Fall leaves - something I list to calm my mind

The easy way to calm your beautiful mind

Those moments where your mind is spinning out of control and you just wish something could make you feel calmer? A gratitude practice, my friend, is it. The easy way to calm your beautiful mind.

My husband and I did a gratitude practice the morning of our wedding day. We spent a half hour just feeling grateful for our lives and all the love in it. We did that before anything else on our to-do list. And what could have been a very stressful day… started off just right. We rode a giant wave of love from start to finish, and I attribute the positive momentum to that gratitude practice. 

This week, gratitude made a difference

I’m soaking in the beautiful fall weather from a rocker on my front porch as I write. Enjoying the warm fall air and the beautiful trees, the soft bellows of my baby’s breathing, his body curled up snug against me. Even enjoying the sense of not knowing as we head towards presidential election results later tonight.

Yesterday didn’t feel so pristine and easy. I was exhausted after a sleepless night, and my mind spun out of control with anxious thoughts about affording daycare for two children. Not knowing what else to do, I wrapped baby up and off we went on a gratitude walk around the neighborhood. 

There’s the saying that love and fear can’t exist together. It’s the same with gratitude and anxiety. During the walk, I listed all the things I’m grateful for that I could think of. Pinecones, sunshine, people who inspire me, people who joined our meal train, the spot that opened up for my daughter in a coveted daycare nearby, red leaves, red doors. Twenty minutes later, I can’t say I was flying high on life, but I was much calmer. I’d stopped the mental train tracks. 

All good things

Try a gratitude practice next time you find yourself in a negative mental state. It’s the easy way to calm your beautiful mind, and you can do it anywhere. Try it before a big day, or before any normal day. Gets you set up in a positive place – ready for all good things to come to you. And they will. You are enough. <3


Tell me – I’d love to hear! – what are five things you’re grateful for in this moment? Please share in the comments below. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. Go mama love.

3 ways to joyfully say goodbye to summer

It’s September – can you believe it?! I feel like fall crept up on me this year. It’s my favorite season but it’s hard saying goodbye to summer this time. Something shifted in the past month and I’ve felt more energetic and awake than I have since becoming pregnant two years ago. I feel like myself again. I’ve missed this. 

There are a whole slew of reasons I’m feeling so good, and I know they won’t stop with the onset of fall. Vitamins and fish oil pills, my daughter finally sleeps through the night, I’ve probably doubled my intake of vegetables, and I’m running for longer and longer stretches. (Don’t get me wrong – this means I can go up to a mile now without a break. We’re not talking marathon runner here, but hey, I’m feeling awesome!).

Maybe this all boils down to that old theme of resisting change. And in this case, it’s the weather: resistance is futile. There’s this new blogger out there in the world named Ingrid Fetell Lee who spreads the idea that, “our greatest source of joy is the world around us.” Her monthly joyletter (aka newsletter) is seriously inspiring. And in honor of this idea that joy is all around us, I’ve dug up some ideas that will prompt some creative activities that honor the transition into this season that is as full of abundance as it is beautiful. It might sound a bit rambunctious, but we really can joyfully say goodbye to summer.

Celebratory Fall Planting

Make this a just-mom project or loop the kids in:

  • Make a fall outdoor planter for your porch or balcony. Fill it with textures and colors that make you smile. For a little inspiration, check out this post by Pam Kessler in House of Hawthornes.
  • Plant bulbs for next spring – tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and irises are great options. The DIY gardener has some other pro fall-gardening tips for your list. 
  • There are tons of vegetables that thrive in a fall garden – chard, kale, broccoli, beans, the list goes on….Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead can get you started with her detailed descriptions for what to plant and how to keep each vegetable happy. 

Artsy fall projects

There are a million fall craft ideas out there and I can say that usually I have more ideas than a single human can handle. I maybe get to one or two. So with that in mind, here are some super easy and fast fall projects that we busy mamas can probably squeeze in! 

  • For some fun with the kids, Frugal Mom eh! Suggests we try these pumpkin apple stamps. A halved apple is the stamper – using orange paint it makes a pumpkin shape on the paper. Paint in a stem and leaves and wolla, pumpkins abound! 
  • 10 Minute DIY Pumpkin Soap looks like a lot of fun. Heck, you could invite some other moms over and make it a hang out session! Heidi Kundin at Happiness is Homemade has the instructions. 
  • Make a wreath for your door. Personally, I just rummage through thrift stores for cast off wreath bases and fake flowers. Then I tie ‘em on with some ribbon or twine and wolla! 10 minutes and Done. But if you want something a little more fine-tuned, these are some beautiful and affordable ideas from the Prudent Penny Pincher.

