I Made My Own Plant Wall and You Can, Too! Here's How...

You ever just have a stroke of inspiration so good you have to share it? Because it basically changes your life? Well I’m about to share with you the little lightbulb moment I had because it’s too good to keep to myself!

It all started when I went to pick up a rug for my living room from World Market. When I say this is my DREAM RUG, I mean it. And it had just gone on sale for 40% off so I was a little giddy.


Here’s a picture of me and my rug looking happier than I looked after the births of my children because that’s how much I love decorating and this rug! (not really, but really).

I looked for the rug to link for you, but I don’t think they sell it anymore. But check out their website if you want to search for yourself.

While I was there, I was browsing through the office section and I spotted this metal 9-cubby wall organizer and I immediately had this vision that I could use it as a wall shelf for small plants!


I love the look of lots of green house plants but I was just never sure if I could commit to them or if they would work with small kids in the house. But once I had this idea, I knew I could make it work!

So, I bought the metal wall organizer and ordered a second one online because they didn’t any more in stock. Once I had them both, I spray painted them black using this paint.

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Side Note: Amazon sells this this 3-cubby wall organizer if you’re interested in another option ;)


Then I went to Armstrong Garden Center and bought terra cotta pots in a couple of different sizes to put in each cubby. And I also picked out and bought the plants to go in the pots.

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When we got home, we spray painted the terra cotta pots black, so they’d blend in with the shelves. It’s all personal preference but I thought it might look better to have everything one color so the the green of the plants really pops!  

(We used this paint for the pots. It’s different than what we used for the metal shelves.)

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Once the pots dried, it was time to put the whole thing on the wall! Brian suggested we use drywall toggles to keep them sturdy and in place since the shelves weren’t going to be super light with plants in them.  


It worked perfectly! (Cause Brian’s a genius - obviously). And it looks so, so good!

I got a whole variety of plants to go in the pots. Some are cascading, some stringy, some fuller, some smaller. So it really gives it a boho vibe - which I love.

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The only things the plants have in common is that they are all OK to live in a little light and they are all low-maintenance! But I did buy a teeny-tiny watering can to help care for them and it works great!

Here’s a photo of my living room before the new rug and wall project…

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And here it is after!...

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It totally transformed the room! And it’s so different than what you might expect in a living space — which I love! It’s so fresh, so fun, so us!

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So if you like greenery and you love the look of it indoors but you’ve been nervous to take on the inconvenience of floor plants, this might be your DIY solution!

P.S. I love that this idea came to me while I was shopping. Don’t ever underestimate the power of some retail therapy!

When your hubby asks why you gotta shop so much, just tell him it’s how you get your best ideas ;)


Looking for other ways to bring peace into your home? I’ve got you, girl. Let me send you a FREE PDF of 13 ideas for you!

My 5 Favorite Marriage Books and How They Changed Our Lives


If you’ve been around here for a minute you know that reading is so important to me. A book can teach you something new about yourself, others and God. A book can give you ideas and inspire you to make positive changes in your life.

I actually set aside a time for reading into my daily rhythm. That’s how valuable I believe it is.  

Back in October, I did an episode of The Purpose Show and I shared with you a list of books that shaped me as a person - whether in my personal life or my business. You can check out that episode here.

Now, I want to share with you a list of books that have helped shape my marriage. Like I said, I believe that a book can teach you something new about yourself and others and I think that’s especially true with marriage books.


Need some date night ideas? I’ve got you, girl! I’ll send you a FREE downloadable PDF of 20 date night ideas straight to your inbox!

I want to give a full disclaimer before we dive in. Every book I read, I take action on. I read a book and I go and do what I learned. That’s key.

You might read these books and nothing happen. These aren’t little magic pills. There’s no promise that if you consume them, they’ll change everything for you.

I believe you can read an amazing book and feel so inspired and then finish it, close it, and not do anything else about it. And, obviously, that’s not going to do anything for you. If you want a book to help you change your life and your marriage, you’ve got to take action. Nothing works if you don’t.

So, with that being said, let’s dive into the 5 marriage books that have helped shape Brian’s and my marriage.

5. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

This is obviously not a marriage book, but I believe you can’t have a good marriage if you don’t believe some core truths about yourself as a woman and carry yourself a certain way.

You Are A Badass was a turning point for me in my life. It taught me how to go after what I wanted with confidence, knowing that God has plans for good for me.

4. Tender Warrior By Stu Weber

This is a book written for men, and it’s been one that Brian has referenced so many times. It’s a big part of why he is who he is as a husband and he’s always recommending it and ordering it for friends.

3. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

I first read this book as a new bride, and it set a strong foundation for how I handle issues, conflict, and anger in my marriage. One of the first lines is “God, give my husband a new wife, and let her be me.”

It’s powerful to pray for your husband and your relationship with him. It transforms YOU, rather than you focusing on praying for him to be the one to change.

2a & 2b. For Women Only & For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhaun

These books are so helpful! They’re founded on research of how men and women interpret things differently, and how we can better communicate with and understand each other. Shaunti covers everything from pornography and sex to conversation and household roles.

1. The Enneagram in Love & Work by Helen Palmer

Helen is a pioneer of the Enneagram personality studies, and so gifted. This sort of knowledge about yourself and your spouse is among the most powerful you can arm yourself with! To deeply understand how you and your partner mentally process and function is an incredible gift that not enough people are taking hold of.

Side note: this book has also helped me be a better business owner and leader for my team!

I hope you’ll check these books out! They have truly helped me understand myself and my husband better and in turn have strengthened our marriage.

And I believe that you will only benefit from reading them. But girl, remember not to just read them.

Take action! You can have a better marriage. But you’ve got to get up and put in the work!




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The Unburdened course is exactly what you need. 

If you're wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, home, calendar, health, routines, and relationships, this guide will help you go from drowning in a sea of stress and overwhelm to owning your time and living the best version of your life.


(This post contains affiliate links. I’m just sharing the books I like best with you!)

3 Ways Living an Uncluttered Life Goes Beyond Just Getting Rid of Your Stuff

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Living an uncluttered life goes beyond your physical possessions. It extends to your health, your calendar, your friendships.

We live in a society that says, “give me more, spend more, do more.” It can be so easy to let stuff accumulate in your home and in your life…. Especially when you’re a mom.

But ALL THE THINGS are adding so much extra burden. And that’s the last thing we need, mamas. We have enough on our plates without being buried under extra.

That’s why I’m so passionate about helping moms live a life of less. When I started my minimalism journey years ago, there were 3 areas (besides our physical possessions)where I noticed my simplification spilling over.

Simplifying these areas was so life-changing for me, I’m sharing them with you! I want you to live a life you love and that serves you and your family.

So here we go! Here’s the 3 ways living an uncluttered life goes beyond getting rid of your stuff.

1. My Calendar.

When I started my minimalism journey several years ago, the first place I noticed also changing was my schedule. Decluttering my home had trained me to look at things and ask if it was serving me and my family.

And as I looked over my schedule each week, I realized I was doing a lot of things I didn’t really want to do just because I felt like I had to. Sound familiar?  

I started asking myself, Why am I taking my kids to this thing every single week when, honestly, I hate it. It’s at a terribly inconvenient time and it totally ruins the day. Every. Single. Week?

Then I’d weigh out the pros and cons. If it was a kids Bible study, I might decide that’s worth the hassle to me. So I would find a way to be flexible in other areas and create a way for Bible study night to not be miserable.

For instance, maybe I put on a crock-pot meal. Or plan ahead a little better to make it work with our schedule because it’s purposeful for us and it’s worth it to me.

Or I might say, You know what? This really isn’t worth it to me.

This isn’t about going in with a machete and hacking away at every single thing that isn’t super fun. We don’t want to be unrealistic. There are some things we don’t love doing that we have to do.

This is about giving yourself space to look, analyze and ask yourself, “Is this how I want to be living my life?” Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.


Wanna discover how much time you need, how much you have, and how you can get more done? This digital download is for you!

2. Toxic people.

I love the term “vampire people” because they literally drain the life right out of you.

Often, these are people that we feel “forced” to spend time with. Very often it’s family members.

We don’t want to be jerks. We don’t want to be selfish. But we need boundaries.

You don’t have to stop seeing the vampire people in your life altogether but, you can separate yourself from them. Look at the problems with each relationship and come up with a plan to deal with it.

A few times in my life, my husband and I have had to have extremely hard conversations with people. We’ve had to say things like, “You’re not treating me and my family well. This is abusive and it’s not OK. I don’t want my kids around this. Until you can shape up your game, I’m taking a step back.”

These are really hard, really awkward conversations to have. I’m not saying this lightly.

But for me and my husband Brian, having healthy boundaries - protecting ourselves, each other and our kids - is a big deal to us.

You may not encounter such extreme situations. You may just have somebody in your life that’s just rude or a little manipulative.

Come at your relationships with a minimalistic mindset and ask yourself, “OK, where do I go and feel like I’m in a toxic environment? When is it that I’m seeing these people? Why am I seeing them? Is this something that I have to have in my life?“

How can you create space? How can you respond in love but with firm boundaries so your vampire people no longer affect you?

3. Health.

Health and wellness is such an over-saturated industry in our society. It’s actually a multi-million-dollar-a-year industry because so many people think they need books and programs to get healthy.

But unless you’ve got some kind of illness or ailment that makes it difficult, losing weight and getting healthy is really very simplistic. Eat less junk. Eat more of what is good for you. Move more.

So simple.

If you have a desk job, initiate nightly walks with your family. Do some squats while you are waiting for your lunch to heat up in the break room.

There’s never a good enough excuse. You can always find a way.

I used to be 50 pounds heavier. One day I had to get real and ask myself what I wanted. Did I want to continue feeling awful every time I got dressed for the day?

Did I want to keep running into people I knew but hadn’t seen in a while and feeling embarrassed because I was heavier and my skin was broken out? Did I want to keep feeling bad?

My answer was a hard no.

I didn’t have a label for what I did. I didn’t think to myself, Oh, I’m going Paleo or doing the Whole 30 or working out 5 times a week.

I just asked myself where the excess was. I’d just hit the drive-thru because it was convenient, and sometimes that was excessive. I realized it would be cheaper and easier for me if I just had some meals prepped in the fridge.

I sit down a lot for my work and when I’m homeschooling my kids so I try to take a walk every single day. I also try to get in about 15 minutes of exercise as a part a part of my morning ritual.

That’s it. That works for me.

I’m happy with the way I look and feel when I’m doing these things. I’m happy with my life when I’m living with less in all these areas.

I want you to understand the beauty of living an uncluttered life beyond just your home. Because it matters.

This is your one, beautiful life, sweet mama. Wake up and live the the life you love.


Why Our Family Collects Experiences and Yours Should Too


I’m not the type of person who needs to own a lot of things. I love to shop and decorate and have a home full of beautiful things that make me happy.

But I’m not obsessed with having a lot of stuff. That might seem pretty obvious since my whole business is centered around minimalism.

But it’s more than just not buying things so my house doesn’t get cluttered. I mean, that’s a pretty great side effect. It’s just not like my holy grail of why I’m a minimalist.

Our family is really big on experiencing things rather than owning things. Brian and I definitely have a core value of prioritizing experiences over possessions when it comes to how we handle our finances.

That’s doesn’t mean we never buy anything or that you should never buy anything.

I’m not telling you to only have a suitcase amount of possession and to  go to Disneyland every weekend.

That’s not where I’m coming from at all. I mean, if that’s what you want to do, you do you. That’s just not my heart.

