MY NEW MORNING RITUAL

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL - This Wild Home

A few things I’ve learned about myself:

  • I’m definitely a morning person

  • I really value alone time

  • I crave peace in my environment and day

All pretty standard stuff I’d say.

Really what it comes down to is, I like for my day to be predictable. I like having a purpose behind the things I do. And I like feeling like I have the time to do everything I want to do.

I’m always working to create some kind of normalcy to the day. Our lives shift a lot with a toddler who has needs and sleep schedules that are constantly changing. We just moved into a new home and Ian has moved into a new position at work which means his schedule will change up a bit and our environment is totally different. Plus, we’re about to totally change up our whole dynamic with the birth of our second child.

With all of this in mind, I’ve been trying to add a few moments of peace to the day. Some kind of activity to look forward to. Having these little rituals helps to stay on some kind of schedule and keep our days fairly predictable. It’s nothing huge or complicated. Just little things to look forward to so we can all stay on track.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL

I have discovered mornings are very important to me. I never realized how much I love starting the day all by myself. Recently, Ian and I started waking up earlier than normal so he can be ready for work at a good time and since alarms wake me up on the first ring and I can’t go back to sleep after that, I decided to try this early morning thing too.

This has given me about an hour all to myself while Ian gets ready and starts his work day and Oliver sleeps or talks to himself. It’s amazing and is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the day.

GETTING READY

This part has stayed pretty much the same. I learned much later in life the value of getting out of bed and getting fully ready for the day, even if you plan on spending all day at home. It’s motivating being ready for anything. It gets me in motion, helps wake me up, and honestly give me an extra sense of purpose for my day.

Here’s how I get ready for my day:

  • Check my phone - weather, social media, etc.

  • Make the bed

  • Brush my teeth

  • Wash my face

  • Get Dressed

I try to not overload myself on getting ready. My wardrobe is small and my morning skincare routine is pretty simple so it doesn’t take me much longer than 15 minutes to get all of that done.

PREP

It may sound silly to “prep” for just 30 minutes of your day, but the last 30 minutes of this ritual are extremely sacred to me. I’ve recently learned the value in getting little things out of the way now so you don’t have to do it later. And that is the most important part of this little morning routine: starting my day peacefully. So this prep is pretty crucial to the whole system.

Prepping my morning:

  • Turn on coffee for Ian (prepped the night before) and start a pot of water for tea

  • Set up tea pot with peppermint tea

  • Empty dishwasher while water boils

  • Steep tea

  • Turn on diffuser (prepped the night before) - or light a candle when I’m in the mood

  • Open blinds to let in the sunrise

  • Share my first tea pour and the weather on instagram (I don’t know, I just like doing it)

Once the mood is set, it’s time to indulge in my favorite part of the morning.

My ME Time

Ah yes. This is what makes me hop out of bed every morning with urgency. Not stressful urgency, but excitement!

This is the part of my day that I have been missing basically my whole life. A peaceful, slow start to everyday. I’ve never been good about waking up at the same time everyday and once I started having kids I tried to take full advantage of all the sleep I could get. But this new routine has taught me the true value in going to sleep early and waking up early. It’s not for everyone, but for me it’s the perfect way to structure my day.

MY NEW MORNING RITUAL - This Wild Home

Here’s what I do for me-time:

  • Drink tea

  • Journal

  • Spend some time drinking tea and coffee with Ian

For all the hype, it may seem simple. But it’s exactly what I need. A moment to reflect on life, how I’m feeling. To get my thoughts in order and get a good idea of what I have to do and want to do with my day and life in general. I can get out any negativity, let in some positivity and all while I sip on something cozy and good.

When I’ve finished my journalling, Ian and I will take a few minutes to talk about anything. What we’re doing that day, how we’re feeling, politics, current events, the drama from The Bachelor, you name it.

Around 8 - 8:15am I’ll start breakfast while Ian lets the dog out and gets the boy ready for the day (aka slippers and a clean shirt) and then we all have breakfast together.

