Our NEW Simplified Planners FAQs

EmilyLeySpring1514Hi everyone! We’ve been getting lots of questions on our new Simplified Planners coming out this year, so I thought I’d gather them all here and give you the rundown.

From here on out, we’ll be releasing THREE editions every year: 2 Daily Editions and 1 Weekly Edition. Each of those will come in three cover choices (the same three choices across all editions). Two editions will be released in the Spring (Academic Daily Edition and 17 Month Weekly Edition) and one edition will be released in the Fall (Calendar Daily Edition). Here are the details:

DAILY EDITIONS

Academic Daily Edition: This edition runs from August to the following July in a daily format (12 months). The contents of this Simplified Planner are the same as the others. $58 | Available for purchase May 6 at 10am EST in our shop and with our retailers worldwide. To view the page layout of the Daily editions, click here.

Calendar Daily Edition: This edition runs from January to the following December in a daily format (12 months). The contents of this Simplified Planner are the same as the others. $58 | Available for purchase September 9 at 10am EST in our shop and with our retailers worldwide. To view the page layout of the Daily editions, click here. *** We will have more stock of this specific edition than any other this year. So if the others sell out fast, fear not!! September 9 is the big day for this one.

WEEKLY EDITION

17 Month Weekly: This edition runs from August to the following December in a weekly format (17 months). This will replace the current twelve month weekly format some of you are using now. We’ll have a batch available with our Fall and Spring release this year. We created this 17 month format because we realized some women prefer to start their weekly planners in August with the school year and some preferred to start theirs in January with the calendar year. This way you can start it whenever you’re ready and still use it for an entire year. The contents of this Simplified Planner are the same as the others. $58 | Available for purchase May 6 at 10am EST in our shop and with our retailers worldwide. To view the page layout of the weekly editions, click here.

We can’t wait for you to see our three covers for this year on April 29 on Instagram! I’ll also be posting a video that day outlining all the new features of the new Simplified Planners!

xo,

Emily

1 Comment

Facebook Pin It

Spring 2015: The EL Baby Book

BabyBook-01For months I searched for the perfect baby book for Brady before he was born. I wanted something simple, fresh and easy to complete (knowing I would have my hands full with my first baby). I never found anything that felt quite right and ended up purchasing something I wasn’t totally in love with. I’ve redone that thing twice trying to get it right.

2013 Shay CochraneSo, last year, when I was pregnant with Caroline and Tyler, I knew that if I wanted to be able to document their unique stories, I was going to have to create something totally from scratch. And the EL Baby Book was born.

EmilyLeySpringStock1528On April 15 at 10am EST you can purchase yours. Quantities are limited and many of our retailers will be carrying these as well. I designed the Baby Book to be gender neutral with sweet colors in all shades throughout and a beautiful mint green cover. Inside, you’ll find places for photos (we even noted what size photos to use just to make it even easier!), and prompts for you to use to enter sweet details (one of my favorite parts – I love having these to guide me and inspire new thoughts and memories – it makes for a very robust and complete baby book). Each Baby Book is priced at $62.

EmilyLeySpringStock1530

One of my favorite details about the EL Baby Book is that it’s binder style so you can slip pages you need and / or don’t need in and out. Later this year, I’ll be designing adoption and “journey to baby” (infertility) pages to be sold separately. Stay tuned for those!

2013 Shay Cochrane

EmilyLeySpringStock1531 EmilyLeySpringStock1532 EmilyLeySpringStock1533

Here are a few details:
•  Size: 11 x 11.5 
•  Bound album style (3 rings) 
•  Textured cover with gold foil 
•  Gold foil detailing on every page 
•  64 pages (32 pages front and back) 
•  Packaged in white + gold keepsake box bearing the words “The Story of You”
•  Pages include: 
      •  Mommy & Daddy’s story 
      •  Mommy’s pregnancy 
      •  About your Mommy 
      •  About your Daddy 
      •  Friends and Family 
      •  Celebrating the anticipation (showers) 
      •  Before you arrived 
      •  A letter to baby 
      •  Our predictions for you 
      •  Welcome to the world 
      •  Announcing your arrival 
      •  Tiny hands and tiny feet 
      •  Your birth story 
      •  Coming home 
      •  Your new home / nursery 
      •  The world when you were born 
      •  Growing and growing 
      •  Your firsts 
      •  Your favorite things 
      •  Funny things you’ve said 
      •  Our favorite memories 
      •  Holidays and celebrations 
      •  Months 1 – 12 (page per month) 
      •  1st – 5th birthday (page per year) 
      •  Extra photo / open pages