We do enjoy taking the kids to Disneyland or Legoland. And weekly date nights are really important to Brian and I.

Traveling is something we really enjoy and something that is important to us and we want to do more of.


Our priority is experiencing things together.

That’s where we kind of put our money where our mouth is. Like when we flew our family to Nashville for two weeks of fun and staying at different Airbnb’s and hotels and experiencing new people.

Whether it’s trying out a new restaurant or taking the boys to a baseball game. We’d rather do things together as a family than sit around around in a house full of stuff.

We’d rather have date nights than purchase things that don’t really contribute to the vision we have for our family. That takes a lot of intentionality on our part.

Brian and I work really hard to have a successful business so that our budget is bigger and we can plan for those types of things. But even when we were pretty broke, we always prioritized experiences over things.



I’ve compiled a free list just for you!


experiences last

Experiences are so much more fulfilling and have so much more depth to them than material possessions. Research even shows this!

The happiness that people get from purchases fades away pretty quickly. But the joy that we get from experiencing something actually increases over time as you remember and as you look back on it (which I think is super incredible).

Basically, it’s like a good return on an investment. It’s adding happiness to your life and then it’s increasing that happiness over time because positive experiences give us positive memories. And that’s something that all of us desire and find fulfilling.


We learn to be present and enjoy the moment when we’re out doing things.

When we’re holding hands with our kids, we wonder how we can live that way more often. How we can soak up little moments in even the mundane moments of life.

And when you get out of your little bubble, you get to meet other people. You get the chance to strengthen your bond with your family. I can’t emphasize the importance of that enough.

Yeah, when you travel somewhere with your kids, it’s crazy and hard and there are negative aspects to it. But when you just decide to suck it up and do it,  to go to Disneyland or to a movie or the beach, or really anywhere away from your typical atmosphere, it gives you the gift of connection to the people who belong to you.

That’s so worth any frustration or embarrassment that comes from traveling with little people.

Adventuring together is where the funny stuff and the weird stuff happens and where meaningful conversations are started. Connection is built and cultivated and that’s vital, especially with your husband and your kids.


ask yourself how you can infuse your family with more experiences

It doesn’t have to be a huge trip somewhere. It can be, though! And if that’s what you want to do, you can start saving money for that.

But it can also just be a fun experience in your neighborhood this weekend. Go out for ice cream or see if there’s a kid-friendly street fair in your city.

Instead of laying around your house and doing nothing because you’re exhausted, get yourself up, get the kids dressed and go do something fun. Sure, you’re probably going to be tired later but I promise you’re not going to regret it.

You don’t get forever with your kids. You only get so much time  to invest in and be a big part of your kids’ lives. And once they leave, it’s just going to be you and your husband so you want to make sure you’re nourishing that relationship now too.



If you’re thinking, “Allie, this all sounds really good but I don’t know if  I can do this.” Like maybe you’ve spent a lot of money on material things and you feel a little unbalanced on where your focus is versus where you want it to be.

I hope this will serve as a wake-up call for you. Starting now you can begin to focus on experiencing life and connecting with your family and you can make sure your finances reflect that priority a little bit more.

And you know what, buying less stuff means less clutter. Which I’m super passionate about because clutter causes us stress.

It  requires maintenance and takes up our time. Time that we could be spending experiencing things. Cut clutter from your life so you can be unfettered and live more abundantly.

In our home, we’re still cutting out clutter and we’ve been minimalists for years. But with all the travel we’ve been doing, we’ve been focused on going deeper with minimalism and letting go of even more stuff so our home can be even simpler.

We want to feel like we can leave it more easily to travel and do more fun things together.

Because that’s what we truly believe is the most important thing.

I want to encourage you to prioritize experiences. Especially with your family.

Life is out there. There are things to be experienced. Don’t miss your moments. .

want to declutter your home?


This is an online program where I walk you through every step you need to take in your home and your life to become a minimalist mama. Because you’re so ready for a simplified, intentional life!


3 Unique Ways to Follow Through on Your New Year's Resolutions

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time you probably know that I love setting goals and I’m intentional about reaching them.

The week after Christmas is my absolute favorite week of the year. It’s the week I get very reflective and I look back at the year that’s wrapping up.

I look at the decisions I made and the person that I became because every year brings you into a new season... into a new piece of who you are. I look ahead to the coming year.

I dig deep and find the answers to the questions, “Where do I want to go this next year? What were the problems with this past year? What were the triumphs?

And I ask the Lord, “Where do you want to take me?” What do you want me to focus on in the new year?”

Instead of setting resolutions, I usually pick something (like a word or an intent) I want to focus on. For 2018, my intent was to “enjoy.” I really had it on my heart that the Lord wanted me to rest and relax after a year and a half of hustling hard to grow my business.

It was time to sit back and let myself be restored, quiet that hustle a little bit, and just enjoy what I’d built and the life I’ve been given.

And so, that was the intent I set and headed into 2018 focusing on.

I think it’s really, really easy to abandon your goals and intentions for the New Year once it’s not the New Year anymore. On January 1st, you have this grip of control over the coming year because it hasn’t happened yet.

But life is chaotic and ish happens. Things out of your control take place.

I get that. But I really believe we can live our lives with purpose on purpose.

I really want to live an intentional life of trust in the Lord, but I also don’t want to be a person who sits back and lets things happen to her.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “Yes, Allie! That’s what I want but I just get so bogged down by life…” Let me tell you about three (unique) ways you can start and finish the year with intent.


1.Don’t forget your goals

It’s so easy – when you’re in the middle of life happening to you – to forget the goals you set at the beginning of the year.

The difference between people who reach their goals and people who just set resolutions is how often they check in. By revisiting your intentions throughout the year, you are setting a pace for yourself to actually achieve what you set out to achieve on January 1st.

Take time each quarter or at the very least halfway through the year and ask yourself, “Where am I? Am I living out my intent? Did I forget about it? What can I do to get back on track and intentional with where I wanted to take myself this year?

2. Journal it out

Once I ask myself these questions, I’ll take a week or two and look at my life extra closely and think about what’s on my calendar, my to-do list, my Trello boards? What’s going on my life, my business, our homeschool? What am I spending my time on?

I’ll put it all under the microscope and ask myself if everything is aligned with what I’m supposed to be focusing on this year. Then I’ll make decisions.

Like I said, in 2018, my intent for the year was to “enjoy” my life. So, one example would be that I realized that I never hang out with my best friend anymore and I miss our coffee dates.

So, I decided that I’m going to text her and see if we can set up regular coffee dates again because I’m really not being intentional with my friendship with her and our friendship is something I enjoy.

It can be little things like that or it can be bigger things that you notice are really sucking your energy, draining you and making you not able to live with the intent that you planned for this year.

3. Simplify what you’re aiming for

Usually there are things that you realize aren’t working with your goals. They’re not allowing for your intent but you think if you change them, you’ll let other people down.

Maybe you’re afraid of what people will say or think. Or it may even be scary for you to let go of things because they’ve been a part of your life for so long and you’ve attached your identity to them.

But let me tell  you that you’re going to have to edit things if you want to accomplish your goals.

We all start out with a lot of goals that are really great. Things that would be so good and so productive.

But halfway through the year, we may realize that they didn’t really line up with our focus for the year.

I encourage you to revisit your goals. Do they reflect what your original intent was?

Let go of things - even good things - if they’re not serving your purpose. Just because they’re good things, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for you right now. Maybe they will be later.

Intentionally checking-in is the difference between people who actually reach their goals and people who just set resolutions from “fresh start syndrome” and then walk away and head back into their normalcy.


NEW Year's Goals Midway Check-in Prompts

I created a worksheet that will help you guys do this for yourselves. It’s really prompts that will help you reflect and ask yourself if you’re on track to achieve your goals and live your intent for the year.

You can do this on your computer or you can print it out and fill it out, pen and paper style. I’ve been doing this for years and I know what questions you need to ask yourselves to get intentional!

I want to help you take action on this. it’s so important. You’re really going to see a difference in yourself. You’re going to know who you are, where you’re at, where you want to go and exactly what steps you’re going to take to get yourself there!

This is your year. This is the year you set goals and actually follow through.

Drop the ish, girl and let the badass, wonder woman (you really are) break through.



  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired


#DeclutterLikeAMother Is Back!

For the past three years, I’ve led women in in the charge against the clutter overwhelming their homes. It’s been  SO rewarding to see lives transformed in the same way mine was when I started my journey to minimalism years ago.

But this year is super special because I won’t just be leading the charge... I’ll be right there in the trenches with you!

That’s right. I’m putting on my war paint too and joining the #DeclutterLikeAMother challenge!


There has been so much behind-the-scenes work happening to help mamas all over the world declutter. The business grew so much, I hired 15 people to help me so I can serve you guys to the best of my ability.

It’s been a huge blessing and so great but I’ve found that I haven’t really been focusing on keeping my own space as simplified as I like it. I still don’t have a ton of stuff. I’m just not doing what I normally do.

I’ve noticed my house requires too much maintenance. I’m craving less even though my house is still pretty minimal. I just don’t feel simple enough.


2. I can always tell when I need to simplify…

I’ll start feeling suffocated by things that really aren’t even clutter. Like I always keep a bouquet of fresh flowers on my kitchen counter.

I buy them, cut the stems and put them in a vase. They’re pretty and it’s just something I like to have.

But the other day, I was rinsing dishes and I felt suffocated by having these flowers sitting on my counter. The flowers really aren’t clutter but I just felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like there’s just too much stuff.

3. In the past, I haven’t needed to declutter…

I’ve just led the challenge. But on top of just feeling suffocated, we’re also probably going to be moving out of state soon!

What? I know.

It’s really exciting! But it makes the need for me to simplify is even greater.  And all this just so happens to come at the perfect time with the challenge beginning at the first of the year.

So I’m jumping all in! I’ve cleared my travel schedule for all of January and I’m going in hard on this #DeclutterLikeAMother challenge and I want you to join me!


4. Last January, 40,000 women went to war against clutter…

They kicked their mess to the curb and, over-time, cultivated a stress-free, clutter-free home for themselves and their families!

And it only took 30 minutes for 30 days! Say what? You heard me. 30 minutes for 30 days.

Anybody can do that, right?

Here’s how #DeclutterLikeAMother works. Each week, we focus on a different area of the house and for 30 minutes each day, we work within that area!

Every Tuesday and Thursday of the month, I’ll livestream in my Facebook group to offer you encouragement and answer your questions. I’ll also send you two emails a week, the first on Monday to give instructions for the assigned area and the second on Wednesday to give you more tips and to let you know that I’ve got your back.

5. I’ll also be sharing clips of my own #DeclutterLikeAMother progress on my Instastory!

You’re not alone in this battle, mama. You’ll be joining a sisterhood of other bad a**  women who’ve put on their war paint to #DeclutterLikeAMother.

So, join me in the trenches and let’s wage war! I promise we’ll win.


a challenge for moms who are so over the mess.

We focus on 1 area per week

30 minutes a day for 30 days

Because small chunks of progress lead to BIG change.

Over 50,000+ joined us in January 2019!

Join the waitlist to get in on the next round!


5 Honest Things I (Don't) Want to Share With You

I’m not really a person who acts or reacts out of fear. I don’t typically care what people think about me. And I’m kind of a risk-taker.

But with the growth of my business and reach comes a larger audience and I’ve been kind of freaked out by the expectations people have for me.

I always welcome feedback, questions, and messages. But a lot of times, they have this underlying tone of, “You’ve got it all together, Allie! You have all the answers!” And that’s a really weird pressure, because, honestly, I don’t.

