3 reasons to simplify your life and what that means

When you think of the word “simplify,” do you think of minimalists?  People who own like one pair of socks and a sweater, or people who are downsizing to a house the size of a match box?

That’s not what I’m doing.  When I set out to Simplify in 2019 (read that blog post here), it wasn’t my intention to throw out all of my possessions.  I already did that last year, unintentionally, and while that gave me a bit of a head start on decluttering my life, it was just the beginning of simplifying.

Before I get ahead of myself though, if you want to follow along with our adventures of newlywed life, turning a house into a home, and all of the highs and lows of everyday life, click the subscribe button on the right (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile).  It doesn’t send you crazy stuff or give your information to anyone—it just sends blog updates directly to you!

My beginning of simplifying was this: I really just wanted to slow down. 

To get my priorities in line.  To save time on tasks so that I had more freedom in my life.  

I don’t know about you, but I dig the idea of freedom—freedom in my finances, freedom from being overwhelmed, and the freedom of a healthy schedule. 

Sure, part of simplifying can be to own less, to declutter, and to donate half of your wardrobe if it doesn’t bring you joy.  But the other half of the equation is to make decisions easier, to learn to say no, and to spend more time with the people most important to you.

Basically, simplifying is identifying what is most important to you and then eliminating the rest.

Here’s why that might be beneficial for you.  

#1.  You will be less overwhelmed.

There will be less to clean, less to do, and you will understand how, when, and why to say no.  You will bring an end to overcommitment and stop being a slave to obligations.

Practical steps to get you started:
1. turn off notifications for basically everything on your phone so that you only see the important things. 
2. have a calendar that you stick to and do not overbook.    

#2.  You will be more in tune with your needs vs. your wants.

Understanding your priorities will help with this.  It will help your decisions become clearer—is this task, item, or activity going to help or hinder your priorities?  

Practical steps:
1. make a list of 4-5 priories or things most important to you (and to your spouse/marriage).  Put them in order of importance. 
2. make a list of your commitments and then put them in oder of their priority.

For example, Will and I prioritize God, followed by each other/our marriage, our family, and THEN the other things in our lives, such as work, friends, serving at church, and other areas that can eat up time and resources.  

#3.  You will have time to pursue your passions and to travel.

With less clutter, fewer things to take care of, and a better handle on how to manage your time, it will be easier to find time to pursue passions and projects you may have had to avoid otherwise.  You will also hopefully have a better handle on your finances and fewer things to take care of at home so that you can go on a vacation now and again.

Some seasons of life are much more busy than others.  Priorities are not set in stone, and although your top tier will probably never change, the others on your list might.  Bringing home a new baby, starting a new job, or buying a house are all things that will be an adjustment.  Aiming to simplify can definitely provide solutions and freedom as you go through these transitions.

Y’all, simplifying is not the solution to every problem, but it has already been an amazing word to focus on in my 2019.  I am so excited to continue this mantra to see where it takes us this year.

How do you feel about simplifying?  I want to hear all of your thoughts in the comments below!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like to let me know and don’t forget to join the family and subscribe!

Until next time,
Jamie out.

big moves & half birthdays

Over the past few weeks, a couple super awesome and fun, life changing things have occurred which I would love to share with you. In fact, both things began or happened on the same day. 

Before I get ahead of myself though, if you want to follow along with our adventures of newlywed life, turning a house into a home, and all of the highs and lows of everyday life, click the subscribe button on the right (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile).  It doesn’t send you crazy stuff or give your information to anyone—it just sends blog updates directly to you!

The first thing that happened is that our girl Blue turned six months old and we celebrated with a family photo session on the bed. 

For a pup who is not allowed on the furniture, that is quite a big deal.

She still loves the outdoors, probably even more than me, and would love nothing more than to spend all day, every day outside.

Which she can’t really do at the moment because she is recovering from being spayed. That cone of shame is legit.  She is so confused by it.  You are more likely to find her completely stationary, whining in confusion than anything else.  

Related Post: Oasis

She likes chicken in her food better than beef, she loves learning how to heel, and she thinks that working out with mom is super fun.  She recently chewed through her first rope and loves getting balls stuck under couches… until she realizes that she can’t get them back out again.

My other piece of fun, exciting, potentially life changing news news is that I signed up to be a Beachbody health and fitness coach and I’m super excited!  I am working on my website, learning the business, the lingo, and mostly just enjoying myself so far.  I was already on a path of discovering my own fitness journey while sharing it with others, so I decided to jump in and try coaching!  

I have been telling anyone who breathes about Beachbody since I started using it a couple years ago because I have major heart eyes for the programs.  They also have superfood smoothies and other products that I am fast falling in love with.  

Needless to say, we have some exciting things happening in the Shugart household this year.  I thought 2019 would pale in comparison to 2018.  Boy was I wrong.

If you have any questions for me, like what I do as a coach or if you want to know my fave workout programs, I’m down to talk about it any time.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

mucinex

Sickness has struck the Shugart household.

Well, mostly it has struck me.  Will had a cute little cough and then was over and done with it.  I, on the other hand, self-diagnosed from the first spike of fever that a sinus infection had taken me down, post-migraine.  

