Creating Your Core Values
Several months ago my husband and I sat down and did something that has I believe has changed our lives.
We set a date and time, and sat down together to write out our family's core values. Words that stood for what we believe in and treasure. I had come up with this idea after reading through an issue of Architectural Digest, where they were interviewing Blake Mycoskie of TOMS, in his Topanga home in California. Near the entrance of their home, Blake and his wife Heather have their family's mission statement hanging on the wall. It reads: "To live courageous lives, with grace and moderation," followed by a list of core values, including "Put Family First", "Be Present", and "Give Generously" (Rus). Writing a mission statement and core values out was not something that Blake was new to. For all of the businesses that he had ever owned and started up, this was one of the first things that he would do. "When Summit [our son] came along, Heather and I wanted to set up some guideposts for making decisions. We hung them up in a very prominent place so that we could remind ourselves every day of what is important." What an incredible idea... Imagine if every family did this. Husbands and wives came together to really hash out what they believe in, whats important to them, what they see the purpose of their life being.
I decided that this was something that my husband and I needed to do. We started off by coming together and spending several minutes writing out our own personal core values: words that stood for what is important to us. Later, we came back and took turns reading our lists out loud. We found that while some of our words were unique to us as individuals, several words overlapped and were able to be added to our family's list. As we listened to what the other read and reflected on our own values, we meditated on the meanings of the words and they might play out in our lives. At the end of the process, we edited our list down to six core values: lightheartedness, gratitude, service, sustainability, family, and faith. These were the words that we would look to when we as a family came together to make our decisions. These words would influence how we would live out our lives. Some words may be added to the list over time but for the most part, they are what we stand by as a family.
Mayer Rus. Toms Founder Blake Mycoskie Takes AD on a Tour of His Los Angles House. Architectural Digest. 2015.
People matter more than the things that we buy is a belief held close to our hearts as well as our friends at Made. Owner Holly and her team work hard to ensure that every item that Made sells supports this belief not just in theory but in action, by caring for the artisans who make their products.
To help out with any shopping angst, we’ve put together a guide of thoughtful, creative, and sustainable gifts for this holiday season. The key behind a lot of them is that they are consumable - aka you appreciate it, enjoy it and then are able to recycle or reuse the item.
Why not elevate your gift wrapping this holiday season by using some sustainable alternatives to all of the wrapping paper, bubble wrap, or cello sheets out there? Not only will you show your loved ones how much you care about them but also how much you care about the environment!
Do you want to know something? A used to be a shopaholic. You know how after you graduate from high school and everyone generously gives you money for your next endeavor be it college or a job? Well I spent most of mine.
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Our homes are supposed to be our refuge but did you know that they could also be making us sick? Asthma, headaches, coughing, and allergies are just a few of the signs that you may need to make some changes to your home. Lucky for you, we've outlined some of the problem areas and what you can do to create a healthier environment for you and your family!
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I think that most of us could agree that some of the hardest items to sort through and to let go of are old: photographs, cards and letters. Compared to most of the other items in our homes, these are some of the most sentimental. Sorting through we find accounts of our childhood and adult years, words of encouragement, funny stories, and accounts of daily life.
Every year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. Whether you yourself suffer with mental illness or you have a friend or family member who suffers, we have all been affected in some way by mental illness.
The older we get, the more we tend to value community. However for the longest time it was not a high priority in my life. It wasn’t until I had graduated college, gotten married and moved to a new city that I realized how much I longed for a core group of men and women that I could share life with.
The name "making room for peace" actually came to me during that time of anxiety and questioning. I had had another blog at the time that had experienced some relative success but had started to feel superficial to me. I knew that just as with my spiritual life, I wanted something with more depth, that discussed topics such as decluttering and faith.
Wife, mother of four, and owner of Abundant Life Partner’s, Meghan is one busy woman! I wanted to sit down with her to learn her secrets to having such a positive attitude, energy and how she makes room for peace in her life.
When discussing the design of her office, Meghan was looking for something that was professional while also being fresh and serene. We selected a soothing color palette of grays, blues, and warm woods with pops of brass and greenery.
Our home hasn't always looked as styled and decluttered as it does now. In fact, it used to be overflowing with stuff! Stuff that we loved mixed in with things that we no longer used or valued.
Whether your a stay-at-home mom or a business-owner operating from your home office, working at home is no easy feat! Its easy to get off track when you don't have a manager monitoring your work flow, so what do you do to stay focused?
Often times when we talk about decluttering we discuss "removing things", "shedding items", or "letting go" but there is so much more to it that than that! When we shed what is no longer serving us we are letting go in one sense but we are also making room for more - more time, energy, space, money…
It was during this time that I began to learn that organizing is more or less shifting items around in a space to: one, make the room more physically attractive; two, make room for more items and three, to properly categorize items. Decluttering on the other hand involves removing items out of a space that are no longer needed, loved, or valued.
We all feel this pressure, whether we are comparing ourselves with others or we are competing with an idealized version of ourselves. It is healthy to have goals and to use our gifts as long as you don’t let those desires distract you from the beauty of the present.
What we create then is often a true reflection of how we are feeling, a reflection of what's going on in our heart. In our "Design Your Own Table Linens" workshop, we were able to leave not only with a set of new skills but also with a sense of feeling valued and refreshed.
Rebeca Howe is one of those people who when you first meet, you immediately feel at home with. Her warm, bubbly personality lights up every room that she walks into; and her words of affirmation leave you feeling loved and valued.
There are so many single use items that we (myself included!) use on a regular basis without even thinking about it... plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, plastic utensils... the list could go on and on! Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of the waste that we're causing and that is going on around us I would like to encourage you to take a deep breath and start where you are, doing what you can.
Summer is our favorite time of year for many reasons, one being the large selection of produce that is in season. The list goes on and on of brightly colored, flavorful fruits and vegetables that are wonderful alone or combined into a seasonal dish.
So what do you do when you partner isn't on board with decluttering? You've read up on all the decluttering tips and methods out there, you've seen the beautiful images of what simple living could look like and now you are ready to give it a try.
You see that moment in time I began to carry those words close to my heart. I didn't see myself beautiful. I looked at all the girls in my school and thought: God why did you create me this way?
A block is anything that is in your life that is rooted in fear and that is holding you up from experiencing true freedom and peace. While we may be aware that there is an issue that needs to be addressed, we often have a hard time identifying what that issue, or block really is.
A girlfriend and I were preparing lunch at my house a few months ago when she opened my fridge and gasped, "look at your fridge?! It's so beautiful and organized?!" Her reaction caught me off guard but at the same time I could see why she was impressed. Having our fridge arranged as we do not only looks beautiful but clearly saves: time, money, energy, and space.
When it comes to holistic cleaning products all you really need is three ingredients: distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and Castile soap. Distilled with water, these ingredients are more than capable to tackling everything from a dirty counter to a grimy bathtub. All are budget-friendly and can be found at your local grocery and hardware store.
Raise your hand if you too feel like your in the constant battle of, "do I buy organic or non-organic? Should I spend this much on this natural make-up product or use it towards x,y and z?" You've read all of the books and articles about the benefits of buying organic and/or natural products and yet you find yourself in this tug-of-war.