I’m just a blogger with a small platform but I don’t want to let anyone down. And this pressure has left me feeling like I have to have all the answers and I need to hold it all together.

Journaling through that thought recently has really empowered me to be myself. I’ve just been letting my guard down and not worrying about if something I say or do is going to rub someone the wrong way. Or if someone is going to leave if I don’t have the answers.

I’ve never been about putting up a facade but I think I subconsciously built one up by thinking that I always had to have it together and have the answer. So, I started writing down the things that I would normally struggle to share with you.

After I made the list I thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself to share with you guys what those things are. It’s so easy to build up this perfect idea of someone based off their social media photos and I don’t want anyone to misunderstand and assume that I’m perfect and have my life perfectly figured out.

So here is a list of 5 honest things I don’t (but mostly do) want to share with you...

1. Motherhood is dang hard and I’m not perfect.

I’m pretty honest. I share a lot of my flaws and mistakes and things that I’m learning. But even still, I feel like I’m put on a pedestal.

A lot of times, people talk to me like I’m a robot who always does the same things and never, ever changes. It’s funny but it’s also a really terrible pressure to feel.

I’m a normal human being and what works for me and my family in one season, doesn’t always work so well in the next season. And that’s OK!

Things change. Kids grow up. Schedules shift. You get busy and then you get less busy.

If I was still forcing myself to be a robot and to keep doing the same things I’ve always done because it worked for me before and everyone expects me to now - man, what a joyless life I’d be living. I’d also be super hypocritical and not living my abundant life in the specific season I’m in.


2. What I do is friggin’ exhausting and I struggle with feeling guilty that I’m so exhausted by such a huge blessing.

A lot of work goes into my business. From my blog, to my podcast, to creating my courses and live-streaming, most of what I do involves me being “on” and vulnerable.

And for an introvert like me, that’s pretty tiring and nerve-wracking and it’s a lot of pressure.

One of my biggest fears is that I would come off as ungrateful or unrelatable. But I’m a human being and my job makes me tired and it takes a lot out of me.

But it’s my calling. I know it’s my calling. I’m not going to stop just because it’s tiring. I get to do what I love and what I’m passionate about and that’s a huge blessing!

3. I don’t want to do a lot of things.

Most of the things I don’t want to do are things that I talk about all the time like playing with my kids.

I really don’t want to play with my kids. Unless it’s Super Mario Brothers. I have no passion for sitting on the floor and building Legos.

And sometimes I feel guilty about it but I’m calling total B.S. on the mom guilt! Nobody wants to play with their kids all the time.

I talk a lot about being a present mom who’s able to play with her kids. But what I’m really talking about is having a life that allows for that. Having a life that allows you to be present and to make memories.

I’m trying to make a point about your time, your life and your joy..


need HELP breaking down THE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU NEED TO simplify?

“ENOUGH LISTS” will HELP YOU DETERMINE WHAT IS ENOUGH in each aspect of your life!


4. I don’t do it all.

I’m such a huge believer in delegating, you guys.

I think a lot of people assume that because I help other mothers simplify their lives and homes so they can do it all easier, that I do it all in my own life. I don’t and I don’t want you to think otherwise.

I have a housekeeping team that comes every week. I have a personal assistant who runs basic errands for me. I have a team of people who are full-time contractors who help me run my business.

I don’t do it all. There’s absolutely no freaking way I could.

I think I’ve been pretty honest about that, but, if you’ve been thinking that stop. And if you’ve been trying to do it all on your own, get you some help, mama! There’s no shame in the delegating game.

5. I’m a businesswoman and I love that side of what I do.

Not to burst your bubble but I don’t want to talk about mom stuff all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so passionate about my mission to help moms lighten their loads but I am also super passionate about entrepreneurship and running a business.

I would rather talk about marketing than motherhood most of the time. I am passionate about branding, logging and creating courses. I love the thought of creating a life you love and making crazy, amazing revenue from a business that you start from home with almost no overhead.

But I never really get to talk about those things. And lately I feel less joy talking about motherhood. I’m trying to figure out what that means and how or if I would bring in entrepreneurship.

I don’t really know how that’s going to shake out and I feel weird about it but I just wanted to share with you that just like the seasons, I’m evolving as a person..

So there’s a little peek into my journal, a little look into my heart. I hope this list humanized me and made me more “real.”

I never want to come across as perfect or as having it all together. I love you guys and I always, always want to connect with you.




  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired


How to Be at Peace with Difficult Family Members this Holiday

We all have family members who are difficult to be around. For some of us, it’s the strange uncle you don’t leave alone with the kids, or the well-meaning but totally overbearing mother-in-law who makes you feel as though you should take up yoga (or drinking… kidding).

Whoever it is, the holidays are a time of being around those people more often than usual, and this can suck the life out of you.

It doesn’t have to though, promise.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

We, fortunately, have total control over our responses, thoughts, and how we handle our emotions.

You don’t have to let your rude sister ruin your Christmas Eve dinner.

You don’t have to sit next to your incredibly negative great aunt on the drive to look at Christmas lights.

You can have a peaceful holiday that’s truly full of joyful moments spent enjoying your kids’ reaction to those sweet, magical moments, no matter which family members are joining you.

Here’s how:

1. Get into a peaceful mindset before the festivities start.

Before your family members grace you with their presence, take a few minutes to be by yourself.

Talk to yourself out loud if possible with affirmations of the kind of person you are, how much you love your family and this time of year, how deserving you are of a wonderful time, and how it really doesn’t affect your life at all if someone is rude or intrusive tonight.

Pray, speak life over yourself, pace back and forth and talk to yourself if you need to. This isn't a silly or unnecessary thing - your family members get to you and that bothers you - you have to get inside your head for a bit and change your mindset sometimes.

Decide to be at peace and to respond in peace. Decide to focus on what is good about this event - your kids being there, your husband being off work and with you, your parents being present and in good health, the delicious cookies and hot cider… find the good, focus on it, breathe.

This will only put you in a bad mood if you let it.

Free, LIVE webinar this week! Save your seat now!

2. Let go of your emotional ties to other people’s words.

People can be truly rude, believe me, I get it. But you don’t have to allow yourself to emotionally attach to their comments.

If someone says something rude, sharp, condescending, or something similar, get out of the present moment and into your head.

Think to yourself that this doesn’t have to affect you, you won’t let them ruin your evening, and you’re just gonna let this slide right off your back and move on.

3. Boundaries when needed.

Sometimes, a simple “well it’s good to see you, Aunt Cathy. Merry Christmas.” and a quick exit is what you need to do for yourself. It’s a boundary.

You’re essentially saying “I don’t need to sit here and hear your negative words, and I’ve tried to change the subject and be polite but you insist, so I’m going to walk over there now.” in a very acceptable way. It’s okay!

The important thing to remember is to not let difficult, rude, or hurtful people have the power over you that it would take to bring you down.

Don’t give them that.

Stand tall, be confident. You’re beautiful and loved and it’s the best time of the year! Soak in the good and let all the negative parts wash right over you.

Here’s to a truly joyful holiday and family members who put aside their issues for the sake of cookies, egg nog, fireplaces, and twinkly lights. *cheers!*

“You cannot change someone’s point of view using logic if they did not arrive at that point of view using logic.”- Unknown

How I Overcame My Fear of Meal Prepping and Took Back Meal Time

We just came out of a busy season of life. Our kids were involved in sports, we had many commitments and just a lot of different things happening at once. It was fun and we enjoyed the busyness; it was just really full.

Instead of our evenings being empty, we had a busy schedule and we found that prepping and cooking dinner each night was no longer doable for us.

We were either eating dinner at 4:00pm and eating unhealthy snacks when we got home. Or we were waiting to eat dinner after we got home, and we’d be famished because it was so late. It just wasn’t working.

We resorted to eating out a lot which got to be expensive because we would still try to eat healthy. Of course, sometimes we would get the kids convenient food and even Brian and I would give in occasionally.

That became a problem because I don’t do well when I don’t eat clean. I get sick and it’s just not good. You can read about how I healed my gut health here.

This way of doing meals felt messy. I felt out of control and really frustrated about how we were eating. We were never sitting down and eating a meal together as a family. I knew things had to change.

Meal prepping was the only solution I could think of. I’ve done food prepping before. I recorded a whole podcast episode on how I simplified meal planning by learning to food prep. You can listen to it here.

I’d prep some basic foods but then I’d have to decide what of this food I’m going to put together for a meal. I knew even that was too much. I needed to have dinner off my mind completely.

I was determined to find a way to make meal prep as simple, useful and worth it as possible and, once I did, I ended up liking it so much that I’ve started prepping pretty much all of our meals.

Mama, if you’re like me and meal prepping is something you dread or you’re afraid of, I get it. I want to help you. Here are some tips that I found  to make meal prep simple and mealtime easy during busy seasons.


Find recipes you know you will enjoy.

One of my fears about meal prepping was that I’d make something and then when it came time to eat it, I wouldn’t want it anymore. But I found that if I chose recipes that sounded good to me or that I already knew I’d like, I would look forward to the meal and not feel that way.

Choose meals that can be easily prepped in advance.

Pinterest has a ton of good ideas for meal-planning or you can invest in something a little more in-depth. I put my money where my mouth is and purchased Nutrition Stripped’s Master Meal Planning Guide and invested in this area of our family’s life. McKell Hill is the founder of NutritionStripped.com and she has a lot of helpful resources and recipes for eating well. If you’re interested in McKel’s Master meal Planning Guide, you can find it here!

Go grocery shopping for all your ingredients at once.

Make a list and get it done. Pick up the basics you eat too.  I know my family likes watermelon so, even though watermelon isn’t a part of the recipes I’m making that week, I buy watermelon. You know your family so get the basic things you know you’re going to eat as well.

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It’s time to be intentional about the things you allow into your home!

Let me help you, mama! 


Pick one day a week and spend about two hours prepping meals for the coming week.

For me, it’s typically Saturday or Sunday so that I have enough meals to last through the week. If you know that you will want to have some flexibility and variety in your meals, you don’t have to have something prepared for every meal.

Pick three dinners, two lunches and two breakfasts that you and your family will eat that week.

If you’re not picky you could even pick one lunch and one breakfast and three dinners or something like that. Whatever works for your family.

Only prep what won’t get soggy.

You can just use your brain on this one, but an example would be salad dressing and toppings. Wait until it’s time to eat your salad and then put your dressing and avocado or whatever you like on top.

A weeknight meal in our house now looks like me heating up a cast-iron skillet on the stove and throwing in the rice and chicken I cooked on Saturday.

Then I’ll add in the seasonings and add dressing to the salad that’s already prepped in the fridge and I’m done. Dinner’s done.

Essentially, I’m just heating up dinner if it’s already prepped and cooked which saves so much time!

I know it can be hard to give up time on your weekend to meal prep but remind yourself what your priorities are. Remember that out of the 168 hours in your week, two or three hours (at most) really isn’t that much.

You have to make time for what matters to you.

You have to make a choice about what you want and make how you live line up with that. Otherwise you’re just kind of floundering through life and not living intentionally.

Meal prepping doesn’t come natural to me. It’s been a struggle for me since I became a wife and mother. Just when I feel like I get the hang of it, life changes or we’ll get into a busy season or something will shift that makes me have to change or tweak again.

But I had to get real with myself. If I wanted this busy season and I wanted the kids in sports and I wanted to eat together as a family and not spend a million dollars, then I had to compromise somehow.

Don’t overthink it. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all the options or problems. Just find a solution and decide there’s no other way but to live an intentional life.