Get out of the house

If there are any trips you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t, now is a great time to plan them! We’re squeezing in some late season camping over here in Wisconsin, hitting up those last farmers markets, and keeping our ears open for word of the area’s best pumpkin patches. I do love fall. Ahhh, yesssss…..

***I’m curious, what are your favorite parts of transitioning to the fall? How do you say goodbye to summer? What are your traditions, and what new things are you thinking about doing this year? Do share a comment. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

These inbox habits will make you the boss of your time

Email – can’t live without it, but living with it? My sister-in-law laughed at me recently when I told her I try to keep my unread personal emails below 1,000. It hadn’t occurred to me until then how crazy that is – but it’s just so hard keeping up!

Fellow closet-email-hoarders, this is your sign! You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction. Email wastes more time than most people realize, and it’s totally hidden.

Time is wasted every time you read an unread heading that you’ve read before. Think about it:

2 seconds to read a heading….

That you read 10 more times that day

….and the next day…

for 3 weeks….

…until you finally open it and deal with it.

That’s 2 seconds x 10 reads x 21 days = 420 seconds = 7 minutes. Seven minutes spent reading the same thing 210 times!

If you’re like me and have more than 1 email like this – the lost minutes really start to pile up. Ten emails passed over at this rate means you’ve lost 1 hour and 10 minutes (over 21 days).

What do you wish you could do with that hour?!!

You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction.

-Ashley Fisher, gomama.love blogger

I have since whittled it down and stayed on top of the inbox game. There are some tricks to it that I’ll share with you here. Some of these ideas were introduced to me at a conference. A high-level executive from a company came in and shared insights from his book. If I can find the book and his name, I will update this post and share it with you!  

  1. Set up your inbox to automatically tag and file receipts. You don’t have to read them or even see them – they just go to the right folder.  
  2. Unsubscribe from that listserv that you’ve stayed on just in case you might need that company. You know they exist, you can find them when you need them. Unsubscribe.
  3. As soon as an auto-notice of any kind comes in to your inbox, delete or move it to another folder. Especially if it’s the kind of notice that you never read.
  4. If an email will take mere minutes to respond, do it right there. Your mental energy and time are too precious to repeat the reading and thinking about it.
  5. This one’s important, so I’ll say it in bold. Your inbox is not your to-do list. If you need to remember to do something, keep an actual to-do list. Emails are checked so frequently that running through a to-do list every single time you log in is a recipe for feeling scattered and overwhelmed.

I can proudly say that I have way less wasted time than I used to because of these tricks. And I want you to know that I didn’t implement them overnight. I whittled away at my 1,000 emails over the course of 2 weeks. It became kind of a game, getting the number down.

You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction. You deserve more minutes freed up. I hope that these tricks will be useful to you. And if you have some email tips of your own, I very much want to know about them! Please share them in the comments. May our energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

Five ideas to make remembering a loved one easy and healing

May is a month with some sadness for my family. It’s the month my grandfather passed away. I sat at the foot of his bed in the dark, early hours of that morning, rubbing his feet and singing him on. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I miss him all the time. Especially in May.

I’m sure you have months with similarly hard anniversaries.

The most important thing is that we honor our hearts and whatever it is we’re feeling as these anniversaries approach.  

-Ashley Fisher, thejoymidwife.com

Today, let’s explore some simple and meaningful ways to honor loss. Things that take no extra time, which is especially important for mothers who struggle for time to sit still for anything! Our hearts still need care.

Five easy-to-do ideas:

-Make their favorite dinner and share some stories about them with your children while you eat.

-Grab a bouquet of flowers when you’re at the grocery store. Put them on your table as a reminder of their love for you, and yours for them.

-Plant a flower they loved if it’s garden season and you garden

-Talk to them as you drive to work (or write them a letter in present tense if you’ve got time)

-Call someone who also loved them and share some memories.

Want to do a bigger project in their honor? The website Love Lives On has over 100 ideas. I especially love their suggestion to buy a biodegradable sky lantern. You could even fill it with notes for them before sending it into the night.

The most important thing is that we honor our hearts and whatever it is we’re feeling as these anniversaries approach. There is no wrong feeling. No perfect timeline for grief. And no death for love so true. We are blessed.

****What about you? How do you remember your loved ones on the anniversary of their passing? Write a comment below or respond to another person’s comment. May our energy inspire and lift each other up.