It’s a quick little ritual. I don’t need much time, but I definitely have found this is something I’ve been missing from my day and I’m so glad to be making time for it now.

25 THINGS I LEARNED BY 25

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My birthday was this month and it was a big one. At least, I’d count 25 as a milestone. I am officially halfway through my 20’s and I can now rent a car. It’s pretty big stuff happening over here.

I feel like I’ve experienced a lot in my 25 years on earth. I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, but I can definitely say that this is the first year that I kind of know what I’m doing.

That settled feeling comes for everyone at different times, but for me, 25 is the number. It’s the year where I feel like I am most myself and I’ve gathered the tools that I need to keep moving forward in life confidently. It’s a new feeling for me. Most of my life I’ve felt extremely lost within myself. Always searching for answers that seemed impossible to find.

Like most any human, I’ve struggled through heartbreak and that coming of age moment where you realize how much is out of your control while also realizing how much you still have to learn before you’ll feel like you’ll have control of anything. Figuring out where I fit in socially and what I really need from others. I’ve consumed myself with my own experiences and feelings at some points and forgotten myself to make others happy at other points.

I’ve been through moments of complete and total loneliness that felt like they’d never end and moments of pure admiration and love all around.

I can’t say I’ve found the ultimate secret to happiness, but I’ve definitely found the path that works for me.

Not every moment is perfect, but I can certainly say that, for the first birthday ever, I’ve found peace and I know for sure that I am right where I need to be.

A FEW THINGS I’VE LEARNED

  1. You can’t change what other think, feel, or do. The only thing you can control is how you respond to it.

  2. If someone wants to be around you, they’ll make it happen. If they don’t, take the hint and move on.

  3. If you want to be around someone, make sure they know it.

  4. There isn’t one right formula for life and success. Don’t assume your way will work for someone else and don’t feel bad when someone else’s way doesn’t work for you.

  5. Follow the path of least resistance. If you find you can’t move forward no matter how hard you try, you’re probably going the wrong way.

  6. Put your phone down more. The people who choose to be around you deserve your presence.

  7. It’s important to be kind to everyone, but no one should get special treatment unless they earn it.

  8. You are the only person who can control your happiness. If you give that power to others, you’ll never be happy.

  9. Don’t play mind games. Just be direct.

  10. Honesty will get you very far, just be aware of what is really worth sharing.

  11. Conflict is one of the best ways to grow. The people who really care about you will care about working through most anything.

  12. It’s helpful to have a good understanding of your values and to live by them unapologetically.

  13. Learn to be happy alone. No matter what, you’ll always have moments where you need to entertain yourself.

  14. Every relationship is a two way street. Make sure you give as much as you take and get as much as you give.

  15. Don’t assume others know what you need. You are the only one who can make sure you’re getting it, so don’t be afraid to ask.

  16. Boundaries are important. Only you can know what your boundaries are and only you can make sure they’re communicated properly.

  17. It truly is better to wait before you react. Cooler heads will always prevail and the only way to truly change the world is to offer love and acceptance. .

  18. Remember, you don’t have to be responsible for other people’s actions. You’ll drive yourself crazy playing “Mom” to the world.

  19. If someone’s really bothering you, chances are they’re bothering others too. Just stay calm, keep your distance, and let their actions speak for themselves. Getting involved will only bring you to their level.

  20. Studying the basics of human psychology, body language, and why people are the way they are can only help you grow personally and understand others easily.

  21. Your parents did they best they could. Just some people are better at it than others.

  22. The sooner you get a handle on your finances, the better.

  23. Honesty with others is nice, but honesty with yourself is crucial.

  24. Family is neither a right or an obligation. You deserve to surround yourself with people who lift you up. 

  25. Take good care of your skin daily and learn to be comfortable in it. Youth won’t last forever, but you can preserve natural beauty for a lifetime.

