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simpleliving

8 Things to Simplify in 2018

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on December 27, 2017

With a new year comes a clean slate, and a chance to begin with a fresh beginning. Needless to say, I’m sure there are many of us who are looking for a clean slate this year. Even if you had an incredibly year, there’s always something exciting about beginning a new year. For me, I have a ton of motivation and energy to put toward my goals. One of those goals is to simply my life more in the new year, so I’m sharing eight things to simply in 2018.

1| Expectations

My biggest focus for 2018 is to simplify my expectations of myself and of others. I’ve found when you remove expectations from yourself and others, you’re less likely to be disappointed. Now, I’m not saying you should have goals and expect to achieve them, but I am saying you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations for your goals. Be kind and real with yourself and the people around you. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. Don’t let your expectations get the best of you.

2| Resolutions

I made a long list of goals and resolutions for 2017, which I was able to achieve the majority of them. However, looking back at the last year showed me that we put a lot of stress and energy toward these resolutions. Instead, I’m simplifying my resolutions this year in hopes that it will keep me focused and determined to meet them, and grow as an individual throughout the year.

3| Closet

It’s time to declutter your closet by asking yourself these questions. Take a decluttering challenge and go beyond your closet if you’ve already purged your wardrobe in 2017. You can always find something to pass on to the donation bin or a friend who would use it more. Decluttering is a great step toward simplifying your life. From a person who has taken decluttering seriously this past year, I promise there are benefits to doing so.

4| Schedule

Why are we so enamored with the idea of busyness? Why do we feel that being on the go, and constantly busy is something to celebrate and enjoy? For 2018, I’m hoping to life a little more slowly. It’s something I’ve been incorporating in my life the last two months, and it really has its benefits. Pursing slow living is a wonderful step to take to simplify your life and to simplify your schedule in the new year.

5| Meal Prepping

Think of all the time you spend grocery shopping, making lunches and dinners, and stressing over what you’re going to eat the following day. It’s amazing how much time we spend in the kitchen altogether, which is why you should consider simplifying your meal time and preparation. Make a list and stick to it instead of wandering the aisles for an hour (you’ll also save money, too). On Sundays, cook the bulk of lunches and dinners for the week, so I’m not spending time worrying about making a sandwich, or getting a salad together last minute. It’s amazing how much time you’ll save throughout the week by simplifying this area of your life.

6| Cleaning Routine

Cleaning is another thing we spend a ton of time on. When you have less things, you have less things to clean, which means less time spent cleaning, which means more time doing the things you want to do. It’s really a beautiful thing. So simplify your cleaning routine by making setting a timer for an hour to get the big things done first like putting in a load of laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathrooms. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in an hour alone. Find a simple routine to follow, and you’ll have a lot more free time throughout the week!

Related: 8 Tips to Get Your Life Together in 8 Hours

7| Relationships

You know the friend who has changed a lot in the year, and you have found yourself drifting away from them? Or, the friend who hasn’t been lifting you up during a happy time in your life? Those people shouldn’t be in your life in the new year. Simplifying your relationships is one of the most therapeutic things you can do because not everyone who walks into your life is meant to stick around forever, especially if they’re a toxic friend. Find people who bring you nothing but happiness, and remove the friends who haven’t been there for you. You’ll find that simplifying those relationships will make room for the relationships that are most important to you.

8| Time

As the years go on, the more I find that time is too short. In 2018, I want to simplify how I spend my time. Instead of scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest for two hours wondering where the time has gone, I want to spend it doing productive things that will help me accomplish the goals I have for myself in the new year. Instead of watching Netflix for no reason, I want to work on a goal I’ve had since I was 10 years old. Simplify how you’re spending (or wasting your time) and you’ll find there’s a lot of time for accomplishing your goals for the year.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading how you can simplify your life in the new year! So tell me, what do you plan to simplify in 2018? Make sure to share your thoughts below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Tips to Focus on Health During the Holidays

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on December 4, 2017

For the last week, I’ve really trying to get back on track with eating healthy and working out more. Now that the craziness at work has died down a little, and Josh and I are settled in our home, I can get back to focusing on the holidays and my health.

Although this time of year isn’t associated with health, and wellness—I think it’s the best time to being focusing on that if it will ultimately be your goal for the new year. Instead of binge-eating all the desserts and alcoholic beverages, why not start now? Don’t waste the next month planning for a healthier year if you’re going to excuse the next month to bad habits. Here are five tips to focus on health during the holidays.

