard paint and a paint pen to create a nifty storage solution for all the little tiny things we crafters tend to accumulate.  Like buttons, beads, needles, string, glitter, pins,….

I really love this idea for storing those little 2oz bottles of craft paint (of which I have many).  Just a few wire shelves and some PVC pipe create a great, space saving storage solution.

Need a frugal but cute way to corral all of your markers, pens and brushes?  I found this adorable toilet paper roll pen caddy on Instructables, and I’m thinking of making one for myself AND one for the kids!

These great fabric covered boxes from Mandy’s Krafty Exploits would be perfect for storing patterns, fabric cuts, and other larger items.  They would make good yarn storage, too!

And last, but certainly not least, this post from lyssa beth details how to turn old Priority Mail shipping boxes into sturdy magazine and book files.  I’ve made magazine files from cereal boxes before, the double wall cardboard of these shipping boxes is sure to be much more durable!


So there you go – five easy, affordable craft storage solutions that you can make today, from things your probably already have in your house!  I hope these tutorials help you get organized; I know I’m going to be trying some of them this weekend!

Do you have a great storage solution that’s simple and creative? I’d love to hear about it!  Drop me a comment, and I’ll share it on a future post!




photo by: decor8

Are you getting enough quiet time?

There is a lot of value in silence.  In sitting still, in staring out the window, in letting go of obligations for a short span of time.

I think, for most of us, reveling in the quiet is hard to do.  It’s hard to find the quiet, first of all.  We’re constantly surrounded by media, the internet, our families, even the voices in our own head that are constantly rattling off the myriad of things we should be doing instead.  In all that noise, it’s hard to settle down and find a peaceful moment.

But, I think it’s important.  I think if you don’t make the time to find a quiet moment here and there, one will be found for you, and it will be at a much less convenient time.

Its time to relax and unwind...

Photo Credit: VinothChandar via Flickr

For the past six weeks, I’ve been working 65 hours a week at my day job, keeping up with my photography business and still attending to my tasks as a wife and mom.  My energy has stayed high, for the most part, and I’ve adapted well to my new schedule.  But, in trying to keep up with everything, I was forgetting one important part of the puzzle – myself.

As a textbook introvert, I need a lot of quiet time to recharge my batteries and feel centered, and twenty minutes in the car during my commute just wasn’t cutting it.  So it was no surprise that I found myself overcome with a massive tension headache and a case of lethargy today, right when I should have been finalizing the assembly of my first grader’s home school portfolio.

Cue me, wrapped in my favorite comforter and stretched out in bed while listening to the breeze and the sounds of nature coming through the open window.  It was nice, but it would have been much more enjoyable if I’d thought to do it before I came down with a headache.

I know it probably sounds ridiculous to schedule my down time, but that’s exactly what I have to do.  My mornings are filled with work, my evenings are filled with family, and my nights are filled with entrepreneurial tasks, and it’s very easy to get carried away by any one of those things.  So, I’ve committed to reserving myself a half hour here, twenty minutes there, in which I can just be.

No pressures, no to-do lists, no obligations, no children pulling at my shirt tails.

Just the breeze, the sunshine, the chirping of birds and the waving of grass.

And the still, sweet silence.