SETTING INTENTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR

SETTING INTENTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR - This Wild Home

I’ve become an advocate for making slow changes. Taking things one step at a time until, finally, you’re a little closer to where you want to be.

Making big changes all at once has never worked for me. While I have my laundry list of tasks I’d like to do, upgrades I’d like to make, and aspects of the person I’d love to grow into; I try to focus on one thing at a time.

I’ve found it’s so much more effective. If you go into a new year and decide you’re going to drink more water, eat better, read tons of books, and become a whole new you and it’s going to all happen NOW, it leaves a lot of room for overwhelm and eventually, failure. That’s why I like setting a theme for my year and having a few intentions to help me prioritize the important things.

HOW TO SET INTENTIONS

In all my years of dreaming big and working towards different goals, I’ve been a little all over the place. There are so many versions of ourselves to work towards so I’ve had to find a few tips to help me stay focused on what is really important.

SETTING INTENTIONS

  1. REFLECT | This may be an obvious one, but it’s also very important. I love to reflect as much as possible, but a New Years reflection is a big one. It’s the perfect opportunity to check in on everything in order to get a good idea of how much you’ve done and how much you want/can do.
    Here are a few ways I like to reflect:

    • Free Writing. Just sit down and write about the past year. Anything and everything. As much or as little detail as you’d like.

    • Pros/Cons List. Think about everything you loved and everything you want to change from the last year.

    • Top 5. Pick 5 things that stood out the most or your five most important areas of life. Think about all the ways you appreciated and poured into them and all the things you wish you would’ve done more of. (Definitely don’t forget to add yourself to this list. I think you can never have too much self-love.)

  2. BUCKET LIST | After reflecting, make one giant bucket list. You can make this a bucket list for life or just for this year. Use your reflections as a motivator by adding things you can do to improve any cons or have more of the pros from the past year. Think about all the things you’d like to do, have, be, see, etc. Absolutely anything. From more down-time to climbing Mount Everest. I like to cover as much as I can in making this list and dream super big. Reality is out the window for this part. I don’t think about what I realistically can do right now. I just think of everything I want from life because believing it can happen, even for a moment, is the first step in making it happen.

  3. TOP 5 | A top 5 for the new year is a great way to set your priorities. Ours are Home, Health, Relationships, Self, and Finances, but this is really up to you. You can use the top 5 things that stood out in the previous year, pick 5 things that need the most improvement, or five areas of your life that are most important. These should be the driving force behind the intentions you set for the new year. 

  4. PUT IT IN WRITING | Once you’ve gone through everything, write your top 5 on a blank piece of paper (or in a note on the computer, whatever works best for you). Look to your bucket list and fill each item in with realistic goals for this year. Remember how long a year is, but also think about how much change you can really endure all at once. This should be the most realistic part of your day dreams for the new year. Think about what you can handle financially, time limitations you may have, and the work that really goes into changing or adding to your life. There is no point in setting unattainable goals that will just make you feel bad in the end.

  5. FIRST STEP | After you’ve set your intentions, think about some first steps you can make. If there are habits you want to create, pick 1 to master. If there are tasks you want to complete, pick 3 to brainstorm and get started on. Just remember, you can always add more things later and it’s not a race.  There is always room for improvement and there’s always something that needs to be done. There are 11 more months in the year and you have all of them and every year after that to move yourself closer to who you want to be. Start small so you can give everything as much attention as it deserves.

OUR 2019 INTENTIONS

Ian and I have been in transition since we started dating. We’ve always been the types to want to move forward, quickly. We like planning for the next step before our feet are even on the one right in front of us and it’s helped us to get to where we are today .

I think our biggest motivation is stress... we don’t want it. We know we’ll have it. We’ve accepted that it’s a part of life, but the feeling of being behind, like time is moving faster than we can handle, is not a feeling we like to have.