1| Don’t use the holidays as an excuse

The holidays shouldn’t be an excuse to eat everything in sight for the next month while not committing to any form of exercise in the process. If you’re truly striving to life a healthier lifestyle, you will know not to use the time of year as  an excuse to not work out, eat poorly, and ultimately not take care of yourself.

2| What are your goals?

Are you training for a 10k? Wanting to lose four inches on your body by summer? Whatever your goals are, make sure you are writing them down and sticking to them. Without a goal in mind, it  will be easier for you to fall off track, especially during this time of year. With an end goal in mind, you will consistently have something to work toward.

3| Stay balanced 

No one is telling you that you can’t east any of the delicious, wonderful food during the holidays. You should definitely be treating yourself to a slice of pie, or Christmas potatoes without any guilt. Depriving yourself of the food you love is actually worse for you in the long run. Feed your body what it wants, but simply be mindful of portions when you’re eating. Take your time when eating so your body knows when its full—and you’ll be good!

4| Don’t be hard on yourself

You drank six cocktails at the holiday party and demolished a tray of appetizers with your best friend. It’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself if you do slip up over a weekend or at a party. You’re allowed to indulge. The problem is when you say, “Well, I already messed up, so why get on track?” Instead, to a simple workout like yoga or Pilates and make a healthy recipe the day after to get your body back on track.

5| Make the time

Instead of spending an hour watching Vlogmas, you can get an hour workout in. Better yet, why not workout anytime you decide to watch YouTube, or a holiday movie? It’s an easy way to make your workout a little less daunting if it’s not your favorite thing to do. Plus, you’ll be doing something productive while you’re doing something you also enjoy. It’s a win-win for you and your health!

How do you focus on health during the holidays? What are some of your tips to stay on track during a time of delicious food and drinks? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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4 Tips to Prep Your Home for Holiday Guests

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 27, 2017

It’s the season of parties, entertaining and guests staying overnight. Whether it’s for a night, a weekend, or a week-long stay—I’m sharing tips to bring a little bliss on how to prep your home for guests this holiday season. These few tips will help you create a warm, welcoming space for your guests all season long!

1| Create a Cozy Environment

The holiday season is the warm and fuzzy time of year, so it’s important to keep your guests in mind for creating a cozy environment in your home. Make sure to place an extra blanket in the guest bedroom, and keep a basket of throw blankets and pillows in the living room for easy access. Place a candle or essential oil diffuser in the guest bedroom for them to enjoy during their stay. Scent is powerful for creating a welcoming space for guests.

2| Think Essentials

I love creating a welcome basket for friends when they come to stay. Make sure to include anything they may have forgotten, or items you know they will use over the course of their stay. Toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, soap, facial cleanser are all items someone may forget to pack last-minute. Don’t forget to include bottles of water and snacks as well. The more convenient, the better. Have empty drawers in the dresser, spare hangers in the closet, and a place for them to set their luggage. It’s the best way to have make your guest bedroom like a comforting hotel.

3| All in the Deatils

Don’t forget a few details that will make your guest’s experience more enjoyable. Leave out two or three mugs on the counter they know they can use in the morning. Have magazines in their bedroom or on a coffee table for them to look through. Have fresh flowers in their room or in the kitchen. All the small details that may seem unimportant are actually what make your guests truly feel at home.

4| The Important Stuff

Walk through using your television if you have older family members staying with you. Leave our your WiFi password in the guest bedroom if you have friends staying from out of town for the weekend. If you have guests coming in from across the country visiting your town for the first time—leave a list of some of your favorite restaurants or things to do while they are visiting. Again, it may seem like non-essential details, but your guests will appreciate the thought you put into their stay with you.

What other tips do you have for guests staying in from out of town? Are there any other essentials you would add to this list? Make sure to share in the comment below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: November

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 6, 2017

We’re two days away from completely diving into the holiday season, and I couldn’t be more excited. At the same time, I can’t believe that there are only two months left in 2017. My goal is to make these last two months of the year count, and enjoy as much of the holiday season as possible. Let me know what you’re looking forward to this month whether it’s Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, food, or something else going on in your life that you’re feeling blissful about.

