Happy Friday you guys! Today was one of those days where I was in full fledged holiday spirit mode. The only thing I was missing was a tacky Christmas sweater, but that’s not really my jam, so :) I spent the better part of my day in bed doing some last minute online shopping (I posted a last minute gift guide here if you need it!), sipping on coffee while in my robe, and jamming out to Christmas music.
I followed that up with taking a long walk in my down coat to pick up a few stocking stuffers and spent the rest of the day wrapping gifts by the fire while watching The Family Stone. Sounds so cliche right? But I couldn’t help myself. The delay in spirit probably has something to do with the fact that I’ve been out of the country for two weeks, and then have been sleeping for literally three days straight while combatting jet lag. But now? I’m trying to embrace every second because in just three days, Christmas will come and go. I wish it lasted longer (mainly for the excuse to keep up the tree)
Then comes the new year. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on this past year (I talked about that some over on this post) and how much has changed. It’s crazy, really. Especially when I think about this blog and how much it’s grown and how focused I’ve become on creating my best life – and not to mention hopefully helping some of you to do the same. It’s been a saving grace for me, really. A place to come and reflect on what feels good, what doesn’t; what’s meant for me, what isn’t; different tools that have helped me to create calm in my life, and tips and tricks to invite you in on it all as well.
More than anything, I hope this space has provided all of you with some reassurance that change is possible. That your life is worth taking seriously, and you are worth taking care of. If I’ve done that each week, then I’ve accomplished what I came here to do.
In honor of this past year, I wanted to do a little trip down memory lane and reflect on some of your favorite posts (according to the analytics!). It was so much fun getting to see what you’re all gravitating towards. I couldn’t be more excited for another year of creating content to help you (and me!) create your best life through slow and mindful living. x
2017: The Calm Collective Blog Highlights
I’m really happy and proud to say that this here is one of my most frequented, and that’s probably due to the insane amount of vulnerability that comes through. This was meant to be a tell-all of sorts. A way to let you in on what brought me to this desire for a change, keeping it real about it’s difficulties, what my day to day looks like now and what my triggers are. We’re all human, and it’s so important to me that each of you know that I’m a complete work in progress. Aren’t we all?
A lot of you stop by this post more than once, and I don’t blame you! So many lovely pieces of jewelry to admire, and I’m so happy that my style has resonated with you guys. Keeping it simple with a touch of a statement (say, fun earrings), is such a great way to keep your style minimal and accessible, rather than falling victim to fast fashion and you know, turning your ears green due to cheap metal ;)
A really, really tough one to write, but nothing makes me happier than knowing that you all are reading this. I think it’s incredibly important. As someone who’s lost a parent, having some compass of what to say to a friend is crucial – and quite honestly I couldn’t really find the right answers out there when I was doing my research. So, I decided to scratch all of that and just speak from personal experience. I hope it serves as a guide should you ever come up on this dreadful situation.
So it looks like I’m not alone when it comes to my love of reading up on other women’s beauty routines! I’ve been known to go down a rabbit hole with this subject (that, and reading about finance!) While I change my routine up from time to time, I’m always sure to keep you all in the loop when it comes to sharing the goods. So stay tuned for more posts like this in the future! You can also check out my winterized beauty routine here.
A simple post of a recap on a book that I love and can pretty much recite like the back of my hand at this point. I’ve been known to read it in one sitting, If you’re on the path of wanting to lead a calmer, simpler life or know someone who is, I can’t recommend this book enough. (you’ll read it more than once, too) You can also check out the other 4 books I recommend by visiting this post.
My tattoo is my dad’s handwriting – it’s what he always said to us.
When I was starting the decluttering process in the very beginning, I remember thinking that the kitchen was the worst. How in the world was it so easy to accumulate so many tools and gadgets?! Where did they come from, and how did I even use them? More than half I wasn’t sure.
So I made note of what it was that I felt like I truly needed and what made my life easier (not harder) and wrote a post about it. I love seeing how many of you frequent this post, as I know that the kitchen is the heart of the home for so many. The key to living simply isn’t to own nothing – it’s to own the right things. Make your life work with you, not against you.
Along with my fall capsule, the winter one was a hit with you guys and I’m SO glad! I was hesitant to try this considering it felt so typical. Like it’s what I was supposed to be doing simply because of how I live my life. But quite honestly it just started to feel like the right thing. For so long I had issues with impulse spending and buying things just because everyone else was.
Now? My entire mind frame has shifted when it comes to buying clothing, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the wakeup call. If any of you are flirting with the idea, I encourage you to just give it a try. If you need some approachable, simple tips to get started, you can visit this post. You can also download and print this free worksheet to keep yourself organized and on track.
