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.

12 pieces of advice for newlyweds

Will and I are on the cusp of having been married for an entire year.  This basically means that we know all of the things!  (That’s a joke)

After five months of marriage we wrote about 5 things we learned in five months of marriage.  I figure it’s about time that we share our 12 tips for those of you about to embark on the adventure of marriage.  I reached out to my Instagram friends for help.  Peep their advice below!

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!

Without further ado, sit down, grab a pen, your BFF (aka soon-to-be or brand new spouse) and take this advice to heart.  We obviously know what we’re talking about.

(DISCLAIMER: I feel like I will have to be married about ten million years before actually offering advice on big subjects.  Let’s just have some fun together today.)

#1. You WILL adjust.

Times of transition can be difficult, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  I’ve had girlfriends who cried their eyes out on their first night home from the honeymoon because they were afraid of change.  I’ve known couples who have gone to counseling in their first year of marriage.  I even once had a boyfriend exclaim that “marriage isn’t that hard!” to a couple struggling through their early years and a woman going through a divorce.

Embrace the transition.  Recognize things are going to change and try not to fight it.  

#2. You will find your own habits and routines as a couple.

This is a great thing!  But it does take time.  One of the biggest areas of adjustment in a new marriage can be learning that your time is shared now.  

#3. “Don’t compare.

“Don’t compare your relationship/marriage to anyone else’s.  Learn from others but never compare.”-Kristina

#4. “Always give your spouse the best of yourself.

“Don’t give your best to everyone else and then give your spouse the leftovers.” -Kristina

#5.  “Grow together and embrace the changes in one another.

“Love each other for who you are today, not who you were or who you could be.” -Phillip

Related post: 13 Things to do Unplugged with your Spouse

#6. “Laugh a lot!

“Don’t take life too seriously.”-Caroline

#7.  “Prioritize time together.” -Will

Thanks for the contribution, husband.  ❤  I absolutely agree!  Determine your marriage priorities together and then stick to them.  If you have your priorities in line, decisions become more clear.

#8. “Learn to communicate now, even over the smallest things!”-Marly

Amen, sister!  Communication is key.  

#9. Unmet expectations are a trap.

We often have expectations of each other, of ourselves, of our circumstances, etc.  Unmet expectations can create problems unless you realize what is happening and how to manage it.  

#10.  Be honest.

If you are upset, be honest.  Don’t be afraid to ask each other questions to understand wants, needs, and expectations.

#11.  Don’t expect your spouse to change overnight.

First of all, if you don’t express a need for change (in a loving way) but instead keep your feelings to yourself, everything will stay the same.  And once you do express a need for change, don’t expect your spouse to get everything right from then on out.  They’re still human.  Which brings me to my last piece of advice.

#12. Allow your spouse to be human.

Just as you give yourself grace on a bad day, or after a frustrating experience, you need to extend the same courtesy to your spouse.  Don’t hold them on a pedestal OR expect them to always fall short.  They have bad days, feelings of anxiety, and other human tendencies just like you.

BONUS!  Never stop being friends.

Congratulations on being a newlywed or an almost-newlywed!  Praying God’s blessings over your marriage, that you will have patience with one another, that you will LOVE each other in every season (even when you don’t like each other all that much), and that you embrace becoming one whole heartedly.

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.

13 things to do unplugged with your spouse

Is your love language quality time?  Is your spouse’s love language quality time?  Do you hate how much time we spend staring at our phones instead of being present with one another and fully invested in the moment?  Friend, I am here for you!  

But first thing’s first—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!

Friend, today I have 13 fun and unique things to do together with your spouse that do not involve social media, computers, or screen time of any kind.  Put those phones away and stare into each others eyeballs for a sec, okay?

Let’s get started.

#1. Make something together.  Whether you just picked up a new piece of furniture that has much assembly required or you want to repaint a dresser you picked up at a garage sale, get to work together!

#2. Have a picnic in your backyard.  Spring is springing, the grass is greening, and the sun is shining.  Break out your biggest floppy hat, spread a quilt on the driest patch of grass you can find, and have no fear of drinking wine outdoors.  It’s your private property, after all!  And no one has to drive!  Don’t forget the sunscreen, though.  Winter has left you pale and vulnerable.

#3. Break out the instruments and have your own concert.  Will and I play piano, guitar, and all manner of brass instruments.  I love having worship nights together.  Print those chord charts or piano music ahead of time and put those phones away.  This is time for just you two.

#4. Bake something!  Make banana bread, cheesecake, or all manner of unhealthy treats.  You can share them with friends, or be greedy and enjoy the whole thing together.  Bonus points if you enjoy the fruits of you labor by candlelight.  

#5. Prayer time.  Write a list of prayer requests and pray over them together.  Pray over your marriage, your spouse, your family, your house, your dog, your cat, your jobs, etc.

#6. Create a vision board for your marriage.  This is about your vision, your goals, your mission statement, and your desires that you create together for your marriage.  Like I desire regular date nights with each other, no matter what season of life we are in.  Side note: if you are NOT crafty—like me—you can just create a fancy list or excel spreadsheet.  It’s basically the same, right?

#7. Go on a leisurely walk (don’t forget to bring the dog).  Whether around your neighborhood or a nice nearby park, pick a sunny day and take a long walk together.  If you’re on the east coast, don’t forget that bug spray.  The mosquitoes are coming!

#8. Have a double date and go try a new local restaurant or ask your friends where their favorite place in town is.  Don’t forget to splurge on dessert.  It’s the little things.

#9. Have a bonfire, roast s’mores, and tell ghost stories.  Bonus points if you camp out in the backyard afterwards.