I write to you now from the comfort of my bonus room couch, with my steaming mug of chamomile tea and my chick flicks and Grey’s Anatomy on repeat, having missed publishing my first Monday blog post since launching Wamie’s World last July.  And while I have no photos to share today, from a typically photography focused blog, I feel that sharing using the written word can just as powerfully convey the clouded vision of a sickly blogger.

I was conveniently taken down by a virus passed on by my loving family on the busiest work week I have seen since the Christmas holiday family photo session explosion of 2018.  I curled up in an armchair for two days straight, editing my days away while clutching my box of tissues.  I spent the nights clutching my eyeballs for fear they might pop out of my head due to the pressure building up behind them.  And I coughed my way through work, popping cough drops like they were candy and huddling in my corner so as not to breathe on anyone.

Conveniently, all of the websites say that you might have a sinus infection if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks.  

As a woman who has had far more than her fair share of sinus infections in her life, I would have to disagree with whomever invented them.  More than two weeks is far too long to put up with this nonsense.  Can I please just return to my normal programming?  

Should you be happy and healthy today, enjoying the full use of your vocal cords, please appreciate your pressure free sinuses, your vertigo free days, and how little you require tissues on a minute by minute basis.  I will be here, attempting to live a normal life while contemplating removing my sinuses from my body.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

#everydaymoments

Are you living in your everyday, or are you living for the weekends?  

It is our daily lives that make up who we are, and our everyday moments that make this life worth living.  Find the beauty in your ordinary.  Take some photos and build some memories.  We remember the big things, but the little things are everything.

A Thursday in February. Valentine’s Day//

Until next time,
Jamie out.

Read more:
December

our day date to a super old house

About a week or so ago, Will took me on a fantastic day date to a place I had been dying to visit.  I’m a sucker for dates and romance.  This one just tugged at my heart strings and was a perfect morning spent reflecting on history, how people used to live, and the things we take for granted now.  Like freezers, freedom, and air conditioning in the south.

The 1897 Poe House is located near downtown Fayetteville.  No, it was not owned by the poet, but by a prominent family that made and sold bricks.  In fact, much of the foundation of this home is made out of bricks made by Mr. Poe, although the deeds to everything they owned, including the company were in his wife’s name, per the prenup.  

The Poe’s apparently ordered this home out of a Sears catalog, which was not uncommon.  Everything was sent to a local carpenter who built it for them.  

We got to tour pretty much everything in the home and our tour guide explained how North Carolina had obtained the property, how much it cost to restore it, and what things the Poe’s daughter had renovated and converted from what it was originally.  It was interesting to see how a well off family lived, with their ice box, grocers delivering goods, cook and maids, and two stair cases.

Actual dishes that the Poe family owned.

I’m super into this dating thing.  If you couldn’t tell.

Until next time,

Jamie out

puppy’s first walk (+ teething)

Blue update—4 months old!

In the past month, Blue has continued to grow and learn, we took her on her very first walk, and she had a couple vet visits.

My favorite things about the past month:

  • How much she still loves snuggling
  • How joyful she was after her first walk

My least favorite things about the past month:

  • Her rabies vaccine & how sore she was afterward
  • The occasional accidents inside (there’s a lot more pee now!)

Things I have learned:

  • Teething seems awful

Our girl Blue is still a puppy and it is hard to remember that sometimes!  She is growing so much and learning every day.  I have to remind myself that if I am consistent, she will get it—right from wrong, how to behave, etc.  The occasional accidents still happen inside and I just have to remain consistent in reminding her where it is appropriate and how to ask to go outside.  Comparing her now to her tiny self at eight weeks old is crazy, even though I know she still has a lot more growing to do.  She has come such a long way!

We had two vet visits in her fourth month where she got her rabies vaccine and lyme vaccine.  Poor thing was super sore and sleepy after her rabies vaccine and we had to warn all of our New Years Eve guests to be gentle when petting her.  Her next vet visit finished up her shots and we opted to go for the lyme vaccine as well because we plan on camping and hiking with her.

Riding in the car is still one of her least favorite things.  We are trying to associate it with positive destinations and take her to my parents’ or my sister’s regularly.  She gets extra love, snuggles, and play time at their houses and you can tell she is growing attached to my family.

She isn’t napping as much as she used to and is still a little needy when she is awake.  I often find it difficult to get things done at home when she is awake because she wants to play or snuggle and be involved in some way.  Chores are easier—it’s when I sit down to write or edit that she gets bored.  Luckily, the day after she turned four months old we put in a fence (watch out for our next update!) and this has gotten a lot better because she can run and explore outside.

Her very first walk was adorable.  It seemed a little overwhelming for her, with all of the smells, noises, cars, and people.  Once we got home, though, it was obvious that she ultimately had a great time and we’re excited to go on a lot more walks in the future.

At the end of the month Blue began teething.  One day I looked down and one of her front teeth was HUGE compared to the rest of her mouth.  It. Was. Adorable.  She began chewing on her toys in earnest and it seems to me that teething must be an awful business because there was hardly a time when she was awake when she wasn’t chewing something.  So far she is doing great and only chewing on the things she is supposed to chew on.  Knock on wood!