Images by Shay Cochrane Photography

 

SAVE THE DATE:

Wednesday, April 15, 10am EST: 2015 Collection LAUNCH at EmilyLey.com

Wednesday, April 29, 10am EST: 2015-2016 Simplified Planner covers – REVEALED on Instagram at @EmilyLey

Wednesday, May 6, 10am EST: 2015-2016 Simplified Planner LAUNCH at EmilyLey.com (Academic Daily Edition and 17 Month Weekly Edition)

Wednesday, September 9, 10am EST: 2016 Simplified Planner LAUNCH at EmilyLey.com (Calendar Year Daily Edition)

12 Comments

Facebook Pin It

Project Life Baby Editions

PL_Baby_EmilyLey_MichaelsWhen I was enormously pregnant with the twins, Becky Higgins approached me about collaborating with Project Life to design two new editions for them: A Baby Boy Edition and a Baby Girl Edition. Naturally, my heart was ALL in! It was so much fun designing all of these pieces (there are so many coordinating pieces to choose from!) with sweet Tyler and Caroline growing inside my belly. Now that they’re here and I’ve been able to see the PL Editions, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to put albums together for them. BUT WAIT! It gets better!! :) Starting this month, you’ll be able to find exclusive Project Life Baby Boy and Baby Girl pieces in select Michael’s stores across the US (click the link below to see if your store is included!! These include:

  • A 6×8 memory book with prompts for recording details around the birth and first year of a baby’s life
  • A 180-card Project Life Value Kit of coordinating journaling cards
  • Embellishments! Coordinating specialty gold-foiled cards, photo overlays, chipboard stickers, gold puffy stickers, clear stamps and a 6×8 paper pad.

Click here for a list of the stores that will be carrying these. I can’t wait to stop in our local Michael’s store to see them myself! Read more about PL Baby over on Becky Higgins blog! xo, Emily

2 Comments

Facebook Pin It

Spring 2015: The Simplified Address Book

EmilyLeySpring15Product45Over the years we’ve CONSTANTLY heard that you’d love a Simplified Address Book. Well, wait no longer! On April 15 at 10am EST, we’ll be launching our 2015 Collection at EmilyLey.com. (Simplified Planners launch May 6). We’ll be sharing details and unveiling products over the next two weeks, so stop by often for details!

2013 Shay Cochrane

First up is our Simplified Address Book. Measuring 9 x 6.75, it’s the perfect size to tuck inside a desk drawer ready for new friends and addresses to be added. We love it for Christmas card lists! Inside you’ll find simply and beautifully designed pages, colorful mylar a-z tabs and a navy and white striped liner. Outside you’ll find a hard cover, gold corners and our NEW true gold binding! ($24)

SAVE THE DATE:

Wednesday, April 15, 10am EST: 2015 Collection LAUNCH at EmilyLey.com

Wednesday, April 29, 10am EST: 2015-2016 Simplified Planner covers – REVEALED on Instagram at @EmilyLey

Wednesday, May 6, 10am EST: 2015-2016 Simplified Planner LAUNCH at EmilyLey.com (Academic Daily Edition and 17 Month Weekly Edition)

Wednesday, September 9, 10am EST: 2016 Simplified Planner LAUNCH at EmilyLey.com (Calendar Year Daily Edition)

7 Comments

Facebook Pin It

SIMPLICITY : Kristin Austin

Simplicity_Graphic_Austin-01Hi, I’m Kristin! I’m a stay-at-home mom and small business owner. I live about an hour north of Boston with my husband and 3 year old son, Chase (we’re eagerly expecting baby #2 at the end of July!). I left my corporate job to stay home with Chase when he was 6 months old. It was never my plan, but we had a family emergency and it was what needed to be done at the time.