Remember, mamas, you’re in charge! Be empowered! Get out there and make it happen!




  • Replays of my very best online workshops (not available anywhere else)

  • Tons of actionable PDF's, downloadable with one click

  • More than 20 audio & video trainings!

  • Professionally-designed printables for your home to keep you focused & inspired

Meet The Team

Today we’re interviewing some of the lovely people who make up Team Allie. We’ll be sharing their name, role, and some fun facts about each of them. This will be fun!

But first, a note from Allie:

This blog post is so fun! I’m super excited for you all to get to know my team! Before we dive in, I thought you might want to know a little bit about how my company works.

Most people don’t understand that I’m running a company, not just sitting on my couch blogging and recording podcast episodes. There’s a whole bunch of amazing people who make sure the content I create gets out into the world so I can focus on being creative and making awesome things for you all! There’s intimidating legal stuff involved, trademarking, big decisions to be made, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to think that what we’re doing is being watched by so many people - I’ll never get used to that!

P.S. Listeners who subscribe to the podcast get access to episodes early + never miss one!

ALRIGHT, here we go…

My company is called The Purpose Group, Inc. Brian and I incorporated in early 2017 (we were previously an LLC). The company houses everything you see happening on the outside - the blog, The Purpose Show, and my online academy.

I’m the founder and the CEO, as well as the face of the company and of course, the creative mind behind all the fun things we put out into the world. Basically, I act in my zone of genius- the things I’m good at- which is coming up with content ideas, blog posts, podcast episodes, emails to write you, courses to change your life, etc. And the people on my team help me take those wild ideas and make them exist.

Everyone on my team has special gifts they bring to the table, and I adore each and every one of them. I believe in affirming the people who help me make my mission a reality, and encouraging them big time! We meet every Friday all together to discuss what we’re currently working on, check in, and shout each other out for being awesome.

The people who you’re about to meet are the core team members. They’re the front lines of big projects and they come to weekly team meetings. But we also have a handful of other amazing team members who are doing SO many amazing tasks, projects & tech. (Shout out to them - we love you!) We’re only mentioning our core team members here so you can begin to imagine what day-to-day operations are like.

Hope you enjoy getting a little glimpse behind the scenes!

xo Allie

Allie Casazza - CEO and Founder

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Allie is the creative mind behind everything you see coming from Alliecasazza.com. She comes up with all the ideas for episodes, blog posts, and writes emails to you each week from her front porch. She is the name, the face, and the heart beat of what we do, and her heart beats for the other mamas of the world!


How many kids I have: one thousand. Okay fine, four.

How do you take your coffee?: Strong with a splash of almond milk. Sometimes I’ll just drink it black.

Who's your role model: Lucille Ball. She was a femme pioneer and she was so strong amid so much. I’ve read every book about her. I adore her.

Favorite Quote: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard

Favorite Episode of the Purpose Show: Ep 063: Life Hacks For Moms of Littles. It feels so strange to be out of the super-small-kids season of motherhood! It’s a really nice feeling to be able to help moms with babies and toddlers who are in the thick of it, trying to figure it all out and hear that the simple tips in this episode were game changers for them!

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I haven’t shaved my legs in like 3 weeks and it’s getting rough… #winter

Hayley Pandolph - COO


Hayley is Allie's right hand man ;) She manages the team and runs the day to day business stuff. She helps integrate Allie's wild ideas!


How many kids I have: one tiny human

How do you take your coffee? Coffee? I'll take whatever you give me.

Who's your role model: Daren Lindley is my hero! Here's the highlight reel of things he's taught me: love people before productivity, to affirm someone before correcting them, and never lose sight of your vision!

Favorite Quote: "Life is short. I want to live it well." -Switchfoot

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 006: How I Got My Husband Out of His 9 to 5 (Allie has allowed several stay-at-home moms to get their husbands out of their 9 to 5s! My husband included!)

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I'm a pretty calm person, but bugs make me scream and flail like a toddler.

Ashley Spriggs - Podcast Manager + Press Coordinator

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Ashley helps Allie snag the best guests in the world for her podcast on top of getting her amazing press opportunities. If Allie is speaking on a stage, appearing on TV, or talking into a microphone ... Ashley coordinated it. Ashley also ensures that each episode of The Purpose Show are flawless and produced on time for your listening enjoyment.


How many kids I have: 2  - Liam and Lucy

How do you take your coffee? As basic as it comes … either an iced white mocha or iced cold brew with peppermint and cream.

Who's your role model: My husband, Jesus, and Christine Caine.

Favorite Quote: Be you. Everyone else is taken.

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 083: Let's Talk About Working Mom Guilt + Ep. 081: Love In Action with Bob Goff

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I still sleep with the stuffed animal duck I carried around as a child. He is my best friend. My husband hates it. Don’t judge me!

Jenny Randle - Social Media Strategist


Jenny manages a team of ninjas that help get Allie's face all over your social media. She makes sure Allie's stuff is in front of mamas who need to find it!


How many kids I have: 2

How do you take your coffee? With almond milk and a dash of cinnamon if I'm feeling spicy.

Who's your role model: I love learning personal and spiritual development from Havilah Cunnington, Christine Caine, Shawn Bolz and Bob Goff's resources.

Favorite Quote: Our God-given creativity is the greatest weapon we carry.

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 081: Love In Action With Bob Goff

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I was speaking at an event and had a skull-bending-headache. An attendee found out and gave me some peppermint hippie-oils, which I proceeded to aggressively splash all up in my face. Newsflash: this isn't the proper way to use essential oils. My headache was dulled by the burn in my eyes and I basically led the presentation blind.




How many kids I have: 2 boys - 18 & 16 :)

How do you take your coffee?  Black & Strong

Who's your role model: I have lots of role models in my life. Each teach me something new everyday.

Favorite Quote: “Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” ― J. Lynn,

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep. 074: For The Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I'm deathly (like freeze up and die) afraid of cats of any size or kind. And, they ALWAYS flock to me no matter what or where I go.

Amy Tripak - Social Media & Operations Specialist


Amy helps admin Allie's Facebook page and ginormous and incredibly active Facebook Group. She also helps Allie keep up with all the Instagram messages - because the awesomeness never stops pouring in!  


How many kids I have:  1 + baby #2 on the way!

How do you take your coffee? I don't. :)  I've never liked coffee - not even the smell of it!

Who's your role model: Jesus, Bob Goff, Hermione Granger

Favorite Quote:  "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." - Henry David Thoreau. Anything from Michael Scott on The Office

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep. 045: Body Confidence with Jenna Kutcher + Ep. 081: Love In Action with Bob Goff

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I drool in my sleep... a lot... like sometimes I wake up in an actual puddle.

Brian Casazza - Videographer, Allie's Backbone


Brian is a super savvy video maker and can make a dark room look super well lit with minimal gear. If you have ever seen one of Allie's video, Brian is behind the camera. He’s behind the scenes in more ways than one! He also provides constant, minute-by-minute support, encouragement, and brainstorming for Allie. He’ll drop everything to take a walk and talk out a problem with her (which means he just listens… Allie is an external processor). He truly is the Love Bug :)


How many kids I have: one thousand (Allie says this so much it now feels true). Seriously though, four.

How do you take your coffee? Black

Who's your role model: Mat Fraser

Favorite Quote: “I’m gonna do today what other people aren’t willing to, so I can do tomorrow what other people can’t.” -Mat Fraser

Favorite Episode of the Purpose Show: Ep 068: Ask Allie & Brian Anything was so fun to record. We were cracking up the whole time. But Ep 006 is our story. It makes me cry every time I hear it.

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I snore insanely loud when I sleep. In Allie’s loving words, it sounds like a “freight train full of bears coming down the highway at full speed”.

Caleb Sanchez - Video Editor


Caleb is Brian's right hand man during filming. But once the filming is done, he works his magic in the editing room. fun fact: he is Allie's little (but taller) brother.


How many kids I have: none.

How do you take your coffee? Black cold brew

Who's your role model: My mom

Favorite Quote: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Favorite Episode of the Purpose Show: Ep 049: Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: I’m seriously terrified of spiders. It doesn’t matter how small it is, or the fact that I’m over six feet tall, get it away from me.

Casey King - CFO


Casey handles all things financial on team Allie. She pays all the contractors, watches the bank accounts, and is super organized and fiscally minded - which really comes in handy for Allie who is way the opposite.


How many kids I have: 2  - Elijah (8) and Alexandra (5)

How do you take your coffee? I don't (I know blasphemy)  I prefer tea :)

Who's your role model: My Mama.  She was a strong single mom who set a great example to me that I now roll into my role as a single parent.  

Favorite Quote: "Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." Mother Teresa

Favorite Episode of The Purpose Show: Ep 056: Slowing down in a World of Hurry Up.  I feel like i'm always on the go and taking time to slow down and be present can sometimes be a challenge for me.

What is something embarrassing you don't want the world to know but they are about to see it: When I get really excited about food, I do a little dance that may or may not include a song.

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Own Your Decisions and Say Yes to More Joy

I’m a doer. If I have an idea, it’s hard for me not to do something about it. It’s not natural for me to have an idea and keep going about my day.

With that comes a lot of change. I’ll decide to do something and then I’ll change my mind. Or I’ll do something for a little while and then leave it. Or I’ll just make a mistake and need to course correct.

Because I share a lot of what I do publicly, I’ll get these messages from people that make me feel like I’m not a good wife and mom or that I don’t know what I’m doing. Honestly, sometimes I don’t and that’s okay. I’m a human being.

Social media brought an obsession with perfection into our society along with this idea that if you change your mind then you’re a mess. That’s just not true!

Life is so tumultuous. Things change. Seasons change. We change. We grow and mature.

You don’t have to stay the same or do the same thing if it’s not serving you anymore.

want help determining what’s necessary + what’s excess?






One example for us is homeschooling. I’ve always said that we homeschool season by season, not year by year. I’m always at the feet of God, praying, “what do you want us to do in this season?”

We were homeschooling our kids when our business just exploded. All of a sudden, homeschooling became a source of stress.

The business was requiring full time work from both Brian and me. We were also working with the kids all the time. It just became this stressful balancing act.

We started to pray and feel that sending the kids to public school for the year was what we needed to do. And so, we did.


They started school in August and by the time December came around we were already in a completely new season. Our workload went from beyond full time to just a few hours a week due to hiring a handful of people to take work off our plates.

Doing the whole school drop-off and pick-up became super inconvenient and this thing that had helped us so much just a few months before became stressful.

We made the decision to let them finish through Christmas break, then we transferred them to a Charter school and started homeschooling again.


I got so many messages like, “Wow! They didn’t even finish the year?” There was this judgmental undertone in a lot of these comments and it was really not cool.

I know what’s best for my family. You know what’s best for your family.

I want to empower you. It is okay to change your mind. It’s okay to start a juice cleanse, go twelve hours, decide you love food and stop. It’s okay to change your mind about what you thought was best for your kids. It’s okay to change your mind about your style.


You don’t need permission to grow and mature. To become a better version of yourself.

If that makes people uncomfortable and they feel the need to share their opinion on your decisions, that has everything to do with them and their issues and nothing to do with you.

Mamas, be brave. Be bold. You do what works for you and your family. Say “no” to what isn’t working and “yes” to more of what brings you joy.





Six Things I Said Goodbye To In Order To Live A Life of Purpose

Minimalism can get a bad rap. A lot of times when people think about minimalism they think they need to empty out their homes and live with the bare minimum. That’s just not what I’m about.

I’m about simplification, about mindfulness, about purpose. That’s why I’m so intentional about the things I purchase and allow to take up space in my home.