1| Owning a Home

As you’re reading this, we’re moving into our home this week! It’s unbelievable to think that just a few short months ago, we decided to make the largest purchase we will ever invest in. Needless to say, our lives are packed up in boxes, and we are working on making our house a home. If you want to read more about our home-buying journey, give one of my recent posts a read!

2| It’s Acceptable to Think About Christmas

And by acceptable to THINK about Christmas, I mean that it’s acceptable to start listening to Christmas music, begin Christmas shopping, and participating in all the winter-related activities.  (I know not everyone will agree with me, but i know there MUST be some Christmas-lovers out there!) Once we get through Halloween, my attention is slightly moving away from wedding planning and moving, and now is focused on Christmas, baking, and all the holiday things.

3| Focusing on Gratitude

You all know I’m a huge proponent of expressing gratitude as often as you can, which is why I’m planning a challenge for myself to express gratitude all month long with journal prompts, random acts of kindness for coworkers and strangers, and everything in between. Last year, I had a list of challenges for myself and I found that doing one every single day was a little difficult, so I plan to spread the challenges out throughout the month.

4| Holiday Shopping

I am one of those people that will most likely have their holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving. Especially with moving into the house, wedding planning, work, and life in general, I try to work ahead as much as possible so that I’m not rushing around to the last minute and feeling stressed during the holidays. This year, I want to be more conscious about spending money after purchasing the house, so I’m looking into DIYs. Make sure to share any DIY gift ideas you have!

5| FOOD.

Need I say more? November is the beginning of a two-month eating frenzy that we indulge in. From pies and all the food during Thanksgiving dinner, to holiday cookie swaps in the office, you better believe that this month is the beginning of eating all the best food. And I’m ready for it.

What are you looking forward to this month whether it’s related to the holidays or something else good going in your life? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Blissful Bits: October

Posted in Lifestyle
on November 1, 2017

 We can all use a little more bliss in our lives, right? 

That’s why I’m sharing a new series on Blissfully Brunette where I dish out videos, stories, blog posts, and everything in between that brought a little bit of bliss. Hopefully, these posts will give you the little pick-me-up you may need to get through the week whether you’re looking for new blog posts to read for inspiration, new recipes, workouts, funny videos and anything else that may bring you an extra dose of bliss.

1| 10 Steps to Declutter Your Mind Right Now

TBH when you’re going through a blogging rut, you lose your creative spark. It’s not a good feeling, and it brings on other issues like stress, self-doubt and more. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a positive headspace earlier this month because of it. After reading Erica’s post, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough credit. I am working full-time, blogging, moving into my first home and planning my wedding. I was stressed and burned out, and my mind needed some major decluttering. If you’re in need of a mental declutter, you’re going to want to check out her post.

2| Bath & Body Works Candles

Because who doesn’t get happy when they think of candles from Bath & Body Works? You all know I’m here for the fall scents like “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, “Marshmallow Fireside,” and “Autumn,” but they having been bringing out the holiday collection—and it’s getting me excited for the next two months. So tell me, what are some of your favorite Bath And Body Work’s candle scents that you can’t live without during fall and winter?!

3| Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Because it’s all the wonderful things about fall in one dessert. (I know, except for pumpkin spice) So, I’ve been in a baking mood despite not having a ton of time to bake as of late, so I’m sharing this delicious recipe in case you’re looking to try something new.

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar , plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apples:
  • 3 Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9×13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  5. For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.

4| The Truth about Fear & Perfectionism 

Another post I’m sure many of you can relate to because fear is something we all experience. For me, perfectionism is something I have always struggled with, so I know how difficult it can be to have something go less-than-perfect, and you’re left feeling useless, and feeling like you failed. There’s a lot to uncover in this topic, but Rachel highlights some key points of fear and perfectionism that will make you realize you’re not alone in your thoughts. In turn, you’re going to feel blissful knowing other people ARE experiencing what you’re experiencing.

5| 20-Minute Pilates Workout

I love Pilates because not only are the workouts enjoyable and effective, but they also can work your entire body. Yes, even a 20-minute workout can leave you feeling sore the next day. And yes, it’s a wonderful feeling because you’re not sweating non-stop for over an hour. You can do this anywhere in your home, hotel room, or your office if you don’t have any other option. Trust me, if you want a simple workout that will five you great results, try this video below!

What has you feeling blissful this week? Make sure to share any blog posts, quotes, videos, or anything else in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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