Minimalism

You've probably heard about how life-changing decluttering can be. Marie Kondo's book has inspired countless people to embrace a simpler, happier lifestyle by keeping only items that spark joy. The goal is to surround yourself with things that you love, and to create space for new things to come into your life. By decluttering your space, you effectively declutter your mind. Think about how amazing it feels to walk into a clean house, opening a closet to find everything beautifully organized. That feeling of peace and joy stays with you throughout your entire day.

Since I have moved so frequently (at least once a year for the last eight years), I'm a huge fan of keeping my belongings at a minimum. Every time I buy a piece of clothing or a book I try to give one away, and I am constantly evaluating the purpose of each thing I own.

But what I didn't realize until recently is that we can embrace minimalism on a much deeper level. The Minimalists have opened my eyes to ways I can detach myself from belongings, relationships, money, jobs, places, commitments, to live a more free and purposeful life.

  Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff  .

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff .

When I decided to move from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, I knew one of the main reasons was a huge craving for a simpler life. I didn't want to be stuck in what appeared to be a dream job (but wasn't right for me) only to pay for an overpriced lifestyle where my time was mostly spent wading through crowds and in traffic. When I thought about what I value, I realized I didn't actually want any of what I had. I desperately wanted more space--to breathe, to be, to think, to create, to explore, and to attract new things into my life. I wanted to unplug and spend more time doing things I love. By embracing minimalism and creating space, I've been able to completely redesign my entire life, filling it only with things I love. 

Check out my top four picks for embracing minimalism here. And let me know what you think! {LM}

Burning Up

I'm obsessed with candles, and that is not an understatement. I light them while I'm working, when I'm reading, having friends over, in the bathtub, literally any time. But not all candles give me that calm, relaxing vibe. Most are made with sketchy blends or icky soy wax and LEAD wicks! I keep it simple and steer clear of all candles that aren't Voluspa. They use a coconut wax blend that burns cleaner than soy or vegetable and a 100% cotton wick that doesn't leach any bad chemicals into my princess pad. 

Check out my top Voluspa scents below, and click the images for more info! {LM}

Chinese Cupping Therapy

I had been wanting to try Chinese cupping therapy since I saw Lauryn Evarts' snaps, grams, and blog about it. I'm a big fan of acupuncture and massage, but hadn't gotten around to trying cupping. I also wasn't sure I could find a good practitioner, having just moved from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. But I very luckily stumbled upon the most incredible massage therapist who also practices cupping.

Cupping is an ancient treatment that touts some of the same benefits of acupuncture: decreased anxiety, pain relief, better circulation, etc. Some say it's like a reverse massage that sucks the toxins out of your body. The procedure typically leaves you with circular bruises for a week or two, depending on the level of toxicity.

After about 40 minutes of massage, we transitioned to cupping. I felt pressure and slight discomfort for sure, but absolutely no pain. When I settled into it, the suction actually felt amazing. She first placed a ton of cups all on my upper back and then moved them to my lower back. In a quick 15 minutes, she was already removing the cups. 

It's now been two weeks, and my purple marks are completely gone and I can't wait for my next treatment. Try it out and let me know what you think! {LM}

 

The Tampons I Can't Stop Talking About

My sisters have been trying to get me on the Diva Cup for years. They always insisted that my Tampax Pearl tampons were icky and full of chemicals. My oldest sister told me huge corporations that make tampons aren't even required to disclose actual ingredients, so it's almost impossible to know what the mix of artificial fibers and chemicals are in your go-to boxes. It's actually terrifying to think about the chemicals hiding in tampons--we put them in our bodies around the clock for a week every single month!! But even though I love the idea of the Diva Cup, I personally never had much luck using it. 

My period prayers were answered when I discovered Lola, a 100% cotton product developed by some serious and adorable boss babes that love talking tampons. They are all about simplicity, convenience, and total transparency.

The concept is truly simple: pick your mix of tampon sizes and have a box automatically delivered to your door each month so you never have to worry about running out to the store at the last minute. Even with delivery, a box of Lola tampons costs about the same as my old Tampax Pearls AND comes with only one ingredient in the prettiest packaging.