When I buy something, I want to know that it will serve me and my family. I need to know that it will help me live on purpose and serve me well.

If you’re thinking, “What on earth does that mean, Allie? What does it look like to be intentional with my purchases? Where do I even begin?”

I’ve got you, mama!

I’m going to share six things that I no longer purchase that help me live intentionally. This is just my list. Your list may look completely different and that’s okay! We all lead different lives and have different priorities.

I’m sharing this with you to encourage you to start questioning why you’re purchasing something so you don’t end up buying cute junk you don’t need. Because we’ve all been there, am I right?







01. My kids’ school and athletic pictures.

It’s not that I don’t care about my kids’ activities or that I’m not sentimental. They’re just not my style so they’re not important to me.

I would rather be intentional about taking my own candid photos of my kids playing their sports than buying professional photos.

I want the photos of them living their full, little lives rather than pictures of them using props with fake smiles on their faces. That’s just not authentic to me so I don’t ever buy them anymore.

02. Cheap crap that doesn’t last

I’ve become really intentional about adding things to my closet and home that I actually love and know will last for a while. I don’t buy cheap, low-quality things just because there’s an empty space in my living room.

Instead, I’ll wait until it’s the right time and the right item and I’ll invest in a purchase that lasts. I’m not saying I never shop at H&M and Target (I do), but it’s really about quality for me now.

03. Items that I think are capturing a memory but they’re really not

I don’t know what it is, but souvenir shops can just suck you in! It’s so easy to feel like you need to bring back something. But I just don’t anymore. I’d rather take photos to remember trips and events than purchase a gift shop souvenir.

I’m not talking about collectible items - like maybe you collect travel coffee mugs from different places or some other item that means a lot to you. I’m just talking about crap that we feel like we have to buy that really means nothing.

04. DVDS

This is a huge NO for us. We don’t buy DVDs anymore because almost everything we want to watch we can get on a streaming service like VUDU or Netflix.

It just seems kind of pointless to buy a physical DVD when you can rent or buy anything you want to watch on Amazon Prime.

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05. Things that I love at the store but I have no real purpose or place for them

Target is a place I go where I just think everything is cute and amazing! Can I get an amen?  But I’ve really learned the art of appreciating something and not feeling like I need to have it in my home.

When I see something cute, I’ll ask myself, “What’s the purpose of this? Where would I put this? Why would I get this?” And if I can’t come up with a good answer, I don’t buy it. I just appreciate it for what it is and go on my way.

Just because something is super cute or I think it’s SO ME doesn’t mean that I have to buy it.  

06. Things that I want to use but never actually use in real life.

An example of this for me would be hair clips. For a long time I was bad about buying these cute, little hair clips and then never putting them in my hair. Or I would see a cute piece of clothing that really wasn’t my style but I wanted it to be my style so I’d buy it anyway.

I don’t do that anymore because I know it’s pointless. I won’t use or wear these things and they’ll just end up taking up space and becoming clutter until eventually I get real with myself and get rid of them.

These are things things that I’ve just become really intentional about saying no to. And it’s not about saying no to everything or never buying hair clips. When I talk about minimalism I’m really talking about checking in with yourself and being mindful about the things that you purchase and allow to take up your space.

Make sure the things that you bring into your home serve you and the season of life you’re in. Make sure they serve your purpose, mama. Because you’re making a difference in this world and in the lives of your littles.







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How To Stay Positive When Life Doesn’t Go Like You Thought It Would

Life is full of things that can just knock you over. Whether it’s an inconvenience or a life crisis, how you define your own difficulties depends on you as a person, your past experiences, your tolerance for pain, where you are currently in life and so on.

First, let me say that when we go through these hard seasons, it’s okay to have a tough time.

It’s okay to cry, to question, to cuss a little if you want. I’ve been there. I’ve been overwhelmed and lonely and felt the darkness of depression, so this is coming from place of total empathy.

I don’t want you to think you need to have this Pollyanna attitude and no matter what you’re going through it’s all butterflies and everything’s fine.  But I do truly believe that keeping a positive mindset is a super beneficial way to live and I want to help you make that happen. So here are three practical ways to stay positive that I have picked up and learned on my own journey. I truly believe they will help you on yours.


don’t play the victim.

No matter what you’re experiencing or what isn’t going right in your life, it’s important to not throw a never-ending pity party. It’s okay to have a quick one but don’t stay there. If you need a minute to vent, take a minute to vent. Call your family or a friend and share what you’re feeling in that moment but then you need to move on in a positive way.


Acknowledge your feelings and take action.

During seasons or moments when you are just completely overwhelmed with life, pay attention to how you feel. When you take the time to acknowledge your feelings you’re able to see more clearly what it is that you need to do and how you need to move forward. Are you tired? Take a nap. Are you stressed? Take a break. Are you overwhelmed? Cut things out or let them go.

You’re probably not going to immediately solve your problem and that’s okay! Just the act of doing something is going to make you feel so much better.  

Need help figuring out your feelings?

Get my “Working Through Your Mindset” freebie

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Set boundaries on your breaks.

If you decide that you need a break and you need to just veg out in front of the tv and eat crap for a whole day or two, then you do you. But set some boundaries on your breaks so you’re not still eating crap and watching Netflix all day in three months.

Tell yourself that you’re going to do whatever you want for one or two days and then it’s back to your routine. Hold yourself to that. Even if it’s hard. The only way to get over something is to get through it, so push through it.

Maybe these seem like weird things to do to stay positive but when you’re in a season of crisis this is what positivity looks like. It looks like taking a break, acknowledging your feelings and shutting down the pity party. This is positive movement forward when you’re in a tough situation.

I hope these steps are a light to someone who’s in a dark place right now. I have been there, and I understand where you are are and I care about you. I’m rooting for you. You’re going to pull through and come out on the other side. One step at a time, one day at a time.

Because you, my friend, are an overcomer.




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How I Structure My Schedule

Let’t talk organization + structure. Organizing and structuring months. Organizing and structuring the week. Organizing and structuring the day to day. How do you find balance in all that you have going on? Where does your job fit in? Where does schooling fit in? Where does personal stuff fit in? How about housework and cooking.

I will say that there is a lot going on in my life, but I definitely feel very present, focused, and like I am never really stretched too, too thin.

Let’s dive in and talk all about how I structure my schedule. Maybe you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks here and there that will help your days flow a bit more smoothly.

let me tell you about “batching”

Basically, you segment your work by type. If you are writing emails, you are writing emails. You are not writing your emails, then checking in on social media, then recording a podcast episode. You are “batching” your work. You are putting similar tasks together.

Basically the idea behind this is that in terms of your psyche, it makes you more productive because you are already in that zone. You are already in the zone of writing emails or writing blog posts, or homeschooling kids. You are already in that mindset and in that zone of your brain, so you don’t have to switch tasks and re-gauge yourself. You’re already there.

I have a “batch-style” schedule. It is very flexible and changes as needed. I think even if you are not an entrepreneur you can absolutely use the idea of batching with your schedule, even with housework and stuff like that.

It is very flexible. I believe in having a rigid schedule set up but being gracious to yourself and allowing yourself flexibility because that’s life. It is much easier if you can ebb and flow as needed instead of trying to be perfectionistic.


This has all my favorite books, websites, courses, and influencers who helped me when I was growing my business.

It’s basically anything that helped me in my entrepreneurial journey of starting and running my business.



batching my days

It’s important that I plan my week in advance in a flexible batch style schedule.

Here’s how that looks:

MONDAY: I complete work tasks. Often these are the days where I am recording the podcast, interviewing guests for the podcasts, etc. I am in a good working mindset, after coming off of a restful weekend. Brian does schooling with the kids while I work.

TUESDAY-THURSDAY: Less business work, heavier homeschool days. If there’s something I really need to get done, I work first, then do school with the kids after. I may knock out a couple of tasks, but these days are more school focused days

FRIDAY: Batched meetings all day. There are always different needs for meetings, but I always have the same few meetings, weekly. Depending on the load and the need that week, I have at least a couple of hours of meetings on Fridays, sometimes more than that.


batching my month

Typically, the last week of every month and the first week of every month, I am recording the podcast for the following month. For example, the last week of February and the first week of March I was recording for April. 

There is a huge benefit in having cushion and giving yourself space and time.

Aside from those two recording intensive weeks, the other two weeks of the month consist of working a bit more heavily on things like: writing emails and blog posts, and connecting with my audience through things like livestreams or Instagram stories.


batching my personal life + housework

Brian and I have a weekly date night. It is kind of religious for us. We only skip it if we have to. Even then, we will try to squeeze in some time alone together because we look forward to it. Similarly. we try to get in some one-on-one time with our kids whenever we can.

With housework and stuff like that I try to look ahead. I like to plan meals ahead of time, based on our schedule that week. I try to have my family eat at home whenever we can. We definitely do enjoy eating out, so if we need to, the night calls for it, and it is going to be a lot easier, we will definitely eat out together.

In terms of cleaning and maintaining my house, I am a big believer in not scheduling this per se and getting it all done as I go. Basically, a “see something that needs to be cleaned and do it right then and there” mentality. If a mess is made, clean it. I also have my kids do as many chores as they can for their ages. This is great because while I am doing one chore, they can do another. We get a lot more done that way!

I also have a housekeeping team that comes every other week to the do the deep cleaning stuff because I do work and I would rather have that time with my family and pay for that to be delegated.

That’s how I do it! Batching has really helped me a lot. There are some weeks that are really, really heavy and busy. Sometimes you just go through a busy season and that’s OK. There is grace for that. There’s takeout for that. There are crockpot meals for that. There are cereal nights for that.

the time-blocking mom workbook


Tell every hour where to go before it happens, so you can rock yo #momlife.

  • Discover how much time you need, how much you have, and how you can get sh*t done with this digital download.

  • Figure out the best time for you to start your day.

  • Get an aerial view of your week so you can see more clearly where there is margin.

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11 Ways to Easily Speed Clean Your House

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This is a guest post from Kendra Hennessy of Mother Like A Boss.

Kendra and I crossed paths in the business world last year, and since then we have worked on tons of projects together and become close friends.

She is the queen of cleaning, and I am honored to share her with you today!

Kendra is also hosting an online workshop for my audience, which is totally free! Sign up here

Oh, house cleaning. Some people love it, most people are apathetic to the whole thing.

As a mom with littles who are constant mess-makers, it’s a necessary evil.  

I have come to find that the reason cleaning is such a proverbial pain in the butt is because it takes far longer than it needs to.

Day to day, moms spend their time on a cleaning hamster wheel. It can be easier. It can be minimal. It can be faster.

For moms, most things are about speed. How fast can I clean this up? How fast can I get dinner on the table? How fast can drink this coffee before it inevitably gets cold? You know, the important things.

Time is of the essence and becoming more efficient AND effective at what we do is the key to gaining more minutes in the day.

The ironic thing about speed cleaning is that it isn’t really about speed: it’s about efficiency. Speed cleaning is a way to utilize the minutes you have, even if it’s only 5, to tidy up and clean as much of an area as possible.

As a former professional house cleaner, I spent years perfecting the art of speed cleaning.

As a mom, I'm constantly trying to improve upon it even more. My minutes are precious and so are yours.

I’ve compiled some of the best tips here for you. House cleaner tested, mom approved.