#10. Game night!  Whether you play Nertz, Monopoly (not suggested for sensitive/competitive souls such as myself), or some crazy deck building game, make sure there’s a prize for the winner.  

#11. Couples who work out together stay together.  If you’re both active, create a workout plan that combines both of your favorite moves and techniques that you can do at home.  You could go on a run, or complete a squat and pushups pyramid challenge.  Will and I enjoy showing off our best ab moves to each other.

#12. Go out to the ball game.  Eat a hot dog and cheer on your local team.  Make sure to dress in team colors but watch out for the kiss cam.  

#13. Have a coffee date on your front porch.  Watch the world go by and just enjoy the moment with each other.

The world is so busy and fast!  We sometimes forget to just slow the heck down and enjoy the little things.  Even if you literally need to schedule a block of time to be with each other and enjoy each other, DO IT.  It is so very important.

Do you have any ideas that I 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

refurnishing our home was a nightmare

Wamie house update!

In this cozy place we call home, we have been working hard to make it everything we want it to be.  We have added pantry shelves, gone through countless paint samples to find The One, installed a fence and gutters, and so many other odds and ends that we are so excited to share with you in future posts.

But first thing’s first, 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!

Okay, let’s be real for a second. 

Some of us only dream about fully refurnishing our home, but rarely get to do it.  Especially not all at one time.  Usually we painstakingly save up for that new couch.  We stalk Black Friday sales for our new flatscreen.  We refinish cheap furniture that we find at an estate sale.  Refurnishing from scratch only happens in our dreams.

Well friends, let me break it down for you.  I’m not sure that it should be a dream.  I would call it more of a nightmare.  

If you want to read all about how we lost all of our furniture in Hurricane Florence, click here.  If not, here’s a quick breakdown. 

We searched for and put an offer in on a home in North Carolina while we were living in Arizona.  The day we left for North Carolina, my car was rear ended in a tiny town in New Mexico and we found out it was a total loss (read about that here).  Because we were under contract for a home we would be financing, we couldn’t replace my car until we closed on the house.  Luckily, everyone we worked with was a rockstar and we closed just a few days after we got into town.  The following day, we emptied our storage unit and found out that we had lost a LOT due to water damage.

On some level we were expecting some damage.  But to lose all of our furniture?  We literally kept our kitchen table and two chairs, a tiny desk, a drink cart, and our bed frame.  Those were the only furniture items that survived.  

Luckily we had insurance and had saved some money while in Arizona.  Through our own savings and the generosity of others, we have been able to mostly refurnish our home and are loving everything.  Here’s a breakdown of everything we have so far:

Couch

We found this beauty at Ashely Furniture, which is actually where be purchased almost everything for our new home. We found that the value and quality met exactly what we wanted at a price we could afford. This three seater is soft to the touch, firm, and perfect for our living room.

Chairs

These chairs are one of our favorite things. We bought them the same day we got our couch and the sectional we put in the bonus room. They are a similar fabric to the couch above but are not from the same collection. They are situated right next to our window and are perfect for afternoon book reading sessions with a big mug of tea, or for a late night blogger who may or may not writing this from one of these chairs.

Bookcase

If you are ever in need of anything for your home, Wayfair is like the Amazon of furniture. We have been so excited to find some great pieces on their website.

We actually purchased two of these bookshelves, intending to put them both in our office. However, while arranging our living room, we found that putting the bookshelf here tied the whole room together and made it exactly how we wanted it. It’s a grey wash finish and we only put very specific and limited books here so that we wouldn’t overwhelm the space.

Bonus: my parents were getting rid of their coffee table and end table and we were able to snatch them!

Nightstand

We got our bedroom pieces from Ashley Furniture on Black Friday. We were blessed with some very generous friends who gifted us a mattress and therefore only had to replace our nightstands and dresser in the master. I wasn’t so sure about the arrangement of this nightstand initially, to be honest—with the shelf on top and the drawer on the bottom—but it has actually been great for this bookworm who adores reading before bed.

Dresser

The dresser is from the same collection as the night stand, and like the bookshelves is a grey wash. It is a good size dresser—not too deep or gargantuan, but has great drawers that offer a lot of storage space. Bonus: being a newlywed and learning to share space for clothes is teaching me how to declutter and get rid of things I don’t need. Also, having your storage unit flood will do that to you too.

Mirror

So funny story. I put this mirror on my amazon wishlist (linked here if you want one!) and got two of them for Christmas! I am putting the second one in our guest bedroom.

Sectional

This stunner is from Ashley Furniture. It is a four piece sectional that we specifically chose so that it could fit upstairs in our bonus room. Our bonus room is the the only room in the house with a TV so we have to be intentional about any time spent watching shows or movies. We are so excited about this space, and this sectional has been perfect!

Side tables

The sweetest girl who I used to work with gifted us their old end tables that fit perfectly in this space. We have loved them!

TV Stand

Yet another gem we found on Wayfair. Our TV stand is our newest piece and I absolutely adore it. Again, it is a grey wash modern farm house furniture item and I can’t stop ogling it. God bless my William for putting it all together (some assembly required!).

Really this nightmare of refurnishing our home is a blessing in disguise.  We get to choose everything we want and build a cohesive home.  We get to start from scratch with items we picked together and can build our marriage in the comfort of new beginnings. 

While the stress and time spent on insurance and trips to the dump was overwhelming, and the time spent in stores and online searching for what we need was only lessened by the fact that I love shopping—while all of this is real and hard, we can find joy in our time spent with one another. Our lives in this home will be much more enriched because of everything we have been through.

What do you think of our progress so far? Let me know 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.

#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.

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