Women's bodies are incredible and I think getting your period should be a reminder of that--getting my box of Lola tampons each month feels like a present and honestly makes my week infinitely better. Oh, and this is not a sponsored situation. I'm just obsessed.

On a different but related note, if you haven't been following the tampon tax debate, check it out. I can't believe this is even a debate. Feminine hygiene products are a basic necessity that should be made as accessible as possible! {LM}

 

My Morning Smoothie Bowl

I started making this smoothie years ago when I first got a Vitamix blender, and I change it up slightly depending on what ingredients I have on hand. The recipe below is my favorite version, but variations always turn out great!

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (I like Malk if I can't make my own)
1 frozen banana (throw in an extra half if you like it sweeter)
A couple of frozen strawberries
1 heaping tablespoon of maca powder
1 teaspoon of probiotics (I use this one from Moon Juice)
1 packet of lypo-spheric vitamin C
2 BIG handfuls of spinach

I always top it with a sliced banana, raw almond butter, and cinnamon to keep me going all morning long.

Try it and let me know what you think! {LM}

Desk Essentials

Whenever I can, I prefer to work from home. It's quiet and more productive for me than working in an office. But wherever your favorite desk is, here are a few things I love that will keep you focused and inspired all day long.

  • Candles (I only burn Voluspa)
  • Sugarpaper notebooks for jotting down ideas (this one is my favorite right now)
  • Hand cream (I love this lavender one recently)
  • Organic coffee or tea (currently drinking this tea)
  • Fresh flowers (I swear they energize me like coffee)

{LM}

Oil Pulling Essentials

Oil pulling is one of my favorite things to do in the morning. It might sound strange or complicated, but I promise you it's neither.

What is it? Oil pulling is simply swishing oil (coconut is the best because of it's anti-fungal properties) in the morning to rid your mouth--and body--of all the icky toxins that fester overnight. The fat from the oil binds to the bacteria, so when you spit it out, you are getting rid of all the bad. It's such a great way to start the day because it feels so detoxifying. 

How do you do it? I keep a jar of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil in my bathroom and the first thing I do in the morning is take a spoonful, let it melt in my mouth, and swish it around for 15-20 minutes and then spit it out in the garbage (it might cause problems in your sink).

15-20 MINUTES?! Yes! I promise the time flies. I usually write in my five-minute journal, boil water, write a note, or do almost anything else on my morning routine menu. 

What are the benefits? Besides the detoxed feeling, oil pulling actually makes your teeth whiter, your gums healthier, your breath better, and your body healthier (since your oral health is linked to your overall health)!

What are the essentials? I like a basic, high quality coconut oil, but there are so many more products coming out to make oil pulling more convenient like CoCoWhite and this amazing new formula Magic Mouth Oil Pull. Click the images for product info.

Try it out! {LM}

 

How I Start My Day

Mornings are my favorite part of each day. I love taking my time and making sure I'm doing things that set the tone for the rest of my day. I try to keep it calm, full of gratitude, and slow it down to enjoy the little things. 

I don't have a set morning routine. Every day feels different and I never want to feel like I'm getting through a list of to-dos. My friend Katie Dalebout told me that she keeps a menu of things that make her happy and depending on the day, the season, the mood, she'll pick any combination of things to kickstart her day. Here are a few things on my menu, starting with my absolute non-negotiables:

  1. Writing in my Five-Minute Journal. This is a must every. single. day. I love the beautiful design, the amazing entrepreneurs behind the brand, and the entire concept. It's brought incredible things into my life and makes every day happier and more intentional. I could write an entire book just about the Five-Minute Journal. Get one for yourself, give them to people you love--the whole world needs this.
  2. Boiling water to drink first with lemon, and then to pour-over coffee. I love grinding the beans in the morning. Making coffee in the Chemex takes much longer, but it's time well-spent.
  3. Taking my time to make and eat a really pretty breakfast (usually a green smoothie bowl or avocado toast)
  4. Foam rolling
  5. Journaling
  6. Yoga
  7. Oil pulling
  8. Walking around my neighborhood
  9. Writing a note to someone I love
  10. Reading a couple chapters of any book I'm currently into (right now it's Without Their Permission)
  11. Opening to any page of Miracles Now to set an intention for the day
  12. Calling a family member

{LM}