1. Declutter first.

The only thing worse than a dirty home is a clean home with a bunch of clutter in it. When you really think about it, what is the point of hemming and hawing over cleaning when you’re just going to throw junk back on top of that clean countertop? Decluttering your spaces is always numero uno when it comes to speed cleaning. Set a timer and declutter everything in 5-10 minutes. Put it back where it belongs and if you’re on the fence about keeping it or needing it, there is a good chance it can be chucked in the garbage. 

2. Start in one area and work your way out.

When I had my cleaning business, I was a big fan of starting in the top corner of the house and working my way out. This works in a lot of ways, but mostly it just meant I could do it faster. It made no sense to clean the downstairs floor, then walk on it to go upstairs, then have to come back downstairs and re-clean that floor. See what I mean? Make you life easier (and the whole process faster) by “working your way out.”

3. Always clean top to bottom.

Along the same lines as above, always start from the top and work your way to the bottom. Seriously. No exceptions, unless you are a fan of cleaning things twice. Ain’t nobody got time for that. What does this mean? It means dust and wash the areas highest up and work your way down. Ceiling fans, cobwebs and the tops of furniture should be done first, then work your way down to the floor.

4. Have your supplies handy and accessible.

I talk about this all the time, but it is basically professional/speed cleaning 101. When you don’t have your cleaning supplies right at your fingertips, it just takes up more time. Imagine having everything you need in a bag or a caddy, rather than having to search around the house of the spray bottles, cloths and sponges you need. Huge. Time. Saver.

Did you know?!

Kendra is hosting a free online workshop just for my audience!

It's totally free, and you'll learn all about cleaning your house in just 30 minutes a day. Heck yes!

5. Stick to a routine. I LOVE a good cleaning routine.

In fact, I developed a free cleaning list to get you started. Click here for your free access. Having a solid cleaning routine allows you to not only get more done in the house, but do it speedier. Once you develop a routine, you’ll notice how quick your chores become. Think about how easy it is for you to brush your teeth or tie your shoes. You don’t even think about the steps, you just do it. That’s because it is a habit, created by a routine. Routines create speed. 

6. Clean as you go.

This may seem like it goes against the tip above about routines, but hear me out. If you have your kitchen scheduled to be cleaned on Tuesday, but you cooked a baked a lot on Sunday, don’t wait until Tuesday to clean. Clean as you go. Wash the dishes while the food cooks, wipe down the stove immediately after it gets dirty, run the self-clean oven setting when you’re done. Cleaning as you go is a speed cleaning tip not many people take advantage of. If you want your house to stay clean, clean it as you go.

7. Leave the floors and glass until the very end.

Cleaning can put dust and dirt into the air that will eventually fall onto the floor and usually stick to glass. Leave it for last. Doing it first will just mean you have to do it again, and that is a speed cleaning no-no.

8. Clean the shower in the shower.

I can’t believe how few people take advantage of this super useful tip. When are you closest to the shower and all it’s soap scum glory than when you are in it. No stretching over the sides of the tub or worrying about getting wet, because you’re already there. Keep your cleaning supplies right in the bathroom (or even in the shower itself) and go to town while you’re in there. You’ll be amazed how clean your shower stays. 

9. Stop worrying about it getting dirty again.

The one thing I hear over and over again is, “It just seems futile. It’ll just get dirty again.” Well so will your hair, but that doesn’t stop you from washing it. Dirt is inevitable. Dust is inevitable. Kids are messy. People are messy. Stop focusing on the negative aspects of not keeping a spotless home and instead, focus on how it feels to have it clean, even if that’s for 20 minutes. Your mindset plays more of a roll in how you view cleaning than you think.

10. Set a timer.

If you really want to get motivated to be a speedy and efficient cleaner, set a timer. Do as much as you can before the timer goes off. Boom. Speed cleaning at it’s finest.

11. Be like Nike. Just do it.

Don’t worry about not being “good” at cleaning. Stop focusing on what you should do, and how, and when. If you see some dust, grab a rag and go to it. Clutter piling up on the end table? Take care of it now. I can give you tips, tricks and tools for days, but the most important one of all is to just do it.

Remember: it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be done.





Kendra Hennessy is a home management expert and positive motherhood enthusiast. She is a podcast host and founder of Mother like a Boss, where she helps busy modern moms become homemakerish.

Her mission is to redefine homemaking in the 21st century and make the difficult and tedious parts of running your home smoother through systems, routines and mindset shifts. She lives in upstate NY with her husband Adam and their two spunky kiddos, Ava and Everett.

Kendra is a Girl Scout co-leader, a coffee junkie and can usually be found in her off time binge watching The Office. She loves giving support and encouragement to the moms of the world and giving them the confidence they need to enjoy life as a mother.

Enjoy this free access from Kendra!

The Mother Like a Boss Vault:

Your one-stop shop resource library for worksheets, videos, trainings and audio to uncomplicate modern homemaking.

All access, all for free.



We Hit One Million!





I started this podcast for moms who want to leave a legacy of intention and joy. I was tired of counting the minutes till bedtime, and couldn't help but think there had to be a better way to do this thing called "motherhood". 

I spent the first four years of motherhood completely miserable and stuck in survival mode: overwhelmed, overworked, battling heavy depressions and barely scraping by in life.

When I started simplifying and removing the unnecessary from my life, I was able to finally shake my depression for good, have more free time, actually enjoy playing with my kids, serve my family well and be the best, happiest, most fulfilled version of myself possible!  When I found the light at the end of the tunnel, I just had to share that hope with overwhelmed moms everywhere. Just like that, "The Purpose Show" came to life!

Here are the most-loved podcasts of mamas all over the world!


1. Ep 003: How my Morning Ritual Is Changing My Life

This episode is all about:

  • How I began my morning routine, and how it has shifted with the seasons of my life

  • My detailed morning routine that makes my day more focused and purposeful

  • How my morning routine helps me overcome one of my biggest weaknesses

  • How to fit in more reading time on a daily basis

  • Why taking action on your goals will leave a lasting impact on your life

Listen to this episode here


2. EP 004: Positive Words for Your Children

This episode is all about:

  • The effect words have on you, both a positively and negatively.

  • How easy it is to complain and use negative words to describe things, and why it’s important to switch your words to the positive.

  • Why it is important to speak positive words over your children.

  • How to speak positive words or scripture over your children if you feel uncomfortable.

  • How changing the words you speak to and over your children has the power to completely change their behavior.

  • Tips and suggestions on where to find positive affirmations and scriptures, and how you can store them on your phone.

Listen to this episode here


3. ep 001: My Goal Setting Process

This episode is all about:

  • Why New Year's is great time of year to create new goals, but not the only time

  • How I manage so much with four kids, a full personal life, and multiple successful businesses

  • How to achieve your goals

  • My step-by-step process to setting the right goals for where you are in your life

  • What reverse engineering is, and how it can change the way you reach your goals

  • Why taking action on your goals will leave a lasting impact on your life

Listen to this episode here

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4. Ep 006: How My Blog Got My Husband Out of His 9 to 5

This episode is all about:

  • Our struggle to make ends meet when Brian worked insane hours, six days a week.

  • Following God’s call to move to the midwest, where they knew no one.

  • My struggle with doubting God.

  • How I found my passion and developed the idea of turning my blog into a business

  • How Your Uncluttered Home came to be.

  • The incredibly grueling months that we experienced when Brian quit his job and the blog and course hadn't taken off yet.

  • Having a post go viral, and waking up to 15,000 new subscribers and money suddenly in my account overnight.

  • What has changed since everything happened, and what the business is like now.

Listen to this episode here


5. EP 002: How To Lose Weight By Loving Your Body Better

This episode is all about:

  • Why and How we should stop pushing our bodies to morph into something they’re not.

  • Shifting your focus from what your body IS from what it isn’t

  • How we can start acting out of love for our bodies.

  • The importance of living a life of balance.

  • A 2-step process that can help you bring forth more gratitude for your bodies.

Listen to this episode here

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8 Ways to Create an Intentionally Peaceful Home

After a decent amount of trial and error, I think I've finally come up with a comprehensive list of ways to bring peace into your home, and set up a peaceful home. I have worked hard to create a home that feels peaceful. In the way that I decorate. The way it’s laid out. The way I act as a mom. 

Intentionally creating a peaceful home is a great way to ensure there is a solid foundation to fall back on when stressful moments make their way into your day to day life.

If you want to quickly and easily reference these steps, I created a free checklist for you!  Get it HERE!


1. choose intentional DECOR

Use décor that makes you feel the most at home, relaxed, and happy to be there

I have created a home that is perfect for me. It makes me happy and relaxed. It feels lived-in and functional, but still beautiful and stylish. It reflects my personality. I don’t really purchase things to decorate my home with, unless they are really amazing and “my favorite” and I love it that way. Everything in my home just makes me really happy. That is so important.

Take a step back and ask yourself, “How do you feel when you walk into your home?” Take note of it. What could you maybe change? What is it that you don't like? Do you not like the way it's decorated? Do you feel like you don't even know how to decorate? Educate yourself. Figure out a way to make it happen. You should like the way you feel when you walk in the house. I think decor is a big part of that because it's so visual.


2. handle your ENTRYWAY

Some homes have an “official entryway,” whether it’s a mudroom or whatever. My home does not have one of those, but I’ve created an entryway. Whatever you are standing in when you first walk through your front door, set that up. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. Everything should have a place. It should be functional and work well for you, but also be pretty, well-lit, minimalistic, clean and clear of clutter so that you walk in and the first thing you see is good.

Figure out a way. Do you come in through the garage? Do you come in through the back door? Do you come in through the front door? What do you and your family use as your main door? Where were you coming in from running errands and setting your keys down?

Make that section of your home really functional, pretty and clear of clutter for yourself, so the first thing you see when you walk in is clear. That's really going to help you set up a peaceful existence in your home.



3. give your kids the gift of a "lived-in" home

I think there's a balance between a home that feels way too kid friendly and a home that looks like a kid doesn't even live there . My style is very important to me. It's important to me that I love my home when I walk in. But I don't want my house to feel so perfect and so beautiful that the kids are afraid to touch anything.

I think there's a way to mix functionality with style. You can have a beautiful home that you love, that you're proud to show off, and that you're proud to host things in but is also a comfy place where your family can relax and unwind at the end of the day. 

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This small, straightforward course is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start. 



4. find simple solutions to daily problems

Another way that you can bring peace into your home is find a solution to the things that are regularly stressing you out in your home.

When we moved into our two story home, I noticed that there was continually a pile of things that belonged upstairs at the bottom of the stairs every day and it was really ugly. So I found a regular dark wicker basket that goes with my décor. I put it in the empty space on the wall by my stairs and every night we take it up. It’s part of our nightly cleanup routine. We put things away, put the empty basket back downstairs for the next day. 

It took away the stress, it took away the mess. No matter how minimalistic you are, if there are people living in your house, you're going to have stuff around. 

Sometimes you don't think outside of your box and you don't realize there's such a simple solution that would help you so much. 



5. get yourself some FLOWERS

I personally love to always have fresh flowers in my house. I budget for flowers every week and stop at the store every Sunday to pick up a new bunch. I have a couple of vases I love and I swap them out on my kitchen sink. I do not like to do the dishes and I don't particularly love cooking either, so one way that I helped myself is by making myself love my kitchen.

I take extra care. I put extra thought and budget into making my kitchen a place that I love. 

In some way, shape or form, whether faux or real, flowers can really brighten up your home. And they do make for a more peaceful environment. It's a gift that only they can give.


6. create a peaceful atmosphere with scents

A great way you can create a peaceful atmosphere is to diffuse essential oils, use incense, or light candles. I have a diffuser I absolutely love. Pretty much all day, every day, I set it to “on”, and it goes until it runs out of water. I put distilled water in it, add some essential oil drops in there and I just diffuse all day.

