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 simplifying 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

My Word for 2019

Do you ever give your self a word, or a mission, or a phrase to cling onto?  Something that makes decisions easier and priorities clearer.  Will and I started prioritizing early on in our relationship.  Underneath God and our relationship, we put family.  This helps us make so many important (and maybe seemingly insignificant) decisions clearer and easier.  

I have never chosen a word for a year before now.  Sure, I have set new years resolutions that I rarely, if ever, keep, but this year I am approaching things differently.  I have set personal and professional goals, as well as giving myself a word to focus on.  To be my driving force for learning and growing in 2019.

My word is Simplify.

Much in the way that people say “don’t put yourself in debt during the holidays to show people how generous you are, or how much you love them,” my approach to Simplifying is very similar.  I view Simplifying as a way to gain freedom.  Freedom from overcommitting.  Freedom from clutter.  Freedom from being overwhelmed.  Freedom from feeling obligated.  It is a means to prioritize, and that prioritizing begins with practical steps, that turn into habits, that change the way you look at things, so that the things you look at change.

Some practical steps I have already taken include deleting unused and unwanted apps from my phone and turning off notifications for basically everything.  I already feel this freedom.  There is much less pressure—much less anxiety—much less obligation when I look at my phone. 

Other practical steps include cleaning out the fridge every time I go grocery shopping.  Making the bed every day.  Throwing out expired medications.  Keeping lists on my phone for easy access at grocery stores.  Reducing the trips I make to stores so that I have more time for my family and other priorities.  Making a master spreadsheet for my photography business to simplify keeping track of everything for myself and my taxes.  Getting rid of clothing that has holes, that I never wear, and that doesn’t bring me joy.  

Etc.

I am so excited to dive into Simplifying my life this year and to experience the freedom it brings.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?  For ways that I can Simplify in 2019?

Do you have a word for 2019?  Leave it for me in the comments!  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

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

2018 into 2019—a natural progression of time that often spurs on resolutions, attempted life changes, and goal chasing.  Does the new year make you joyful and excited?  Or does it make you sad and anxious?  

New years typically make me anxious.  This great vast unknown of a fresh twelve months just loom in front of me.  Sometimes there is excitement, but often just a great unknown and feeling of having to do everything all over again.  This year is a little different, and since January first, some of my anxiety has gone away.  #Blessed  

Before I get ahead of myself, though, here’s a look back. 

2018

Something positive that happened 

We got married! What is actually one of the best moments of the year—possibly the best day of my life—was getting married to William.  A day that I had anticipated being full of anxiety and overwhelming emotions was exactly the opposite.  It was peaceful, and joyful, and felt just exactly right.  It wasn’t so much about the dress and the flowers and the desserts (although all of those things were great).  It was, however, absolutely about the beginning of forever, and finally getting to promise forever to the one man I couldn’t wait to do life with.  

A personal highlight

Besides our wedding day, my personal highlight was our Maine honeymoon.  This vacation trumped all of our other adventures in 2018.  We couldn’t see ourselves in a big city or on a beach with a mojito.  What we really wanted was mountains and cold air and a little place with a kitchen and a view.  We flew into Maine just before the season started—before the trees began to come back to life.  We rented an adventure-mobile and a cottage in the woods with a great big couch in front of floor to ceiling glass doors.  We drank coffee and ate lobster, went hiking and exploring, and wore great big coats and hats to keep out the chill.  There was still snow on the ground in the mountains.  And it was all perfect.  All of it.

Blogging highlights

Our biggest highlight was obviously LAUNCHING the blog.  I bought the domain and constructed the blog, then had a 5 Days of Blogging week to kick the whole thing off.  You guys have been GREAT and I have loved getting back to blogging, sharing, writing, and photographing.  Life just feels right this way, you know?  

Relationship highlight

Well… we got married.  Haha!  But in an effort not to be redundant, another highlight for me was actually when I got in a car accident my car was totaled.  Believe it or not.  Despite how scary it may have been, or how stressful it was, or how frustrating it could have become, it taught us so very much about each other.  How to depend on one another.  How to encourage one another.  How to be there for and with one another.  And how to tackle a difficult situation together.  Even beyond that, our love and respect for one another grew a LOT because of the situation.  So weirdly, that is a big highlight for me.

2019

Things that I want to do and am looking forward to

I want to explore historic sites and locations on the east coast and in North Carolina—to dive into the rich history that the east has to offer.  We did a lot of outdoor exploring in the desert last year.  This year I would love to focus a little more on history.  

I am looking forward to a couple trips we have planned and getting to watch our pup grow into a real dog.

What about personal goals and personal life?

I have a few personal goals with the worship team that I will keep to myself for now.  Mostly because I’m too nervous to even say it out loud right now.  I want to read at least 12 books, read through the whole Bible, and to discover how to maintain a good work out schedule.

Where in the world will I go?

To Utah to visit Will’s family.  I would love to go back home to Nevada for a little, or maybe back to the mountains.  Will and I have another secret trip planned as well.

What do I want to accomplish professionally?

I want to grow my photography business to more than just supplement our income.  I want to offer us more financial freedom.  

What about the blog?

My goal is to publish at least five blog posts a month.  I want to build in such a way that I will be able to monetize certain things.  I believe in multiple income streams, passive income, and financial freedom.  I kind of view years without kids as building years for me and hope that once we have kids I will be able to supplement Will’s income to offer us more options.  That isn’t to say that my entire goal with the blog is to earn money, but in all honesty I don’t see anything wrong with it when bloggers earn an income from their hard work.

Is there anything that you want to hear from me this year on the blog?

What about you?  What goals and dreams do you have for your 2019?

Until next time,
Jamie out.