This was a doozy to write – I won’t lie. But I’m so glad you were able to resonate alongside it. I truly believe that forming habits of empathy and learning how to listen without agenda for ourselves is one of the trickiest things we can teach ourselves as human beings.
It doesn’t mean we’re bad people, or that we’re selfish – it’s just not something that’s taught all that often and it’s up to us to recognize if we’re truly being good listeners to those around us. It’s something that I continue to work on every day, and I hope this post is one you carry with you throughout your days.
I love how many of you reacted to this subject! I received a lot of DM’s and messages regarding this idea, and I’m glad you found it helpful. It’s just something silly and light that I do to ease my carbon footprint, and honestly it encourages me to be more mindful about my candle purchases, which I love. If I don’t want it displayed in my home for months on end, it isn’t coming home with me :)
To be honest, I wrote this purely as a means to reflect on all of the ways that I used to feel internally, and to see how far I have come when it comes to my mental state. The mere fact that I’ve possibly helped any of you along the way is more take away than I could have ever hoped for. Living with anxiety is tough – it can be crippling, but it doesn’t have to be forever. These 10 tips, with a lot of effort and hard work, are what freed me (for the most part) from living a life controlled by anxiety.
I also wanted to take a few minutes and round up all of the (free!) guides and worksheet that I’ve created this past year just in case you missed them, or perhaps you meant to download them and just never got around to it. I want us all to enter in to 2018 feeling centered and balanced, living out our inner calm with a real sense of purpose and dedication towards self care. That is exactly what these guides and worksheets are meant to do.
The 2017 Free Guides and Worksheets
Creating this guide was a total labor of love, and I’m really proud of it. Reason being is that it took a long time for me to fully appreciate and respect the act of self care, and come to terms with the fact that the only way I can be my best self and create my best life, is by first taking the time to care for myself. I truly believe that taking this approach is a surefire way to overall health and happiness – so I encourage you to take ten minutes out of your day to read this simple (yet thorough) guide.
PS: by signing up for my weekly newsletter (it goes out every Tuesday!) you’ll get more tips and tricks towards self care and living our your best life. I also share personal struggles and triumphs there, too. See the sidebar of this blog to sign up.
I was so excited to share this guide for the holiday season because I can’t even tell you how much these tricks have helped control my impulse spending during one of the most financially tough times of the year. With this guide, you’ll learn how to approach shopping for others in such a different light, all while staying organized and within your budget. The best part? What you take away from this guide will help you in general when it comes to shopping. Promise.
In addition to the above guide, you also get this free worksheet to help keep you on track and within your budget while shopping for multiple people. Now, while this is centered around the holidays, I encourage you to use this any time you have gifts to buy for those in your life. Be it a heavy birthday month, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. You can find it on Page 14 of the guide.
I really resonated with writing this post due to my inner nerd when it comes to finance. Few things keep me centered and grounded like creating my monthly budget and ensuring that I’m staying on track and living within my means – because quite the opposite used to be true.
As I’ve mentioned to you guys before – I used to be an impulse spender, and while I wasn’t doing any damage to my savings per se, who knows what could have happened if I didn’t reel it in when I did. In case any of you struggle with the same behavioral patterns, or maybe you just need a better way to keep track of your money, I decided to share the simple spreadsheet that I created a year ago to host my budget.
Keeping your kitchen decluttered is truly one of the hardest challenges (in my opinion) When I moved past year, I couldn’t BELIEVE how much stuff I had for my kitchen. Most of which I had never even used. So I decided to start there – with the living space I spend quite a bit of time in. I sat down with a piece of paper and wrote down the things I use each week. Nothing less, nothing more.
This is what I came up with. If you’re on the path to decluttering your home, but the kitchen has you feeling dreadful, I feel you! I encourage you to print out this list and take note of what you have that’s on it. Everything else? (unless you use it weekly, that is) – let it go.
I honor this topic so much, because I think it’s such a common thing for us as human begins to get so caught up in the act of resolutions, when we should be focusing on goal setting. There really is a difference (which you can read all about right here). This worksheet is set up to ensure that you’re keeping yourself accountable with goals that have purpose. Choosing only your top 3 will really make you think about what is you want to accomplish this year. I swear by this worksheet, and I can’t wait for you to try it.
So there you have it! The top 10 most frequented posts. I just want to take a second here (without getting too sappy!) to say that I am so insanely grateful for all of you visiting my little corner of the internet a few times each week. I do this for me, yes, but I also do it for you. My main goal here is to help anyone who’s searching for some calm to achieve just that. If I help just one person, that’s good enough for me. I can’t wait to continue to service all of you (and myself) towards living our best lives in the new year. x