It's in the main area of the house. You can smell it anywhere you are downstairs; sometimes even upstairs too. Seeing the steam and smelling the oils, really does create a more peaceful atmosphere.

Lighting candles is always a very easy way to create a calm atmosphere in your home. The flicker and the scent warm you up like nothing else can!

Whatever way you choose to do it, adding a comforting scent to your home will bring peace to your household.


Intentionally planning for peacefulness around times that are usually stressful is huge. If you want to set your home up to be peaceful, you have to think ahead. What are usually the most stressful times of your day? Intentionally look ahead and plan for peacefulness around those times.

Play worship music. Play instrumental music. Play acoustic music. Light candles during those times. Maybe take a minute and go in a closet or the bathroom or somewhere and just sit for a second and focus on your breathing. Consciously do a quick standing meditation for 5-10 minutes before those times. Get yourself in a place of peace. We reflect what we're feeling on our kids and our families, and they tend to follow how we're feeling. I think there is something to be said about intentionally planning for peacefulness around the times that tend to be tense and stressful.


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Phone boundaries make for a peaceful home by fostering family time. I actually did a whole podcast episode a while back on phone settings for a present life. I would encourage you to look at how much you're using your phone. It's going to create stress if your kids feel like you're always looking down at your phone.

You can have your phone settings set up so your phone will ring for phone calls but not make other sounds. You can a have set time and place where you check your text messages and Instagram. 

Putting your phone in its place will create an atmosphere of peace because you're focused on your family. You're available to answer questions and talk to them about their days and be there without being distracted.

the peaceful home cheat sheet!

more ways to calm the feel of your home

When a stressful or tense situation hits, this checklist is GOLD! It is the perfect go-to because it's practical, straight forward, and has even more great peacemaking ideas! It's incredible to have something like this on hand just in case a stressful day decides to creep up on you!

Friends, I really don't want you to forget your checklist! It’s all the points that I covered written out for you to print out and put on your fridge. “13 Ways To Bring Peace Into Your Home.” What an amazing thing to have sitting on your fridge so you can look at it and be reminded all the time.

It's divided into two sections: ways to set up a peaceful home and “in the middle of stress” peacemaker ideas. If you feel like your house is getting really tense and your family really needs some peace, look at your fridge, look at these ideas and do one of them or all of them.

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How To Edit Your Favorite Photos

A guest post from Jessie Martin

Editing your photos can make a seemingly mediocre picture really come to life. It can be the most satisfying part of taking pictures, but it can also be the most frustrating. Editing definitely takes a little bit of practice, but because of the impact that editing can have on a photo, it’s something worth investing a little time.

However, before you start trying to edit your photos, you should take some time to learn how to take a good photo. If you don’t have a basic understanding of how to use your phone or your DSLR or you don’t understand how to use light, editing will be a nightmare.

Editing is used to ENHANCE a photo, not fix it. No amount of editing can truly ‘fix’ a photo if it’s too dark, too bright, out of focus etc. 


I would recommend going back to the beginning of this series & taking my free photography course for mamas if you want to learn some of the basics:


Below are some examples of both unedited phone photos and DSLR photos, followed by the edited versions:


In this post I am going to cover editing using your phone and free editing apps. However, if you have a DSLR or you really want to up your editing game, I highly recommend Lightroom for your computer.

Free Tools for Editing

My favorite free tools for editing on my phone are the VSCO app, Lightroom app, and Snapseed app. Each of these have their own strengths and weaknesses + they all have a few different features that aren’t offered by the rest. I almost always find that I use at least two of the apps in combination to edit my photos.



VSCO is the simplest of all the editing apps. The free version comes with several ‘presets’ or ‘filters,’ which are basically just pre-made edits that you can apply to your photos with one tap. You can apply the filter and call it good, or you can edit the photo further. Most photos are going to need a little more editing than what a filter is going to provide though, so I suggest editing every photo further. The better you are at taking pictures, the less editing your pictures will need.



The free Lightroom app is a really great tool. It has a feature where you can adjust each color within your photo individually, which is a game changer.



Snapseed has a 'Heal' function which both free versions of VSCO and Lightroom lack. It allows you to clone out blemishes or unwanted parts of your image.


Editing Tips:

When it comes to editing your photos, it’s important to remember that the goal is to enhance the image and make it look as natural and life-like as possible. Try to have a light hand while making adjustments.

When I go to edit my photos, the very first thing I do, regardless of which app I’m in, is adjust the brightness (aka exposure) of the image. I typically need to increase the brightness.


In the example below, increasing the brightness made a huge difference & really made the image pop:


The next thing I focus on is the ‘temperature’ or ‘white balance.’ Sometimes when you take a picture, the image will look a little too blue or a little too orange. To fix this, you need to adjust the temperature. The goal is to adjust the temperature just enough to make the image looks as natural as possible (or fit your personal taste).


In the examples below, the first image is too blue, but the second image is too warm. To fix this I adjusted the temperature in the third image to be more neutral:


From here, I assess my photo and try to see what else it might need.

Many times I need to straighten my photos or crop them to be more visually pleasing. I always take a look at the skin tones of the people within the photo and make sure they look natural. If they look too orange or too washed out, I use the Lightroom app to adjust the orange and yellow colors in my image (if you’d like to watch a tutorial on this, I have a Lightroom app tutorial saved to my highlights on Instagram

At this point in the editing process, I assess the photo and decide if it needs anything else or if any part of the photo needs additional enhancements.

To simplify and recap, these are the steps I suggest taking with each photo:

  1. Assess the brightness of the image. Is it too dark or too bright? Edit accordingly.
  2. Assess the temperature of the image. Is it too blue or too orange? Edit accordingly.
  3. Is the photo straight? Does it need to be cropped?
  4. Assess the skin tones within the image. Are they too orange or too washed out? Edit accordingly.
  5. Make whatever additional adjustments you think the photo needs and/or add your personal touch/style to the image. For example, some people like to fade their images and add grain to create a film look etc. 


Suggestions + Tools to Simplify the learning process

Editing can feel overwhelming, but I promise that if you set aside a few minutes to play around with each app, it won’t seem so daunting.

Start with VSCO. Download the app and pull a practice photo into it. Play around with all of the settings and sliders. After you have an understanding of VSCO, move to Lightroom, then Snapseed.

To help you learn what all of the buttons and sliders do within each app, I’ve created a free cheat sheet that explains all of the functions and what they do to your photos. You can download it HERE

I taught myself how to edit by both trial and error and watching youtube videos! I think it’s really helpful to watch other people edit. Youtube is a great place - just type in something like, “VSCO editing tutorials.” If you like the way I edit my photos or you want to learn more, I frequently do video editing tutorials in my Instagram stories. I have several saved in my highlights.


Thank you!

I have appreciated so much the opportunity Allie has given me to share my heart and love of photography with you, her sweet audience. I know you all are a loyal bunch and love her to pieces and I’ve been honored to hang out with you this month during the photography series. I hope you know that I am an open book and am always happy to answer questions and chat further. You can email me any time at hellojessiemartin@gmail.com or come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin).


My heart truly is for you, mama. Although I love sharing my passion for photography, I believe it is so much more than a hobby or creative outlet. Taking pictures of our families can be something we make into a burden or a mundane task with little meaning, but it can be so much more! These pictures can be an exclamation of thankfulness and gratitude, a reminder of all of the blessings we have. We as mamas have the privilege of documenting our families’ stories and I truly believe this endeavour has worth and value.


If you’re hoping to up your photography game, I’ve created a FREE 5 day course just for you, mama! You can enroll for free today!


Mom-Tog in Five

Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera

I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    *This post may contain affiliate links.*


    Hi, I’m Jessie!
    I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

    - Jessie


    I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!





    How To Take Better Smartphone Photos

    A guest post from Jessie Martin

    It’s easy to get discouraged if you feel that you don’t have the best camera to take your pictures. Maybe you have an old iPhone or a hand-me down camera and you feel like it’s holding you back. If you are feeling like this, I have some encouragement for you:

    YOU are the one in control of the pictures that your camera takes. You are the conductor and the creator.

    Even the best camera in the world can’t take a good picture if you don’t know how to use it. Your camera or smartphone is just a tool. If you don’t know how to use that tool correctly, it won’t matter how expensive or up to date it is, your photos won’t turn out the way you hope.

    When Allie and I first met, she shared with me that she takes almost all of her pictures with her iPhone. Her and Brian own really great equipment for their business, but she prefers her iPhone over any of the fancy cameras. She also shared that the photos she has hanging on her walls are primarily ones she’s taken with her smartphone.

    GUYS. That says so much about smartphone cameras. Allie has access to a fancy camera and she knows how to use it, yet she prefers and chooses the simplicity of her iPhone.

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to master my smartphone camera even though I love my DSLR. I don’t always have my fancy camera with me, so I want to be fluent with both of my cameras in order to take pictures of my son whenever and wherever.

    I’ve got 10 tips to help you take better pictures with your smartphone:


    1. Turn off the flash

    Lighting will make or break your pictures - especially if you’re using a smartphone. If you take pictures with artificial light, like lamps or ceiling lights, it will cause an unnatural yellow/orange tint. Use natural light as often as you can to avoid the yellow discoloration. Take advantage of windows and doors. By using natural light you alleviate the need for flash and can turn it off.

    Although I always advocate for natural lighting, I truly believe, “moments always win.” Don’t skip taking a photo just because natural light isn’t available. Just keep it in mind and use it when you can.



    2. Use two hands for stabilization

    Using two hands will help stabilize your phone and decrease blur in your photos. It’s helpful to alleviate as much blur on your end as you can, because if your kiddo is anything like mine, they definitely won’t be holding still for you.





    3. Use the volume buttons to release the shutter

    When your camera app is open on your phone, the volume buttons can be used to release the camera’s shutter and take the photo. This can reduce blur and allows you to stabilize your phone better. If you have an iPhone with the apple earbuds (they’re called EarPods), you can use those volume buttons to release the shutter as well.




    4. Tap the screen to hold and lock focus on your subject

    Tap the area you want to focus on and hold down. This will lock the camera’s focus on your subject and your image will be more clear. You may need to do it a few times if you’re subject is a fast-moving toddler.






    5. Tap the area you want to expose for

    Before you take the picture, tap the area on your screen you want to make brighter.









    6. Use the exposure meter to brighten or darken your image

    When you tap and hold on the area of focus (as described in #5) a little sun icon will appear. You can drag your finger up or down on the screen to increase or decrease the brightness and then snap the photo.






    7. Set HDR to Auto

    The HDR setting is a feature that takes multiple shots and then combines them into one final high quality image. This is great for a stationary object, but if your subject is a wiggly kid, the image will be blurry. Set your phone to HDR auto so it will turn on and off at the appropriate times.





    8. Don’t use the ‘selfie’ camera

    The selfie camera on your smartphone is actually a lower quality lens than the outward facing lens. Always use the outward facing lens on the back of your phone to take pictures. This will help your pictures have sharper focus and be more clear.





    9. Consider taking burst shots of moving subjects

    When photographing a moving subject, hold down the shutter button (or volume button) for a few seconds. This will take burst shots (multiple pictures in a row at a really fast pace) and increase your chances of getting an in-focus photo. Another option is to tap the shutter button as quickly as you can over and over again. This will capture several pictures and increase the chances of capturing a non-blurry one. Go in afterwards and delete the duplicates from your phone.



    10. Don’t Zoom

    When you zoom, you lose photo quality and your image will not be as clear. Instead, try taking a few steps closer to your subject.