Over the next month we plan on more walks, getting acquainted with the outdoors, and lots of social time with other dogs.  We are looking into obedience training and got her a big girl collar in preparation for her next growth spurt.

Until next time,
Jamie out

Valentines Day Gift Guide for Her, Him, and Couples!

Let’s be real—we all know the traditional standby of flowers and chocolates for all romantic occasions.  Don’t get me wrong, they are cliches for a reason—because they are a little bit of luxury that make a girl feel special.  But if you want to go beyond the traditional and get your significant other something that they will remember for years to come, these are some items that will probably get you those brownie points.

5 Gift Ideas for Her

Bath Bombs 

For the girl you haven’t been dating for very long, or the woman who loves her bath time more than you could ever understand.  Bath bombs come in all shapes, all sizes, and all scents.  Benefits can include moisturizing shea and coco butter.  Their fizzing and aromas are often calming and add to the bath experience.  This is not a gift like soap that your loved one might take the wrong way.  This a luxurious item that encourages your girl to take some time for herself.

Throw Blanket 

What girl doesn’t love a super soft throw blanket to cozy up under?  I remember being eleven or twelve when I asked for my first throw blanket for Christmas.  This is a great gift for any woman in your life.  New girlfriend, daughter, friend, or wife.  Every woman deserves a fresh new cozy item in her life.

Instant Film Camera 

This Fujimax Instax Mini is ideal for the millennial women in your life.  Give them the gift of instant gratification, artistic expression, and another creative method to document the moment.  This is a gift that keeps on giving, and they will love it.

Kate Spade Wristlet Clutch 

Here’s the thing about purses.  Every woman deserves to be unexpectedly gifted with a really nice handbag or clutch at least once in her life.  This cute wristlet clutch will be perfect for nice nights out, to restaurants, plays, or even concerts.  You might need some advice from the sales people or one of her best friends if the idea of this one scares you a little.  Kate Spade, Coach, and Michael Kors are all great options for quality products.

Michael Kors Rose Gold Smart Watch 

For those of you looking to spend a little more money to bring your significant other’s fashion into the twenty-first century.  Even if she already has a smart watch, this is a serious upgrade, and one she will be very surprised and excited about.  

5 Gift Ideas for Him

Wireless Charger 

This is a seriously excellent gift for your guy, and is especially good for new relationships.  It won’t break the bank, doesn’t send a weird subliminal message, and is just a fun and useful gadget they will be really excited about.  Make their life a little easier this Valentines Day and give them the gift of cordless charging.

Pour Over Coffee Station 

For your guy who loves to be a little more sophisticated than Mr. Coffee.  If your man ogles french presses in his free time or has previously discussed different methods of roasting coffee beans with you, this might be the perfect gift for him!  

White Noise Sound Machine 

Does your man need to have a fan on while he sleeps, or play brown noises from Spotify to your Echo Dot all night (like mine does)?  Give him the gift of restful sleep this Valentines Day with a white noise sound machine.  The one linked above doesn’t break the bank, has fan sounds, white and brown noises, and boasts a sleep timer.  I’d call this one a win in my book.  

Man Crate 

Have you heard of these?  They. Are. So. Cool.  For virtually any price range, and virtually any guy, you can give him one of the most manly gifts he has ever received in his life.  From exotic meats and bacon, to Sriratcha and whiskey, you can take your pick and have it delivered in a literal crate that he will need to use a hammer and crowbar to open.  Need I say more?

MVMT Watch 

A classy gift for a classy guy.  MVMT watches are affordable, stylish, and something your man will brag about for years to come.  Make this Valentines Day one to remember by getting him this minimalist modern analog piece to step up any outfit.  Bonus: it is durable and water resistant.

4 Gifts for Both of You

ENO DoubleNest Two-Person Hammock

For the adventurers in your life, this gift will not disappoint.  Great for the camping, backpacking, mountain climbing lovers, this two-person hammock will be an exciting gift for both of you that will encourage more outdoor exploring and cuddling.

500+ Thread Count Sheets 

Luxury is sleeping on nice sheets every night.  Give yourselves the gift of comfort and a great night of sleep this Valentines Day by splurging on a new set of sheets.  Can you remember the last time your bed set got a refresh?  I’d say it’s probably about that time.

Monthly Wine Subscription

Let’s be real, there are all kinds of wine of the month clubs.  If you and your significant other are wine aficionados, this might just be a splurge you should take this year.  Here is a list by “My Subscription Addiction” for their recommended and favorite wine subscription boxes of 2018.

Couples Massage

Treat yourself!  Professional massages are not a thing that we all get regularly, even though we probably should.  Give yourselves the gift of relaxation this Valentines Day and book a couples massage somewhere in town.  Be prepared to be oily and relaxed, so you may not want to schedule a fancy dinner right afterwards.

More than anything this Valentines Day, we hope that you get to spend time with the ones that you love.  From us to you, we hope that you feel loved and cherished this day.

Do you have any gift ideas we didn’t mention?  Leave them in the comments below!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to join the family and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Until next time,
Jamie out