Luxury, Routines, and Being a SAHM

Lately I’ve been exploring the idea of making my life a bit more luxurious. Wearing clothing that makes me feel fancy. Taking the time to do a “no makeup” makeup look. Adding a few cute accessories to dress up a simple top and bottom. Enjoying a hot coffee while skimming the newspaper. Drinking a glass of wine while I cook dinner. Then I wake up and a remember, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and it’s not possible to do all these things.

I’m going to wear clothing that is comfortable, skip the lipstick and mascara, ditch the accessories that get in the way when I pick up a kid or two, and just hope that today’s the day I get to finish my coffee before it’s cold. And forget enjoying a glass of wine while I cook dinner. Instead I’m just bribing the kids with tortilla chips and Netflix shows in hopes that they to stay out of the kitchen for two seconds so I don’t burn someone when I open the oven or stir a pot. There is definitely nothing luxurious about this situation.

But then I remember…..these are all things I did when I was working full-time. I wore cute clothing, my coffee was never room temperature, and I felt fabulous. How was I doing all of these things less than 20 months ago, and now I struggle to wear a bracelet everyday?!?!

Because I had established a routine. So I’m taking the knowledge from my days as working mom to develop a better routine for myself. When everything is simple, it immediately becomes easier.

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Are You Worthy of Your Possessions?

The home renovation bug has bit my husband and I, and we’ve been spending a lot of time planning and executing projects lately because of it. As someone who prescribes to the idea of only owning what I need and what will truly improve my life, home projects, both small and large, can sometimes be a conundrum. I have to constantly ask myself if these changes are worth the time, money, and effort. Will I enjoy these changes for the foreseeable future or will I be yearning for something new next season?

Another question I find myself asking is “am I worthy of what I already have?” If I look around my home, feel overwhelmed by the clutter, and think “I can’t wait until we’ve changed the cabinet color in the kitchen”, then it’s not the cabinet color that needs to change; it’s me.

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February 2017 Budget Review

I’m always excited to sit down for another monthly budget review, as it gives me a good opportunity to reflect on the changes in my life since my last review. This past February, I’ve continued to be really focused on wellness and gratitude. I’ve been doing some journaling, keeping up a plant-based diet with more fruits and veggies, drinking (and eating) less caffeine (less chocolate), meditating, spending less time on social media (weekends offline!), and intentionally being more in the moment not just with my husband and children, but when I’m alone. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit my best friend in San Diego, spend time with family in north Florida, and connect more with friends living locally. And did I mention I turned 30 this past month? Growing older is an experience I have come to cherish so deeply as not everyone gets the opportunity to witness so many seasons and changes. It has also taught me how to balance being prepared for the future and still live in the moment, in terms of wellness choices, intentionality, and finances. I’m a ridiculously lucky, privileged woman, and I hope to continue to live in a way that shows my gratitude for my life, gives more to others, and provides inspiration. So I’ll start right here by giving you a peek into my family’s pocket-book in hopes that it helps others to be inspired to get a better understanding of their own finances.

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January 2017 Budget Review

There is a saying I have heard many times. One I probably have repeated on this platform before. “You can have it all, but not at the same time”. This phrase comes into my mind in this moment because I felt it was time to officially announce a break from Lauren, Etc. This January, I started taking 2 night classes at the local community college. My first college courses since August 2009, I was worried that I would have trouble jumping back into this type of learning. Two years of the alternative education that is an architectural degree program had made my next two years at the University of Florida difficult, and, ultimately, were what caused me to leave without a degree. I didn’t want to go back to school feeling like I needed to balance it all; I wanted to stay focused on school. I am no longer of the mindset that women (especially wives and mothers) have to do everything and be everything. There is no trophy for multitasking, only the added stress, decline in health, and possibility of everything being half-assed. Which leads me to one of my other favorite sayings “Don’t half ass multiple things, whole ass one thing.” I really felt it was my duty to put my whole ass into the process of going back to school. But as the weeks have progressed, an old problem has reappeared – sleepless nights. I initially started the blog as a creative outlet, so that my mind had a place to flourish, so I could focus on something other than Daniel Tiger and milk cups and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and the big slide at the playground. So when I officially decided to myself that the blog was going on hiatus, the creative thoughts associated with blogging that buzz around my head all day stopped. Instead they manifested themselves at night as random errands and to-do’s popped. After three difficult nights in a row, I decided I would come back to my little corner of the internet with a new monthly budget update, instead of a quick note about taking a break for the semester. Sometimes when it comes to activities that add so much value to your life, it’s okay to half ass it a little bit.

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Resolving To Be More Intentional in 2017

On Monday, I revisited the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year when I resolved to spend smarter. The year 2016 was focused on finances as it was the main goal for our family to purchase a home. We succeeded in that goal this May, and I have been so grateful every day since then to have a place of our own. While spending smarter will always to be important, we have set the habits that make smart financial choices easier to do in our everyday life. So in this upcoming year, I will be turning my focus to intentionality in other areas of importance. To promote a more intentional life, I will do the following:

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Revisiting 2016 Resolutions

As another Christmas season comes to an end, we have something just as exciting to look forward to…the start of 2017! Being the ever-optimist I am, I would like to make the argument that 2016 wasn’t just the great big dumpster fire we all claim it has been. For myself, it has been a year of growth and change. I have spent the whole of 2016 being extremely intentional, never settling, and always striving for improvement. My family and I finally have a home to call our own, a place we can put down roots, and really enjoy our own time together. Granted I’ve also had to say goodbye to more loved ones than ever before and my immediate family has had a couple of health scares. But, overall a lot has been accomplished, and I wouldn’t want to erase this year for anything. Instead, I would like to revisit some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year to see how they panned out.

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November 2016 Budget Review

As a self-proclaimed “minimalist” I’ve strived to stay focused on the elements of life that I value most – my health, my relationships, and personal growth. I have been in this process of changing my relationship with possessions (for the better), but I overestimated how far along I had developed in devaluing stuff. Stuff does not define who I am and what I am capable of, yet I still sometimes feel limited when I don’t have the “right” stuff.

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