i’ve mentioned this phrase a few times on this blog, and many more times on my Twitter and Instagram, but here’s what #simplify2014 is all about, for me:


yup – 2014 is all about focusing on my little family.

inspired by my i-only-“know”-you-online-virtual-role-models Emily Ley and Lara Casey, i’ve decided that 2014 is the year of living the simple life. no, that doesn’t mean that i’m going all crunchy and growing all of my own food, not washing my hair or wearing only clothing made in the good ol’ USA (although those are all worthy endeavors in their own ways!). what this means for me is this:

  • seven weeks ago, i gutted my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest feeds. i’m only following people whose positive outlook on life brings me joy! seemly links at the left side of the page if you’d like to follow along.
  • i also closed down my Etsy shop, Lovely Lion Shop. i’m still doing custom orders on an infrequent basis, but my life is just too darn busy to devote enough time to making my little shop what i want it to be; i’m so, so thankful for the experience and am a bit sad to close it down, but i hope to have the time in my life (and the gumption!) to do the hard work to grow my reach and to be “the little shop that could.” for now, though, we’re closed for business.
  • i preordered Lara Casey’s 2014 #PowerSheets the second that i could, knowing that they would set my path straight for 2014 and help me to pare down what doesn’t matter in favor of what does. oh, goodness, if i only knew how life-changing these goal-setting/goal inventory sheets would be for me! i’m fascinated with the ideas that Lara presents in these sheets; i know now the importance of taking the time to “brain dump” all of the things in/on my mind before doing the (hard but important!) work of setting intentions for the next six months (Lara’s #PowerSheets are sold as a set in six-month installments). if i could give Lara a big hug and let her know how much these #PowerSheets have changed the way that i think about my life, i would teleport instantly to where she lives (with her darling daughter and husband) and wrap her up in a hug full of a goodness!
  • the last piece of #simplify2014 that i did (before 2014 even started!) was to gut my Feedly blog reader; i’m now only following blogs that make my heart sing. instead of following wedding blogs to “keep tabs on the industry,” i’m saying goodbye to that part of my life (our wedding was almost four years ago!) and hello to blogs on marriage, home decor and mamahood to fill my soul.
  • as soon as 2014 kicked off, i broke out my brand new Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. it’s literally changed my life. with inspirational and positive quotes, mini to-do lists, a timed day planner, a monthly calendar and spaces to write dinner ideas, memories from the week and intentions for the year, i am OBSESSED with how this planner helps me to focus on what matters: my family and loved ones, myself, my job, and my faith. it’s literally what i walk through each day holding on to.
  • then, three weeks ago, Facebook and i broke up. i’m all about dwelling in positivity and making things happen in 2014, and the time that i lingered on Facebook (as well as the way that others use Facebook – to air their “dirty laundry” or cause unnecessary drama) was not helping me to be a positive, present mama, wife or educator.
  • my motto for 2014: #lovehard. one of the things that i am most proud of is the way that i mother L. by no means am i the perfect mother, or even the mother that i want to be all the time, but i love him hard – i am honest and authentic and downright obsessed with telling my boy exactly what he means to me. it’s that idea – honesty, authenticity, and being unafraid to be vocal and loud about what’s on my heart – that’s behind the phrase #lovehard2014, and i can’t wait to make that motto known and true in all areas of my life, from my marriage to my career to my home.

in a future post, i’ll share all of my goals for the first six months of 2014, and how i’m working hard to make intentional, authentic choices to bring positivity and faithfulness and gratitude in our home.

About Sara

Sara works in higher education, but she's most proud of her role as a Mama to two precocious boys, Lionel Conner, age 4, and Quincy August, age 2. In honor of turning 30 in 2016, she pierced her nose to "keep her young." She loves watching guilty-pleasure television, writing about motherhood, decorating her first home, sipping red wine with her husband Jordan, and chasing after her sons.

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