I recently discovered this blog and love the concept. She writes about minimalism and attaining a a simpler lifestyle.

In her post, The Beginer's Guide to Minimalism, she lists 10 questions:

1. Which 3-5 things are most important to you in life? Does the way you spend your time reflect these?

2. What part of the day do you usually look forward to the most? Why?

3. How does your living space make you feel?

4. How many hours per day do you spend feeling rushed, stressed or anxious? What (or who) is causing that?

5. What is your favorite place in your house/apartment? Why?

6. How often do you do things just for fun?

7. What activities always leave you feeling fresh and re-energized?

8. Which of your commitments (side projects, clubs, memberships, etc.) truly add value to your life and which don’t?

9. If this week had an extra day, how would you spend it?

10. How good are you at saying no?

With simplify being my word for 2015, I am thrilled to have discovered this and to start implementing some of her strategies. 


A funny thing happens when you start to grow a blog/instagram/social media presence. Strangers will give you praise. And strangers will give you criticism. It's kind of all part of the package deal. There's one in every crowd, and as you grow your reach, there might be many in your crowd.

I'm new to this and attempting to navigate it. I've heard other bloggers/writers talk about how important it is to develop a thick skin. To ignore both the praise and the criticism. If you live for the opinions of others, whether good or bad, you will die. To survive and thrive in a creative industry you must do your best, with what you have, while ignoring the opinions of others.

I'm learning more and more how to allow hurtful things to affect me less and less. I used to get upset when people would copy me. I try to see it more as a compliment now, and less as something that was "stolen" from me. I know that this is just part of the industry, and in the words of T. Swift, I try to just shake it off and move on.

Yesterday, I had a follower on Instagram comment that they were concerned, in all seriousness, that I left the comma off my "hello handsome" card. Minor offense, I know, but it still made me think, laugh, and reflect on it all. It's much, much easier to be cruel online than it is in person, and since online communities are a snapshot of all of humanity, there will always be negative people, as well as people with strong opinions, both online and off. Learning how to navigate it all is just something that comes with the territory.

I want to hear from those that have walked this road longer than me: how do you handle the "noise" of others regarding your work? How do you stay engaged with your craft while disengaging from the negativity and strong opinions of others? Would love to hear your thoughts.  


The city of Seattle is BUZZING with excitement after Sunday's game against the Packers. Super Bowl bound for only the third time in the team's history, everyone here seems to be cheering for this locally loved and historically underdog team, including my friend Kristy's third grade classroom. 

Kristy started her brand new blog (I Just Got Schooled) yesterday with this post here: To The Seahawks From a Thankful Teacher, and it has gone viral. Thanks to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, let's just say Kristy's post has reached many. A local Seattle news company is visiting Kristy's classroom this week to interview her and her students. The story is, the teamwork of the Seahawks has inspired and encouraged her third graders to work together, and she tells her first hand account of how her classroom's morale has improved. It's well known that Russell Wilson volunteers at Children's Hospital in Seattle every Tuesday, visiting cancer patients. One of Kristy's students was inspired by this and made a card for another student having a bad day because "Russell Wilson tries to make people's days happier like when he visits the hospital." She tells story after story of how her classroom has been positively impacted by the role models of these football players. 

I'm thankful for quarterbacks who are kind, who give credit to their teammates and even the other team, who take the time to visit children in hospitals. Being Super Bowl bound is great, but impacting a classroom of third graders? I bet Russell would also count that among his proudest achievements. 

The truth is, wall have influence. Whether Seahawks players or not. Let's remember that our actions are also influencing those around us, and live our lives accordingly. 

(NOTE: Let's also acknowledge that there are many football players who are amazing role models, Aaron Rodgers being one of them. I would name more here if I knew more about football. But I know there are lots! No matter what team you root for, let's keep the comments kind.)