While home with Chase I founded my company, Paige Simple. Paige Simple is a small design studio specializing in stationery and decorations for children’s events. When I was planning Chase’s 1st birthday I became frustrated with how difficult it was to find perfectly coordinated pieces of party stationery that had a simple and timeless look so I decided to design the party myself. This process sparked a new passion that I quickly turned into something I could do for profit. After launching Paige Simple, the 1 year I had planned to stay home with Chase quickly turned into 3 years and currently has no end in sight.


How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?

I focus on tasks that absolutely have to get done, I ask for help, and I’ve learned to say ‘no’. I used to have to do everything myself, but once I had Chase that quickly changed. I realized it just wasn’t possible and that if I wanted to be a good mother I had to be my best self – which meant I needed to ask for help and stop committing to things that didn’t better our family. Every day I only do things that need to get done. Sometimes this means we’re in our pajamas all day, beds don’t get made, and that the house is a mess, but I’m ok with that now. I’m also very careful about how much I schedule for our family. When I have too many things to do and too many places to go I get stressed and that stress is projected onto everyone around me (which isn’t fair to them).

In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?

One word… teamwork! My husband and family help out A LOT! He comes home about 6:30 every night and takes care of dinner and bedtime (it’s the only time he gets with Chase during the week). While he’s spending time with Chase I do laundry, clean up, or get work done. We’ve hired out all of the yardwork and house maintenance tasks to free up Matt’s weekends so we can enjoy time together as a family. The only chore that really gets done on the weekends is grocery shopping – which Matt enthusiastically takes on. During the week while he’s at work Chase splits his time between home, part-time pre-school, and his grandmothers. We’re so fortunate to have both of our mothers 10 minutes away. While Chase is at school and with family I focus on my business and getting other household chores done.

07Austin,Chase-NewbornWhat is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?

Celebrating our children in a big way is very important to me. In our house, we make a big deal out of birthdays and milestones. There are so many families that never get the chance to have children or that have children whose lives are cut short. We have been very fortunate and I’m taking every chance I can get to celebrate them and be thankful for the time we have together.

When I planning Chase’s 1st birthday I wanted to do something special that we could carry from year to year so I started the tradition of a photo ‘year book’. In the age of digital photos it was important to me that his childhood memories didn’t get lost in a sea of files on our computer. So, I came up with the idea of annual year book that we would put together before each birthday and then display at his party for guests to look through and sign – similar to a traditional school yearbook. This allows us to capture all of his memories in one place and also share them with people who are important to us (some family members even request copies of their own). You can read about some of the books I’ve put together here.

Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?

Simplicity_Austin_Pick6 1. Flexible Totes:  I bought these totes 2 years ago to manage our toy overflow and I LOVE them! They’re flexible, stackable (with their covers), sturdy, and washable. We can easily take toys to the beach, the pool, on vacations, or on family visits. When the toy clutter in the family room is too much for me handle I stack these totes in the laundry closet and forget about them. They are amazing!

2. Sugar Lip Treatment: I’m not a big make-up girl so this simple lip treatment is perfect. It’s a clear coat and perfectly moisturizes your lips.

3. iPhone: My phone is my lifeline. I rely on it to keep in touch with family and manage my business when I am away from home. I also rely on the camera because it’s not always convenient to tote around a digital camera with all of the other things that you need for a child.

4. True Blue Spa Hand Lotion: I live in the northeast and winters are brutal. The air is cold and dry and it does a number on your skin. I keep this hand lotion in my handbag and in every bathroom of the house.

5. Tory Burch Ballet Flats: There was a time in my life that I wore heels every day. Once I became a mom that became a distant memory and now I only wear flats. I love my Tory Burch flats because they make my feet feel pretty while also being comfortable. When Matt and I found out baby #2 was a boy a few weeks ago he bought me this baby blue pair.