    All of these tips have really helped improve my smartphone photography and I hope you learned something new and feel more confident when you pull out your phone for pictures!




    If you’re hoping to up your photography game, I’ve created a FREE 5 day course just for you, mama! You can enroll for free today!

    Mom-Tog in Five

    Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera

    I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Powered By ConvertKit


      *This post may contain affiliate links.*


      Hi, I’m Jessie!
      I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

      - Jessie


      I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!





      10 Reasons Your Photos Aren't Turning Out The Way You Want Them To

      A guest post from Jessie Martin

      Pictures provide us with a way to revisit a single moment in time and relive it over and over again. They allow us to remember the small details that we never want to forget and provide us with the opportunity to document our children’s childhood. They give us physical reminders of who we are, where we’ve come from, and what’s important.

      Unfortunately, taking pictures can actually be super challenging and discouraging when our photos aren’t turning out the way we envision.

      I remember a few years back scrolling instagram and wondering how in the world all of these non-photographer mamas were creating such amazing pictures with only their smartphones.

      I realized pretty quickly that those mamas had been very intentional and had invested some time to learn HOW to take better photos.

      Good pictures aren’t just going to happen. Even the most expensive camera isn’t going to magically take great pictures. I believe if you’re willing to be intentional and put in a little bit of time, you can learn to take incredible photos of your family and make photography a natural part of your everyday life.

      Below are 10 reasons why your photos may not be turning out the way you hope and how to improve in those areas:


      1. You aren’t seeing the magic in your everyday

      Sometimes, when we’re knee deep in diapers and sleep deprivation, we can lose sight of how incredible these days actually are. We can’t help but put our heads down and push through – constantly looking towards the next season, thinking it will be easier and better. Taking pictures can do something to you, though. It can cause you to dig deep. To slow down. It can cause you to see.

      Let photography help you slow down. Let it help you see the magic of your everyday. Think of the things your kids do that make your heart burst. Think of the everyday family routines you never want to end. These things are the magic of your everyday. The little details. The seemingly ordinary moments that make up your days and eventually your years.

      If you want to know how and why I see the magic in my everyday, you can read my ‘Why,’ from week one. 

      Pick a day and make a list of all the things you are thankful for. Don’t just include broad things like “family.” Get specific. What things throughout your day are you really truly thankful for that maybe tend to go unnoticed? These are the things that you should be taking pictures of.


      2. You’re letting the thought of taking pictures overwhelm you, and in turn, you aren’t taking any


      Taking pictures doesn’t have to be some huge unrealistic time commitment. Photography can be incorporated throughout your day in a natural, unburdened way with a few simple habits.

      1. Keep your phone memory uncluttered so that you always have enough storage to take pictures when the time comes. Back up your photos often and then delete them off your phone. Google Photos is an amazing tool – It offers a ton of free storage and after you use it once, you can set it to automatically back up your photos for you. Allie actually did an interview in my photo course for moms where she shared that Google Photos is her go-to as well!

      2. Keep your phone (or your camera) somewhere nearby and easily accessible. This will probably already be your habit if your phone is your main camera, but keeping it close, or in a central location, will alleviate missing photo opportunities. I keep my camera hanging by the door with a clean memory card and a fully charged battery at all times so that I can quickly grab it if I notice a photo opportunity.

      3. Start picking 2-3 things each week that you want to document about your family. An example may be that you really want to take a picture of the way your baby looks when they’re asleep. When a good opportunity arises during the week, take the picture. That’s it. That was like 2.5 seconds of being intentional, planning a photo, and taking the picture.



      3. You don’t know how to use your phone or your camera to its full potential

      The basic difference between a phone camera and a DSLR camera is the amount of control you have over the settings.

      A smartphone camera gives you less control over the settings but significantly simplifies the  process. Most smartphones have pretty incredible built-in settings and features that make the photo capabilities rival that of many DSLRs. The trick is knowing how to use the camera you have to its full potential.

      There is a saying among photographers –

      The camera doesn’t make the photographer, the photographer makes the photographer.

      You could have the most expensive camera on the market, but if you don’t know how to use it or how to use the light around you, your pictures will be awful. On the flip side, if you understand basic photography techniques, you can make beautiful images with just your phone camera.

      I had the chance to talk to Allie about the photos she has displayed in her home. She shared that all but ONE of the photos she has hanging in her home are iPhone pictures! She and Brian own a fancy camera, but her go-to is her smartphone because it’s simple and she’s taken the time to learn how to use it.

      Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you don’t have a $3000 camera. Change your mindset. Be intentional and learn how to use the camera you do have. Become an expert at taking pictures with the gear you have available to you and I promise you’ll be ecstatic with your photos.


      4. You aren’t being creative with the way you take your photos

      ‘Composition,’ is the way you arrange your photo. It’s being intentional and thoughtful with the way you take your picture and where your subject is in the frame. Composition isn’t just for professional photographers - it’s an easy way for anyone to take better photos.

      Easy Composition Tricks


      Always make sure your photos are straight. Pick a vertical or horizontal line within the image and use it as a guide. It’s much easier to do this before you take the picture, but if you forget, you can always correct this when you edit.

      Think of ways to make your photos more creative. Get closer or further away from your subject. Take pictures at your subjects eye level. Take pictures from above or below. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take pictures from various angles and heights.


      5. You don’t understand light or how to use it

      Lighting is one of the most important elements of taking a great picture. It can make or break your photos, so it’s important to understand it.

      There are different types of light depending on the time of day. The most well-known is during the evening when the sun is just starting to go down. This is called “Golden Hour,” because the sun is casting a golden glow onto everything. This is one of the prettiest types of lighting.

      The easiest type of lighting to use as a beginner, and especially if you’re using your smartphone, is “even” light. Get out of the sunlight and take your photo in the shade where the light falls evenly across your subject. This alleviates having to worry about angles or the sun causing weird shadows on your subject.

      Once you feel like you’ve mastered the easy light, move on to more challenging lighting situations.



      My Number One Lighting Hack:

      Artificial light casts a yellow glow onto everything and causes photos to look unnatural. One of the easiest ways to transform your photos is to turn off all of the artificial lights and open the curtains to let natural light in.


      6. You aren’t editing your photos

      The ability to edit your photos gives you so much creative freedom. A good edit can transform a photo and bring out so much life to an otherwise uninteresting picture. Editing is a skill. It takes a while to get a good eye for it. Practice makes perfect!

      My favorite editing apps are VSCO, Lightroom, and Snapseed. Go download one or all of these and play around with them. If you’re new to editing apps, start with VSCO and play around with the free filters and adjustments.

      Everyone edits differently, but I personally try to edit as true to life as possible.

      My goal as I edit is to enhance the photo, but to do so honestly.

      If you ever need editing help, I frequently do editing tutorials over on Instagram! I also created an editing cheat sheet that explains all of the actions in VSCO and Lightroom and what they do to your photo. You can get it for free HERE.



      7. You aren’t in any of your pictures

      I am a big promoter of getting into pictures with your kids.

      I know how easy it is to feel self-conscious in photos. I know it’s much easier to hide behind the camera and be the one taking the pictures.

      Don’t let insecurities get in the way of taking pictures with your kids.

      Because of Allie and her heart for encouraging self-care for us mamas, I took the time to invest in myself in a few simple areas and it has helped my confidence SO much. I took her advice and invested a little bit of time and money into a wardrobe that I love. I also took some time to learn how to do my makeup and created a five minute makeup routine for myself. Those two things alone have boosted my confidence SO much. When I am dressed and ready for the day, I feel confident and am so much more willing to jump into pictures with my son.  


      The more confident you feel, the more likely you’ll be willing to get in front of the camera.

      Because we don’t always have someone else to take pictures for us, there are a few simple things you can do to take those pictures yourself. I suggest investing in an inexpensive tripod and shutter remote. These two tools simplify the process SO much and make it possible to get into pictures with your kids whenever you want!

      Smartphone Shutter Remote + Tripod

      DSLR Shutter Remote (Canon + Nikon)

      DSLR Tripod


      8. You haven’t developed a consistent photography style

      Have you ever been scrolling Instagram, seen a photo, and without looking at the name you know exactly who took the picture? This is because this person has developed their own personal photography ‘style.’

      Allie is a great example of someone who has a consistent photography style. Anytime her photos pop up on my instagram feed I know they’re hers before I ever see her name. Her instagram stories are also a great example because they always have a similar look and feel to them.

      Start a Pinterest board with photos, colors, and tones that stand out to you. Take note of the way you decorate your home or the colors you choose to wear. These things can tell you a lot about your ‘style’ and will help you develop an honest photography style that is true to who you are. You can see my Inspiration board HERE as an example.

      It takes time to develop your own style and there is a lot of trial and error. Don’t be discouraged if you try something for a few weeks and then decide you don’t really care for it anymore. You’ll find yourself continually tweaking and improving upon your style. You’ll continue to get better and feel more confident in your ability to create.



      9. You focus too much on posing or staging your photos which leads to frustrated kiddos


      Every kid is going to be different and their age needs to be considered. My biggest tip for taking pictures of your kids is to make it as easy going and simple as possible. Letting your kids just be themselves will allow you to capture their true personalities. If you let them be, you will be able to capture so many of their different emotions and their true personalities.

      Because my camera is always easily accessible, if I see something picture worthy or the lighting is really beautiful, I can grab it real quick and snap a few pictures.

      Try to limit yourself to just a few minutes and then put your phone or camera away.

      For babies, I don’t recommend trying to pose them in any specific way. Try placing a few toys in a spot that is getting good light. Let your baby do their own thing with their toys and take pictures while they play. When I do this with my son, I usually walk away with several pictures that I LOVE. While he plays I’ll occasionally make him giggle by singing a funny song or making a silly noise. For the majority of the time though, I try to just leave him alone and take pictures as he plays.

      A common issue with little kids is getting them to hold still long enough to get an in-focus picture. Try putting them in something that contains them a little more, like their highchair or the bathtub. One of my favorite places is our kitchen sink! I have taken some of my favorite photos while my son is playing during a sink bath.

      For older kids, you can make a game out of taking pictures. Another great trick is to let them do something that is usually against the rules, like jumping on the bed. When you do ask them to pose or do something specific, just be quick and don’t make them take pictures with you for too long.


      10. You don’t know when to put the camera down

      When my son was born, I was terrified that I was going to miss an opportunity to capture a moment with him. He was growing so quickly and changing everyday. I was terrified that I was going to miss something or forget something. I read this quote by Ann Voskamp and I have been so thankful for these words, because I think it has saved me so much mom-guilt.

      “All the moments a mother never captured on film – isn’t perhaps a failing, but a relaxing into fully being in that moment. They say that you can tell as much about a life by the photographs that weren’t taken as those that were. There doesn’t have to be fear of missing. Moments don’t need to be captured as much as they need to be enjoyed. There’s ridiculous freedom and glory in courage like this.”

      Be encouraged mama. Pick up your camera and capture your babies.

      Be intentional and practice taking good photos so that the time you do use your camera is worthwhile. Spend the rest of your time living in the moments with your family.

      Don’t ever be afraid to put your camera down and just plain love on your babies. You won’t ever regret being fully immersed in moments with them.


      If you’re hoping to up your photography game, I’ve created a FREE 5 day course just for you, mama! You can enroll for free today!

      Mom-Tog in Five

      Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera

      I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

        We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

        Powered By ConvertKit


        *This post may contain affiliate links.*


        Hi, I’m Jessie!
        I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

        - Jessie


        I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!