By Small and Simple Things

Praise the heavens above! It’s officially spring! I have never been so happy to see the snow melt and watch the little buds on the trees blossom into beautiful flowers and fresh green leaves. At the start of this season full of new life, I’ve been extending my spring cleaning into many different areas of my lifestyle. I’ve really felt God speaking simplicity into my heart, and have drawn wisdom from the scripture in Alma 37:6 that reads: “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” As I’ve tried to simplify my life and slow down, I’ve felt the power, peace, and joy that comes from doing small and simple things. I’m excited to share some of the ways I’ve simplified my life over the past year so that every new morning feels like a fresh, clean slate full of hope and opportunity!

Phone Free Zone

Starting your day off with a positive mindset is key to feeling balanced and ready for whatever comes your way! I’ve always tried to do my scripture study first thing in the morning, but last year noticed that it was taking longer and longer for me to open my books and get reading. I used to keep my cell phone plugged in right by my bed and relied on it as my alarm clock, but found that after I would turn off my alarm, I’d stay on my phone. I was using social media and emails as a mindless way to wake myself up in the mornings. By the time I set my phone aside and went looking for my scriptures, sometimes OOPS 30 minutes or HOW DID THAT HAPPEN even an hour had passed without me even realizing it, and my mind was full of things that were insignificant, stressful or not very uplifting. I felt like I was behind before I had even started my day! I decided I wanted to start feeding my open and empty mind, just like we feed our empty stomachs in the morning, with spiritual food first before anything else! Now, I leave my phone in my office every night (I try to grab a book to read instead of being on my phone right before I sleep) and let it charge there.

I try to keep my phone in my office and out of my hands until I’ve completed my morning routine, and then use it for specific purposes at set times throughout the day rather than using it to get distracted from what I really want or need to do. This small change has helped me to create space and time in my home for me to be still, to be more present, and to be in tune with my Heavenly Father through my morning scripture study and prayer, and in tune with myself and what I need through meditation and exercise.

Mindful Morning

Dedicating at least the first hour of your morning to a simple spiritual routine helps you set the tone for your day! Here are the habits I always include in my mindful morning routine:

  • Reading my scriptures
  • Spending time in prayer
  • Writing my thoughts down in my journal
  • Listening to an encouraging talk or podcast
  • Doing a guided or self-guided meditation using the Calm app
  • Doing Yoga with Adrienne videos (she is my favorite instructor EVER)
  • Getting outside and going for a walk or run

For the first time in my life, I’ve been able to stay consistently diligent around a healthy routine because I love how it makes me feel! If it means getting up an hour earlier than usual before you head off to work or school, then do it! I promise it’s worth the effort to take time for yourself and to prioritize your relationship with God every single day.

Simplify Your Beauty Routine

    Right before I got married, I was desperate to clear up my acne and tried a new skincare line without doing much research beforehand. OHOHOHO. What a mishap. It wasn’t as bad as my favorite scene in “Hitch” (you know…when he has a reaction to the shellfish and sees himself in the mirror) but I definitely had a reaction to the chemicals in the products and made things much worse at a very inopportune time! I realized I’d had similar reactions to many products over the years, and that I was doing way more harm than good when I put harsh and heavy products on my skin.

Mandi and I discovered an app that allowed us to scan our household and beauty products, and then it would list the ingredients and rate how harmful they were. We started scanning everything in our bathroom drawers, as well as the beauty aisles at Target, where we usually shopped. We found that most of the products we were using were full of gnarly chemicals and harsh ingredients. We both got rid of a whooole lotta stuff and went on a hunt for gentle products with all natural ingredients. I discovered Thesis Beauty on a list of organic products made in the USA and loved that their cleansers were made with real flowers and didn’t contain any synthetic chemicals, and their serums contained nourishing and organic oils. I ordered the Tender as Petals Facial Cleanser and the Facial Serum for Oily Skin and fell in love! I actually have fun mixing up the clay cleanser every night when I wash my face, and if you’ve never tried a serum I highly recommend that one! It is so moisturizing and my husband says it smells like fruit loops. So that’s delicious. These two products lasted for over 6 months before I had to buy them again!

I loved that my routine became so simple and I only had to use a couple of really gentle, natural products to cleanse and restore balance my sensitive skin. I’ve also been using the Rosemary Citrus Makeup Remover after learning that those handy little eye makeup remover wipes I always used were full of weird stuff I probably didn’t want in my eyeballs. And just for fun, I use the West Indies Poppy Seed Face Scrub and the Raspberry Mint Facial Toner before my serum a couple times a week for a deeper cleanse.

This isn’t a sponsored post; I genuinely love Thesis Beauty and wrote to them to ask if I could get a discount code for y’all if you’d like to try anything out! You can use SISTERSAGE15 (active until July 20, 2018) to get 15% off at www.thesisbeauty.com.

I have slowly been trying to clean out my makeup bag and make the switch to clean and natural makeup as well! If you have any natural brands or products you love, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! I’ve loved feeling good about what I’m putting on my skin, as well as having a more simple approach to my daily beauty routines.

Clean Out The Ol’ Closet

    What better time to purge your closet than during the transition from winter to spring? I’ve always been really OCD about clothes. Like in middle school I’d write my outfits down in a notebook so I wouldn’t be an OUTFIT REPEATER! Bless my heart. Over the years of filming hundreds of music videos for our channel, I kept up the over-buying and tried to never wear the same thing twice. Of course I’d pass my clothes down to my sisters as I outgrew them, but was always spending money on clothes just for the sake of having something to wear in our videos that I hadn’t worn before. A couple years ago when I was moving (for the 100th time) I was so sick of having to pack and unpack a closet full of clothes that I really didn’t love, and wanted to simplify my wardrobe so I could feel good about what I was wearing, as well as start saving my precious pennies! I cleaned out my closet using the KonMari method. Basically you dump every single thing out, hold each item in your hands one at a time, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, say goodbye. If it truly brings you joy, fits well, and isn’t something you’re just holding onto because it’s nostalgic or it was a gift and you feel guilty, you keep it.

Last fall, I still felt like I was shopping for clothes too frequently and decided to try the capsule wardrobe route. I created four seasonal wardrobes consisting of just a few pieces I really love, and got rid of the rest. I’ve become much more intentional about when and where I buy clothes, have such an easier time getting dressed every day, and feel freed up to live in gratitude for all of the blessings in my life outside of what I wear or own. Does anyone notice what you’re wearing most of the time? Probably not. Is anyone going to care if suddenly you start wearing the same favorite items of clothing on rotation? No, ma’am! Nobody will even notice! It’s amazing how something as simple as cleaning out our closets can free up our time and minds to focus on higher and better things, like building our character and sanctifying our souls from the inside! Remember, “for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Rad Reads

    Here are a few books and talks that have helped me simplify that you might enjoy!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More by Courtney Carver

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist

“It Works Wonderfully” – A Talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Living simply allows us to have more of the things that we really value and want. More time. More joy. More peace. More balance. More smiles. More connection. More fresh starts. Happy spring, y’all!

 

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