6. Child Friendly Toilet Seat: Chase never liked using a small potty so when we started potty training he would only use the portable potty seat covers. I found them to be rather annoying to have to move every time someone needed to use the bathroom so I decided to invest in these child friendly seats. They are worth the money! You don’t have to move anything when the littles need to use the bathroom and they are clutter free. We have one in every bathroom of the house and keep the portable cover in the car for when we travel.

Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?

I would just like to reiterate that you don’t have to do everything and you don’t have to have everything. If something isn’t working for you – stop doing it. If you feel like you’re overcommitted – quit something. If the clutter in your house overwhelms you – get rid of it. If you only use something once a year – sell it. Keeping a clutter free home does wonders for your stress level. Over the last year, I’ve managed to clean out and organize the main levels of our home and will be tackling the basement soon. Our 1,800 square foot basement… wish me luck!

 

Follow along with Kristin:

Instagram – https://instagram.com/paigesimple/

Website – http://www.paigesimple.com/

The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

1 Comment

Facebook Pin It

SIMPLICITY : Hilari Schaefer

Simplicity_Graphic Template-01
Hi y’all! My name is Hilari – I’m originally a Midwesterner (go Packers!), but now live in Nashville and have for the past 6 years. I left Wisconsin to attend Vanderbilt, and loved it so much that I stuck around and can’t imagine leaving anytime soon. There’s something so special about the southern way of life! While at Vanderbilt, I met my now fiancé, Grant, and we’re getting married in just under 2 months! In my professional life, I wear many hats, and thrive on relationships and encouraging others – I work as project manager for a boutique market research company, am the Brand Manager at Best Friends for Frosting, and am a nanny to the 3 cutest girls I know, among a few other creative endeavors! I am so fired up about the year ahead and know it’s going to be the best one yet!

How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?
Needless to say, there’s always a lot going on and my days are filled to the brim! I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it all without a set schedule. Every night, I set out my clothes, make my to do list for the next day, and prep all of my meals. Come morning, I start every day with an early high-intensity workout at my most favorite local gym. It’s a great way to kickoff the day with others and I’m always encouraged and pushed to be the best version of myself. I also run three to four times a week, as I’m training for my 5th half marathon this April. I’ve learned that if I’m not happy with how I feel physically, I’m not by best self and my productivity suffers. After that, it’s all about lists, lists, lists! Grant and I have also made this year all about intentional living – if it’s not filling us up mentally, it’s not worth our time and effort. This transition has made our lives so much more enjoyable and decision-making is much simpler.

image1

In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?
Have I mentioned lists? ☺ Instead of letting “chores” pile up, I am always cleaning or doing laundry, so that they aren’t so dreadful! I do 2-3 loads of laundry in the morning and clean up the house before bed. I also live by Gretchen Rubin’s 1-minute rule – spend 1 minute cleaning up every so often throughout the day and it doesn’t seem so bad! This makes working from home much easier because it ensures our home is ready to go once the day begins – otherwise I spend my time cleaning instead of working. We also have a chore chart and do specific bigger tasks on set days of the week. And, good music makes anything more fun, so we listen to music while getting things done. Dance parties are a must!

What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?
Sunday Night Dinners are my most favorite part of the week. My parents live about 3 minutes down the street, and every Sunday, Grant, my parents, and I get together for a delicious homemade meal and chat about the week, soak in all of their wisdom, and talk all things wedding (at least currently)! I love this special time together as it is a few guaranteed hours of quality, technology-free, and intentional time as a family.

Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?

