Mom to Mom Monday | No.2

Ladies.  I have been waiting to do this for way too long!

You may have heard tale of my burning desire to create meaning in my web space.  Somehow create a community of women (and the random guy - hi there!) who love all the pretty stuff, love their families, and maybe need some good friends.

Cause if anyone here does, it's me!

So here we are on our first official blog "Mom to Mom Monday".

*insert cheers and significant whoo-hooing*

Weekly inspiration and humor for crazy mom life!

Some days, I'm not functioning until the late afternoon when I literally have to kickstart myself to do SOMETHING for dinner (fish sticks and frozen peas, anyone?).

Dealing with depression, hormone imbalances, chronic fatigue, single parenthood, children with special needs, autism, extreme work stress, hoarding, diabetes, alcoholism, cancer...I’ve endured or witnessed all these things (and more) either in myself or my family, and yet I know that even completely healthy, well adjusted people may want to throw in the towel on occasion .

But is there such a thing as “normal”?  I think that all the crazy moods, health concerns, family and work dynamics...all the things that beckon you to stay in bed and ugly cry into a pillow ARE normal!  We ALL go through things in life that we might not wish on our worst enemy.  But healing can only begin after you realize that you don’t have to go it alone.

You matter! There’s enough tearing down in this world, what we need is more building up! #momtomommonday is here as a safe space to share both your #momwins and your #epicfails.  I will be deeply guarding this space, making sure that it is free from judgment and downers, and only filled with support, love, and encouraging words.

Healing begins with knowing you’re not alone.

My hope is that this series will evolve into a weekly platform where we can feel the security and freedom to talk about our worries and woes, as well as our triumphs and accomplishments.  Being a woman isn't easy.  We're hard on ourselves, we are expected to be all and do all.  We want equality and fair treatment, but we also crave to be cherished and respected.

And it doesn't matter if you're a parent or not, unemployed or self-employed, single, divorced or happily married, a Baby Boomer or Millennial, wealthy or living off cup o' noodles... doesn't matter because at the end of the day, we're all just trying to figure out our place in this world.

In the end, we're all worthy of love.  Love and compassion from others, and love and acceptance of ourselves.

Happy Monday!

Hugs & High Fives,

8 Questions to Help You Declutter and Organize

It's hard to let go of something when we still find value in it.  We hold on because we don't want to be wasteful, we have memories attached to the item, we have big plans for it...but how much is all that clutter really costing you?

If you're anything like me (hi, friend!) then there are reasons we hold on to things that reaaaally shouldn't be.  Our reasoning is usually sound.  Our intentions always justified.  But how many of these things do we really need (stacks of scrapbook paper from ten years ago, I'm looking at you)?


Check out the above list for some pretty awesome questions (I especially love question #2, 3, and 4) to ask yourself the next time you're holding on to something that might be more useful to someone else, or the recycle bin.

When first beginning a decluttering phase, or if dealing with particularly sentimental items, ask yourself a few of these questions to help make things clearer.  I've found, if I'm truly honest with myself, that I don't really need the item I'm trying to justify holding on to.  I am a triple threat when it comes to hoarding:

1. I'm frugal (I love saving, love a great deal, and hate to waste)

2. I'm sentimental (items carry memories and emotions, afraid to let go and forget)
3. I'm a creative optimist (I see potential in everything and see the value in almost everything)

So, basically, throwing something out, even donating it, sends me into a whirlwind of guilt, sadness, longing for what might have been.  It's not completely rational, but I know I'm not alone in this.  If you feel this way too, just know that every item that you can let go of will slowly, but surely, more you towards your goal of more meaningful, peaceful living.

And in case you're still deciding on whether or not to hold onto that storage unit of stuff from college, or if you really do have a major clutter problem, take a quick look at this eye-opening infographic.


Anyone else feel a bit wide-eyed right now?  Yikes!

Let's be honest, this infographic calls it like it is!  Simply put, excessive clutter leeches time and money from your life.  I can personally attest to this, as there have been many projects, blog posts, even hours away from my children, all sacrificed because of too much clutter preventing me, in one way or another, from accomplishing my goals.

The best part is, the less literal clutter and excess you have in your life, the less emotional clutter you endure, and the more time you have to enjoy the good stuff!

If you're just beginning your journey, or are a practiced minimalist, I'd love to hear your comments!  How do you deal with the piles and overstuffed drawers in your life?  Any favorite tips you can share would be most welcome!

Happy decluttering, friends!

*Graphics originally shared 2015 - new commentary added 2018

Mom to Mom Monday | The Beginning

Welcome to my first "Mom-to-Mom Monday!"  This is YOUR time!  This is when I answer questions from all of you, discussing the fun, the fearless, the intimidating, and the causes for celebrating!

We moms need a place to come together and connect.  After three kids, I've realized that one of the most important things I can do is take care of myself.  It's not selfish to go out with friends every once in a while, treat myself to a mani/pedi, or simply lock myself in the bathroom for a long, relaxing shower.  In fact, it's unselfish!  When a parent gets stuck in the daily routines of their children they will, over time, start to lose themselves...and that won't do any of you any good!

