Lifestyle

Sometimes It's Not For You: A Thought On FOMO

Sometimes It's Not For You: A Thought On FOMO

"You'll never believe what happened last night!" a coworker said during our lunch break.

He and another guy from our office had gone to a formal business thing with a raffle draw. And the other guy had won plane tickets that would have cost a few months' salary.

"Wow, that's awesome!"

"Right?" My coworker grinned. "Except he'd gone home before his name was drawn, and got disqualified!"

"What?!?"

"I can't believe it either! I texted him about it and he said the craziest thing." Chuckling, my coworker brought his phone close enough for me to see the screen.

It's okay. It wasn't for me.

"Maybe that helps him sleep at night." My coworker shrugged. "But I still feel bad for him; he missed out!"

On Simple And Slow, On Family And Home

On Simple And Slow, On Family And Home

"There's a stream," my mom says at my left shoulder. "The stream your uncle and I used to wade in on our way to school everyday."

"Well, it's technically righhhtttt here," my uncle interjects as he drives us down the highway. "But they covered it over a while back."

"We used to arrive at school so late," my mom remembers.

"And wet." My uncle laughs and so do the rest of my family packed in the car with us.

They've told this story a few times before but each telling seems more enjoyable than the last.

Failed Your New Year's Resolutions? Do This Instead

Failed Your New Year's Resolutions? Do This Instead

You all know how much I love New Year's Resolutions, right?

(I've written about it here and here before.)

I think they're an awesome way to take advantage of that "New year, new possibilities" feeling to make changes.

But that feeling goes away, our resolutions don't always work, and that can get frustrating.

If you've already failed some of your resolutions, let me share how I accidentally fell into a simpler way of ringing in the New Year.

Even though the New Year feels a while back, this approach might still help you too.

End Your Year Intentionally (+ A Free Worksheet)

End Your Year Intentionally (+ A Free Worksheet)

When a new year starts, we’re excited to start fresh. We make plans and say “This is the year I’ll [insert resolution here]!” with conviction.

But as the year progresses, things change. Something urgent comes up. We get busy. Or we change, and the plans we make change with us. We sometimes end up shelving this year’s resolutions and look forward.

“Next year will be so much better,” we think to ourselves.

I’ve experienced this too. For years, I put off making things happen because it never seemed to be the right time for them.

Then I did something different. I shifted my focus to reviewing the year that was ending before I looked at the year ahead.

Read the rest at my guest post End Your Year Intentionally With These 10 Questions at No Sidebar. And scroll down to find a free worksheet I made you to go with this post!

Make Every Moment Count In December With 4 Mantras

Make Every Moment Count In December With 4 Mantras

Making moments count in December can be hard, yes?

You know you want to savor this special time with people you care about. You might also have traditions and beliefs you celebrate, like participating in Christmas church activities or charity volunteering.

But the real December is often a whirlwind of gift-shopping-secret-santas-Christmas-baking-crazy-traffic-parties-potlucks-more-parties-and-family-visits. The weeks go by so quick; sometimes, you look back and what you remember clearly is being stressed and exhausted.

I've been guilty of this too. Two years ago, I fell asleep at a family do after a very-last-minute Christmas shopping marathon. I only remember snatches of that get-together now, and it's all a blur.

BUT! I've learned to do better since then, and I want to share exactly how with you, friends.

Here are four mantras that help me make moments meaningful during the holidays.

Travel Simply: My All-Season Packing List

Travel Simply: My All-Season Packing List

Traveling with just one bag was my first step to living simply.

Living with so little on the road was freeing; being surrounded by what I'd hoarded back home was draining. The desire to feel just as free at home eventually led to tackling the stuff I'd stockpiled over the years.

And since bringing you all along for the ride helped keep me accountable, I started No Mess Mondays every last Monday of the month: a real honest "No, I do not tidy before I snap these photos." walkthrough as I go from hoarding to minimal living in my home.

It's been ugly. It's been funny. And ultimately, it's been all-around awesome.

Today happens to be the last Monday of November, friends!

But since today finds me in the middle of a 2-week trip down in New Zealand and Australia, let's do something different.

Let's look over what I've packed for this trip, how it's been so far with only these things, plus what I regret bringing/not bringing from home.

The shots below might not be befores and afters of my home, but seeing how little I bring with me without feeling deprived shows us the same thing my home in progress does...

4 Reasons Why You're Failing Your New Year's Resolutions

4 Reasons Why You're Failing Your New Year's Resolutions

We're more than halfway into January, friend.

It's a new year, and it feels like the right time to become a better version of yourself.

New year, new you so to speak.

So you scribble down some ways you want to change. This WILL be the year you finally travel/learn to cook/become a morning person/insert resolution here.

It's the start of my year, you think to yourself.

Until you find yourself failing at these changes.

12 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts They'll Actually Love (It's Easy!)

12 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts They'll Actually Love (It's Easy!)

Sometimes, we spend so much time figuring out what to give that we forget why we're giving it in the first place. Our presents become meaningless, as we rush to find something, anything to give just because.

This was definitely true for me last year.

I gave last year's Christmas presents on New Year's Eve. *shifty eyes*

That last sentence just made me feel like a terrible human being. Or at least a terribly disorganized one.

So how'd I end up leaving things so late?

Part of it was getting food poisoning last December. Being practically chained to the toilet was a memorable Christmas gift! I found it hilarious --- a story to tell when I'm out of this situation, I thought at that time --- but it sapped my energy and meant I had no desire to prep presents.

And a secret part of it?

I was tired of buying presents.

Stressing over what to get people (especially the difficult ones who never seemed to need anything) and calculating how to keep things in my budget over and over and scoring what seems like every store in the city for a unicorn of a present and braving the traffic to the shoping malls and wrapping 30-ish presents and---

Buying gifts that delighted the people I gave them to used to excite me. Last year, it just felt like a chore.

There wasn't any Christmas cheer in my gift giving. Instead, it was all about superficial obligations like following tradition ("Everyone gives gifts at Christmas!") and returning favors ("He gave me a present; I should probably give one back...").

That felt shallow. And stressful besides.

This year, I tried something simpler.

I decided to focus on the why behind my presents: thanking people for being in my life.

My gifts didn't need to be expensive but they had to show I appreciated each person.

If that sounds like a tall order, it's actually much easier than you think!

You can even do it last-minute (like, ehem, this week).

Let me share twelve quick ideas that have been a hit for me this season.

How To Enjoy A Simple Christmas

How To Enjoy A Simple Christmas

You're in the middle of the holiday season, friend.

Your social calendar's packed with parties and get-togethers.

You still have to buy a few more presents (including a friend who's super-difficult to shop for).

There's a Pinterest project you wanted to try to brighten up your living room for the season. Oh, and a new Christmas cookie recipe to bake up during the weekend.

And wasn't there an office Kris Kringle you have to prep for?

'Tis the season to stress out.

Or is it?

Behind-The-Scenes Thoughts On Creating Simple Not Stressful

Behind-The-Scenes Thoughts On Creating Simple Not Stressful

Simple Not Stressful's officially live, friend, and I've never been more excited!

*party hat and dancing lady emojis*

Working on this new site for the last two months has been crazy-fun and super-scary. Fun because of how right this project felt to me as it slowly came together. And scary because putting in the work without knowing what the outcome will be means taking a step of faith.

So before we start, let's pull back the curtain on Simple Not Stressful and see how it came to be. Creating it taught me lessons that made my life simpler during the launch, and I'd like to share these gems with you.