Simplicity_Schaefer
1. Sprinkle shoes I love keeping my feet happy when at the gym and staying active, so these are my current obsession, along with bright and cheerful workout gear ☺
2. Oribe Dry Shampoo:  It saves on my getting ready time in the morning and allows my hair to still have tons of volume, but takes minimal time. I’m all about efficiency! ()
3. Emily Ley Simplified Planner:  It’s the perfect solution for busy and intentional lives, and I love how it guides me through each day without making me feel overwhelmed or look daunting. I use it for my daily schedule, personal to-dos, and meal planning, and love how truly simplified it makes life.
4. My Veggie Chef : A local-to-Nashville vegan meal delivery service that makes healthy eating incredibly easy, convenient, and delicious! For me, half the battle of healthy choices is coming up with recipes and cooking after a long day, so this is something that takes away the stress of meals every night. Carnivore Grant even loves them! (
5. Personalized stationery : I love sending snail mail and believe in the power of a hand written letter. It’s how I landed both of my “office” jobs and has connected me to some of the most wonderful people! My goal is to send at least one note each week, and to simply let the other person know, “hey, I’m thinking of you!”
6. Kitchen-Aid Mixer : When stressed or overwhelmed, I turn to baking. It’s a common occurrence for me to crank up the mixer and whip up some delicious sweets around 10pm at night! You name it, I’ve likely made it. Lucky for Grant, the freezer is always stocked with yummy treats!

Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?
I think the fun part of life is just rolling with whatever comes your way! I used to be super type-A (and still probably am), but balancing so many things at once has made me truly appreciate the spontaneity of life and realize that it really is okay to not have everything planned out. Living with this mindset has totally changed how I determine success and failure. If I can still find reason to smile at the end of the day, it’s a win in my book. Attitude determines altitude!

 

Follow along with Hilari:

Instagram: @hilarischaefer

The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

1 Comment

Facebook Pin It

Our new normal

Well, here we are. Five and a half weeks as a family of five. Dare I say… it’s actually been a smoother transition than I thought it would be. I really think for us – going from 0 to 1 child was harder than going from 1 to 3 children. I learned, with Brady, to trust my Mama instinct. I learned that our family thrives on structure and routine – flexible but solid. I definitely have days where I look at the clock and all the sudden it’s 5 o’clock and I have spit-up down the back of my shirt and my hair hasn’t been washed in days, but that’s ok. What I have this time more than I did the first time around is a deep sense of “these are the days.” It seems like just yesterday Brady was just a few pounds… my hungry little linebacker. Now that the twins are here and we know our family is complete… I’m savoring every moment, every snuggle, every bit of their slobbery baby goodness. It goes by so fast. Whoever said “the days are long and the years are short” was a wise soul. It’s so true.

I knew from Day One (before that, even) that if our family was going to be a family of five, we were going to have a lot of structure. It’s just who we are as people – Bryan, Brady and I… and knowing that has been really helpful for us. I’ll never forget when we first implemented a bedtime routine with Brady… it made all the difference in the world (for my child who didn’t sleep through the night until 18 months… yep).

So we took the hospitals routine / pediatricians routine and have adapted it as the babies have grown. They sleep a lot and are hungry little things. The most significant and, quite literally, life changing routine we’ve implemented was my Mom’s idea. I wake up every day at 6 o’clock. Yep, no sleeping in for me – even on the weekends. I don’t mind it, though, I really enjoy my time in the mornings and on Saturdays and Sundays I let Bryan sleep in (well, until like 8 when everyone is awake hahah). I get up and immediately take a hot shower. I put on REAL clothes (normally jeans and a tee or something), brush my hair (it’s up 99% of the time) and put on a little makeup and some earrings. Shower + getting ready takes me about 30 minutes. This is LIGHT YEARS from what I did with Brady. I let him wake me up, scrambled to feed him and never had time for myself. Just making myself get ready for the day has been game changing. I FEEL so much better when I do this. I don’t feel so disheveled. Then I make some coffee and start my “farm chores.” I gave them that name because I do them before the sun comes up so everything can run smoothly the rest of the day. Now, granted, these things won’t work for everyone – they work for me and for us because this is what works best for us… and we all feel better because of it.