At first, we chalk it up to loving our kids and simply wanting to put their needs first because we want to give them everything, every moment, every ounce of energy, that we can...because we love them, SO much.  But between the carpools to soccer practice and piano lessons, endless rounds of Row Row Row Your Boat, and constant shouts of "Look at me, Mom!", our love for our children becomes overpowered by the sense that you no longer have a life that's your own.  You've given up your personal identity in lieu of mom jeans, baby wipes, and "Messy Hair, Don't Care" trucker hats.  And though you love your family to the moon and back again, you've begun to harbor resentment, and perhaps, depression has even set in.

We are going to reclaim your light!

There IS hope!

YOU are beautiful.  YOU are inspiring.  YOU have a capacity for greatness that you don't fully realize.  YOU are WORTH IT!

As I've struggled to feel inspired to create content on my blog over the past couple years, I've realized that I've been desperately seeking a way to connect with my readers.  I want to give back, even in this small way, and create a safe, trustworthy environment where women can go to receive encouragement, inspiration, and find kindred souls to give them strength!

Meet here every Monday morning for some encouragement, tips, and life hacks to help make your life easier!  I'll be sharing suggested topics from moms like you via blog and Instagram comments (Facebook to come soon!), so don't forget to leave a comment with a topic you've been struggling with, a link to an uplifting article or quote, or an experience you've had lately that I can share!

Until then...YOU'VE GOT THIS!

Hugs & High Fives,

Pre-Holiday Purge - Why You Shouldn't Wait for Spring to Clean

Do you think that spring is the best time of year to declutter your house?  Think again!  After years of following the trends, and dealing with enough stuff for three families, I'm here to share one of my favorite new holiday traditions!

Ah, spring.  That magical time of year when you purge, sort, and organize all the stuff creating cute little dust bunnies during chilly winter months.

Also popular is the great January purge.  Overwhelmed by an excess of stuff after the holidays, along with the desire to start fresh in the new year, you'll see a huge influx of social media posts about decluttering and organizing your stuff after the big winter holidays.

But!  After years of dealing with pack rat syndrome, and three young kiddos with waaaay more toys and clothes than necessary, I've realized that RIGHT NOW is the best time to declutter!

Don't wait until after Christmas to pare down on kids' toys and clothes!

This is the PERFECT time to sit down with your kiddos and let them know it's time to let go of some of their toys to make room for all the awesome new stuff they'll receive in the coming month.  This is also the perfect time to teach your babes about the importance of giving and providing for others who are in need.


The year my husband was laid off, we were the recipients of a couple gifts for our daughter (our only child at that time) from our church's giving tree.  It was also that year that I purchased her Christmas gifts at the local thrift store.  It was one of the single most humbling experiences of my life, and I've never been more grateful, and full of joy, to watch her open her sweet little presents.

Did she notice her toys and clothes weren't perfectly pre-packaged with tags from a store?  Not at all.  Did she care that the pink doll castle that I literally prayed I'd find for her was pre-loved and a bit worn in a few places?  Nope.  Did she care that nothing we bought for her cost more than $5?  No way.  She loved everything, and I loved experiencing a Christmas where it truly wasn't about the presents.

Now, I'm not going to go on about the true meaning of Christmas.  But though we are in a stable situation now, I want all of my children to know what it is to give back, to show gratitude, to remember that we all struggle at some point and are in need of a little cheer.


So!  Around Thanksgiving, when thoughts are on family and gratitude, we have started the tradition of going through all of our things and finding ways to donate.  This is great for everyone!  Purging BEFORE the new year, before December, even, gives kids the chance to rid themselves of things they don't play with any more, while also giving them a better idea of the new things they might actually want or need.  Having clean, decluttered kids rooms is, like, the best Christmas present I could ask for!  Haha!

Decluttering before Christmas is good for the home, and the soul!

Purging toys and clothing before December also gives you the opportunity to donate during a time when many shelters are full of families in great need of a coat, a blanket, a pair of gloves, even a simple toy for their child.  Thrift stores are heavily shopped this time of year as well.  Not only for warm winter items, but for children's toys and discounted holiday decor.


This is also an awesome time to take a hard look at your holiday decor and decide what you don't want anymore.  Certainly, there were Halloween and Thanksgiving items that you didn't use this year, and probably won't use next year, either.  Go ahead and let it go!  This goes for your winter decor, too!

(I was personally staring down 10+ bins of holiday decor, I began to think to myself that maybe...just MAYBE...I didn't really want all of it.)

Don't get me wrong, I like to switch up my throw pillows and color scheme as much as the next gal, but if you're looking at a box of holiday decor, wondering where to put things, or feeling fairly uninspired to put out a decor item, then go ahead and donate it it.  Give it to a friend or neighbor.  Offer it up to a family member who's admired that item in the past.  They'll love you for it!


We all love to give (and receive!) special presents during the holidays.  I promise one of the best "gifts" you can give to you and your family this season is the gift of a clean home, ready to receive all the bounty and blessings that you deserve!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!