I’ve talked a bit about our word for the year and biggest goal, but there are so many little details in our lives that we want to embrace. We’ve spent a lot of time working towards stability, but we’ve also learned (this year especially) that time moves quickly. Kids grow up fast and they learn even faster. They see everything we do and they want to do it too. Our second child is only two months away and our first has officially entered his formative years. The ones that will shape the very core of his personality.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to start shaping our household and we have a few ideas on how to begin that process. Most importantly, we know we want intention. We want for there to be purpose behind the things we own and the actions we make. We want our children to learn that life is what you make it, so you need to pay attention and think about how you’re spending your time and resources.

On New Years Eve, Ian and I took some time to sit down and write out our intentions.  We thought about all the ways we could be a little more in the moment in each aspect of our lives in order to make each thing the best it can be.

OUR HOME

We’ve spent the last year embracing minimalism and we’ve just recently ventured into the idea of simple and slow living. All of these things have not only brought us closer together, but it’s really created a sense of peace within our home that I can see we all benefit from. Between the three of us, we are happier and less stressed simply because our home is in order. And because of our intention with the things we own, it’s really not difficult to keep it that way.

But there are a few dynamic changes in our home that are happening. Ian works from home now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom now, Oliver is starting to engage in more imaginative play with toys and will begin a little bit of schooling this year, and we’re welcoming a whole other life into our home who will have his own set of needs and things to indulge in.

So here are our main intentions for this year in the home:

  • ATMOSPHERE | Having a clean space was a big project for last year and now it’s time to add a few elements that bring a sense of calm and peace to our days. One thing Ian and I love are candles and music. Something about lighting a candle and turning on a playlist really sets the mood and no matter where your brain ventures off to, you always have something pulling you back into the moment. So for Christmas, Ian and I bought ourselves a little bluetooth speaker that can carry any tune throughout our house and I’ll be looking into making little beeswax or soy candles so we can have that process of lighting candles without worrying about the cost of candles. I’m also getting into essential oils a little more this year so the gentle smell of a diffuser may become a part of our atmosphere at home.

  • OWNERSHIP | Because we rent and move a lot, it’s been a little difficult to create sense of ownership in our home. To put it into perspective how often our environment changes, Oliver is 18 months and will be moving into his forth home in the next few days.

    • Signature Scent. Because our physical home changes and we haven’t settled into a permanent place yet, we’ve decided to work on a signature scent for our home this year. Something that is personal to us that can fill our home to give ourselves and our kids that little sense of comfort that comes with familiarity. (grapefruit, vanilla, and cedar wood anyone?)

    • Familiar Spaces. Along with a familiar scent to come home to, we want to make our space cozy. We’ve perfected our room and the living room for the most part; but having a functional play area and a cozy bedroom for the boys, along with an office space for Ian, has become a new necessity. So in our new home, we’ll be making Oliver’s room a little more cozy and we’ll have a play area/office where we can all hang out together. We’ll also be getting Charlie set up with a cozy spot in our bedroom and eventually merging the boys into the same room. Really, we just want to get very moved in and settled into our new place so we can create a real sense of home and routine.

  • SUSTAINABILITY | In the past few months, I’ve become aware and in support of the zero waste movement that’s going on. So among the changes I’ve already started making to help our home become a little more sustainable, I have two major things I want to work on for this year: the kid’s things and the kitchen. Specifically with diapers, snacks/food storage, and paper towels. Those may be some of the areas we waste most in so I’ll be embracing cloth diapers with Charlie, creating a more sustainable mom bag for going out, attempting to bring in less packaging from food items, and letting go of paper towels. It may not seem like much, but I think it’ll make a big impact on how much we’re wasting.

HEALTH

We’ve done a great job of eating healthier and at home more this year. But of course, there’s always room for improvement.

One thing that changed towards the end of this year is that we’ve started preferring apartment living rather than having an actual house. It’s been a really positive change in so many ways, but because we prefer living in higher stories, we’ve gotten a little lazy about getting out of the house regularly which in turn has made our physical activity a little abysmal. Sure, the 2-3 flights of stairs are good exercise, but we’ve gotten in the habit of only using them when we need to.