I have a list taped to my fridge of my AM to-dos and my PM to-dos. Bryan has his own and so does Brady. In the morning, after I make some coffee, I take out all the trash in the whole house. I empty the dishwasher and I put all the babies dirty things (burp cloths, swaddle blankets, clothes, etc – from the day before) in the washer. I also wash a load of my clothes, Bryan’s clothes and Brady’s clothes from the day before. I fold them as soon as they’re ready and put them away. This sounds so small but let me tell you about MOUNT LAUNDRY we used to do every Sunday. Awful. This has changed things in a big way for us and I really feel like we’ve gotten a lot of our time back. I also straighten up the house (doesn’t ever really need much because I do this before bed out of habit too) and make the beds. Brady has learned how to put his own laundry away and make his bed too, so that’s a huge help. On my to-do list is also “Mama’s vitamins / Brady’s vitamins” and things like that because I’ll forget them if they’re not in front of my face. My PM list says things like “Pack Brady’s backpack” and “Put water in the Keurig” – just so our mornings run smoother.

One other thing I’ve found helpful is to keep my Simplified Planner, a notepad and a cup of pens on our bar in our kitchen. They’re easily accessible and give me a “home base” of sorts. I have three running lists too: to-do, groceries and schedule (our current daily schedule for the babies). Having all this in one place helps me keep my head on straight.

I realized that my brain has a tendency to think way to long term. When our routine is working I start thinking… Oh my gosh… I can take a shower in the mornings… HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS WHEN THE TWINS ARE WALKING!? That’s just silly and it’s self-sabotage. I’m taking it one stage at a time. Right now we’re in a good groove. That could change tomorrow, but I’ll enjoy it for today.

I’d LOVE to know your tips too… your routines and how you got your family into a groove whether you have 0 children or 12! :)

xo,

Emily

56 Comments

Facebook Pin It

SIMPLICITY : Jennifer Goodwin

Simplicity_Goodwin-01Hi, I’m Jennifer! I live near Memphis, Tn, in a little suburb town that I lovingly refer to as The Ville (Collierville). I am a wife, a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom to four boys~ages 16, 15 and 12 year old twins. I am a lover of Jesus, my man, my boys, teenagers and homeschooling~the older I get, the more I love all of the above. I work with teenagers on Sunday mornings and nights, and the Lord made me fall in love with them so that I could invest into their lives~if I can make a difference for just one, it’ll all be worth it, to the glory of the Lord. I also love spending time with like-minded women, so I am really passionate about leading women around me, and the ones the Lord has placed in my Thursday morning Bible study.

How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?

The first thing I do when I get out of bed each morning is to offer up a thank you to the Lord for another day of life on this earth. I spend time with Him in His word before my day starts, then I spend time praying. Praying is not just offering up a “laundry list” of things I need or want~it’s spending time praising Him for who He is, thanking Him, asking forgiveness of things I’ve done or said, then just sitting and basking quietly in His presence. Sometimes I incorporate music into this time, and often times, He lays a worship song or an old hymn on my heart. After this time of quiet and rest, I journal about it and write out the verses I’ve read that might stick out to me.

In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?

We are a homeschooling family, so all of these mundane tasks get added into our daily routine. The boys love to help me plan meals, and I involve them in every aspect of that. They shop with me (and for me, sometimes!) and they help in the preparation of meal time. Laundry gets done first thing every morning~I try to start and finish one complete load a day. When I do this, it never overwhelms me. Shopping happens in the afternoon, usually right before it’s time to start getting dinner ready. I have found that when I make several small trips to the store each week, I spend less and enjoy this task so much more.

1What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?

One tradition that we have had since we started our family is having dinner at the kitchen table each night. This is when we catch up on our day~my husband hears about school work they’ve loved or hated, they hear his funny tales from work, and we pray and laugh. This keeps us connected as a family, and it involves my husband in every detail of their lives. The older our kids get, the less time we have with them, so we try to be really intentional about how we spend our evenings. We are very selfish with our time, too, often saying no to certain sports or activities that might take away from this.

Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?

Simplicity_BlogTemplate-011. My Bible: I am currently using a Women of Faith study Bible, in the NIV translation. It is purple leather and is much-loved and colorful on the inside. I write in my Bibles so that someday my boys will have them to look back on.