So we’ve got some pretty simple, but big impact intentions for our health this year.

  • DAILY WALKS | One habit we got into when we lived in an actual house were daily walks. It was good for all of us. Walking is so therapeutic for our minds and bodies. Getting kids out of the house, at least once a day, is really good for their mental health and creativity. The dog enjoys a good walk everyday (and maybe won’t pack on so many lbs from eating Oliver’s food all the time). We adults benefit from stepping outside of our chores and obligations to take a second to breath in a little fresh air. So this year, we are going to make an effort to take a family walk everyday.

  • SEASONAL EATING | I’ve seen this concept thrown around here and there, and this year I’d like to give it a try. We’re already pretty good about eating at home, but I really want to make our meals more plant based with seasonal fruits and vegetables to give us access to the freshest ingredients possible. I do like using meal plan subscriptions for some of our meals, but for the ones I plan on my own, I definitely want us eating fresher ingredients.

  • TEAS, TINCTURES, AND ELIXIRS | I love drinking fancy things. Anything. Maybe it’s the former barista in me, but putting together a delicious drink of any kind is extremely satisfying. Teas, tinctures, and elixirs have been catching my eye recently and I want to implement them into my regular routine. The benefits from these natural herbs are unbeatable and I think it’d be a fun thing to get into this year. -It may also help with the giant coffee addiction we’ve accumulated over the years.

FAMILY

As our family grows and dynamics change, we’ve noticed that time together is something you really need to pay attention to. There are so many different relationships you need to foster within a family and the more members you add, the more relationships there are to take care of.

So we really want to give every relationship an opportunity to flourish by setting up some routines to help solidify a foundation for all of us. Nothing extreme. We don’t need to spend a million dollars to be closer. But setting intentional time, on purpose, is something we really want to do.

  • DATE NIGHT | We need a weekly date night. We spend a lot of time studying the dynamics and situations in which couples flourish and flounder. Not only is it interesting, but digging into different statistics and ideas is a good way to learn from other’s mistakes and help your relationship to be as strong as possible. So, we’ve learned that weekly date nights are crucial for a healthy relationship. Between work and kids and the house, it’s way too easy to forget each other. But in the end, our kids will grow up and create families of their own, so our relationship needs to stay a priority through every walk of life.

  • FAMILY TIME | One habit we’ve been able to get into is a weekly family outing. Well, it may not be weekly right now, but it is frequent. So now, we want to make it a very intentional habit. A time for all of us to go into the world and experience things together. Whether it’s a coffee date or a trip to the zoo, just something to give us a regular moment to experience things together. -And if the weather is not permitting or spirits are low, movie nights or game nights are always a good choice!

  • INDIVIDUAL QUALITY TIME | The final dynamic we think is really important to foster are the one-on-one, personal relationships between all of us. Between Ian and each of our children, me and each of our children, and our children together. These are relationships that can either last a lifetime or fall apart as they get older. Obviously, we would love for our kids to truly want to be a part of this family and feel like a part of this family. So we’re going to make an effort, at least once a month, for each of these dynamics to have an opportunity to experience a moment together. Whether it’s one parent taking one kid out to do something fun or making sure the boys have room to explore their own dynamic, we want to make sure every individual is growing closer together.

PERSONAL

While Oliver can’t really express his own personal goals yet, we all have individual goals for this year to help us evolve personally.

  • BLOG | I’ve really enjoyed the life my blog has taken on. At this point, I have a solid work flow and I’m keeping it realistic and slow so I can stay consistent here while also being present as a mom and wife. My biggest goal for the blog this year is to find my community. To expand my outreach in order to make it the resource I’d love to see it become. Along with that, I have a few ideas on different things I’ll be launching to really help people embrace the stress-free life I’ve been able to find.