2. A good journal: I have used many kinds over the years, but my newest favorite is a pretty spiral-sized notebook. I love to write in them~I keep record of my quiet time, funny things that happened and a list of things I pray about.

3. Sharpie fine tip pens: I am a colorful pen addict. No other explanation is necessary.

4. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser: This little tube of magic erases dark circles (Can I get an amen, Mamas?!) and brightens the corners of my eyes.

5. OPI nailpolish: I have been guilty of buying bottles of polish for the names alone. My all time favorite color is Lincoln Park After Dark.

6. Yummy smelling candles: My current favorite is a kind that is sold at Walmart~they are very inexpensive and as yummy smelling as a more expensive kind. Right now I have a hazelnut scented one in my kitchen that inspires me to cook.

Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?

I certainly do not have it all together, but I am a busy mom with several kids~and I am always, always around them. Something my husband and I have done over the years is to teach them the value of being a hard worker. They help out in every area of our home, and they are given areas that they are responsible for keeping clean. I do my part and my husband does his part, but we all work together as a family. Because of this, I am not overwhelmed with a cluttered, messy home. Each evening, we take about ten minutes and straighten things around the house. One thing that inspires me to do this is the thought of unexpected guests dropping by~I love having friends over and am more likely to say ‘yes’ to someone coming over if my house looks somewhat presentable (not perfect).

Follow along with Jennifer:

Instagram: @all4boys

Blog: http://all4boys.blogspot.com

 

The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

2 Comments

Facebook Pin It

SIMPLICITY : Arianne Foulks

Simplicity_Arianne Foulks-01
Hello, I’m Arianne! I run Aeolidia, a design studio that helps your little business become a “big little” business. Oh and hi, we created the Emily Ley site and just love working with her! We have been working with creative businesses since 2004, helping them put their best foot forward online and off. I’ve never lost interest in building online homes for fascinating people. I have a great boss (me!) and I’m unafraid to play hooky to head out on an adventure. Some day I’ll tell you about the time when, as a marine biology student, a baby elephant seal bit me.

How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?

I get by on optimism and not taking myself too seriously. I heard a great mindset-changer at one point that keeps me from feeling overwhelmed: instead of saying to myself (and others), “I don’t have time to do XYZ,” instead I phrase it as, “XYZ is not a priority for me right now.” Whether XYZ is agreeing to a favor for someone or keeping up with laundry, it feels much better to have agency in my life. It helps me realize I’m making decisions, not being swept along by an out of control whirlwind of responsibilities.

In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?

They don’t always! Our kids are four and six and we’re working on teaching them to do their fair share around the house (I’m guilty of doing their work myself sometimes because it’s just so much easier, but I know this will come back to bite me in the long run). When things get out of balance, I can bring them back in order by using the Pomodoro Method when I work (which is essentially setting blocks of time with an actual timer, and trading off Aeolidia work with housework throughout the day, so I don’t get absorbed in one or the other). Sometimes I will let the housework slide when I have something important happening in my business, or I will take time with my family and gratefully let our project coordinator, Sam, pick up the slack.

arianne-houseWhat is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?

I don’t have one particular routine that’s important – can I pick all of them? Even when it’s a hassle getting out of the house, I like walking my 1st grader to his school bus stop, then strolling back with his little brother (smelling flowers, walking on low walls, and finding perfect sticks to brandish). I like cuddling in my bed with whichever boy wakes up first, and hearing about their dreams. I like our family meals around the table, where everyone is becoming responsible for their own tasks (filling the pitcher, chopping vegetables, gathering forks). I love that the disappointment of hearing that it’s bedtime is instantly soothed by finding out how many books they each get to pick that night, and clambering to the shelves to pull out a big pile of favorites. Some Sunday mornings I cook crepes, and the sweet buttery smell, sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and fun of rolling them up and cutting them, “by myself, Mama!” is a joy.

Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?

Simplicity_Foulks_6

MacBook Air / iPad / iPhone trifecta: I have to give these top billing. I manage all my work tasks by going back and forth between these three. I’ve always had a PC, and switching to a MacBook this year was the best thing I’ve done for my work life! Now everything connects nearly seamlessly, even when I’m out and about.

Feedly: I use Feedly to keep track of blog posts I want to read, whether they’re for work or play. I can flip through the info I want to share on social media and follow along with blogs that I enjoy.

Evernote: Everything goes into Evernote – it’s like a corner of my brain. Anything digital that needs saving is tagged and categorized in Evernote. I use it to save travel info, start blog posts, track client info, store recipes, and make plans.

iRobot Roomba: Our little robot vacuum is placed down, and after 45 minutes of bumbling inefficiently around, the dust bunnies are up without me having to chase them around myself. My dad gave me my first one many years ago. I thought it was going to be a fun but impractical toy, but it is so nice to have around.

An inexpensive cotton tablecloth from IKEA: Two, actually. Once it has too many crumbs or spills on it, I snatch it up, shake it out and throw it in the wash, replacing it with the clean one from the drawer. With two little kids, it makes cleanup easy and takes away one annoying part of meal prep. I felt like I’d revolutionized dinner when I started using a tablecloth!

Dropbox: I use Dropbox to save all the files on my computer, and share all our work files with my team. With the mobile app, I can access files on my computer from anywhere, and it’s all backed up safely.

Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?

Realizing that my business had grown so much that I couldn’t run it on my own was huge! I put off hiring help for longer than I should have, but it has been amazing to have someone capable, resourceful, and committed taking care of our clients every day. In this last year, I was able to go on what felt like my first real vacation since I started the business – one where I didn’t have to work each night or come back home to a huge landslide of emails. Bliss!

Similarly, accepting help from my family members and friends is important. Sometimes I feel like I know the “best way” to do something or other, and I try to remember that I can do everything all by myself the “best way,” or others can free up my time by helping me in their own (valid!) ways.

Follow along with Arianne:

Instagram: @aeolidia

Website: aeolidia.com

 

The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

4 Comments

Facebook Pin It

SIMPLICITY : Sabrina Triola

 

Simplicity_Triola-01Hiya! I’m Sabrina, a Texas native who recently hopped across the pond to the United Kingdom to pursue my masters in Creative Writing. The past year and a half has had many valleys with the loss of my mom and my best friend but I’ve learned that the valley is fruitful and without it I wouldn’t be able to see the peaks.

How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?

Taking care of myself with rest has become a priority as I’m going through grief. When I’m truly rested, be it a good night’s sleep or time spent journaling, I’m then able to be my best self as I’m not only well rested but centered and refocused.

IMG_0808In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?

Living abroad I’ve adopted the minimalist mindset and wardrobe which has surprisingly been so liberating, not to mention extremely helpful in terms of laundry! As I’ve only a select number of pieces to wear, doing my laundry has become less a chore and more of a bi-weekly ritual as the options for tomorrow’s outfit are limited!

What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?

One routine that I hold dear to my heart is treating Sunday as the Sabbath. For me this means truly resting. After church in the mornings I love going for leisurely walks, doing a bit of reading and then later relaxing in a bath. The day’s activities can vary, as the important thing is to remember to rest!

Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely not live without?

Simplicity_Triola_Pick6Six products that I absolutely can’t manage without are:

Burt’s Beeswax Chapstick - the weather can be so drying here and this chapstick is a life saver!

My Joules wells - with the English rain they are a necessity.

Moleskins journals - are the perfect size and nice quality for taking notes in class.

OPI Malga Wine nail polish - the perfect wine red color!

Laura Casey Make it Happen note pad - everything written on here gets done!

Scunci clear elastic hair ties - hidden perfect for any hairstyle!

Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?

Though the past year and a half has been life changing and harder to bear than words can say, I’m reminded each day that every cloud has a silver lining.

 

Follow along with Sabrina:

Instagram: @Sabrina_Triola

Blog: http://www.capturingjoyblog.com

The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

3 Comments

Facebook Pin It