  • WARDROBE | I’ve loved embracing a smaller wardrobe this past year and now it’s officially time to get a few standard basics going. Once my body is back to normal, I will be on the hunt for my perfect pair of jeans. It may sound silly, but jeans are the staple of my outfits and wardrobe and I haven’t had a pair that really feels right for a very long time. So I want to take my time to find the pair that fits perfectly and goes with everything so I can have a solid foundation to build on.

  • CREATIVITY |

    • Music | This one is more for Ian, but we both need to embrace our musical interest a little more. We’re going to make a point to record a little more this year by creating an easily accessible space to do so. We’ll be selling a few things we don’t use and replacing them with items that make playing music in an apartment a little more realistic so we can really get into that passion again.

    • Making | I’ve always loved the idea of drawing, hand lettering, and general crafting. I have the ability to be a jack of all trades with crafting and the idea of having my own Etsy shop where I can share little home goods that I make is a long time dream of mine. The only problem is, I never make time to actually become skilled in anything. So I’m going to take this year to space out at the computer and TV a little less and work on some of my crafting skills so I can one day make something that’s worth sharing.

  • OLIVER | I’ve taken the liberty of giving Oliver a few goals this year because, well, I’m the mom so I get to do that.

    • Potty Training | This year we would love to work on potty training. He’s taken a big interest in the toilet and how it works so honestly, I think it’d be fun for him to be able to use it himself (and fun for me to not have double diaper duty - or doody, if you know what I mean).

    • Homeschooling | I’d also like to find a creative way to start slowly schooling him this year. Nothing major. Just basic numbers, shapes, and colors. But I would love if I could fill his playroom with toys that promote imagination AND learning so he can cultivate a passion for understanding more rather than get lost in “mandatory schooling.” Really, I would just like to make a point to teach him creatively in a fun environment, especially in these early years.

FINANCES

This is a huge one for us. It’s the first year we actually have the ability to set realistic financial goals and we feel relieved, excited, anxious, and ready to get started on creating a little financial stability for our family.

  • INVEST | This is a big one for us. We’ve never really imagined investing, but we have found something we’d love to invest in that we believe in so we’re putting some money into the stock market this year! I don’t know anything about stocks so I’m not going to even begin to give an ounce of advice on this. For us, we’ve just found one, very specific thing to put money into and that’s about as far as it goes.

  • SAVE | It’s really important to us that we view our money as ours. As in mine, Ian’s, AND our children’s. Personally, I’ve never been one to understand why people set up funds for their kids to receive after they’ve passed. There are so many reasons why that is a weird concept to me. Why should you only help someone after you’re gone? Why not help your family in times of need while you’re here and enjoy your wealth with everyone while you’re still around? That is, if you have the resources. Life insurance and assets are one thing, but just hoarding money until you die is a little weird to me. So, mini-rant aside, we want to attempt to have savings accounts for us and our children that are fairly similar in amounts. I don’t necessarily plan on giving our children large sums of money for no reason and it’s also important to me that they learn to sustain themselves by working and paying for things on their own. But I believe there are things that are our responsibility to pay for as their parents and I want to be prepared. All of that to say, I want to start saving now for all of us so when our kids reach different stages in life or run into times of need, we are there for them.

  •   DEBT | We’ll also be starting our debt-free journey this year. We’ve been paying our minimums, but that is no way to actually tackle debt. So now we’ve reached the point of being able to officially put in enough money to really pay off our debt. We’re lowering our rent, we’re going to spend much more intentionally, and we’re going to make sure that our first priority in finances is to pay down the giant mountain of debt we have. I’ll be sharing this journey here on the blog because I think it’s important to share the realities of paying off debt.

Candles in the home, simple outings as a family, a quick walk in the world, a small breath of fresh air. All these things seem almost too small to notice, but that’s why we’re focusing on them. Life is truly in the details so ultimately, we want to live within them. All the little details that make up a lifetime, we don’t want to let them pass us by.

Ultimately, we want to be prepared for the future, but alive in the moment.