Viewing entries tagged
simple living

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{VIDEO} Simplicity Creates Wealth: My Top Simple Tips for Business Success

Let's get real.

We've all had that morning

The one where you struggle to get ready on time. You try on 18 outfits, change your hair twice, walk back and forth from the fridge to the pantry three times before you just decide on a latte because "it's easier",  and then you're totally frazzled by the time you get to at the coffee shop where you're faced with even more options... 

Do I order a latte, or cappuccino, wait make it non-fat... wait - is fat good now? Finally you sign on to your computer to work, but you can't decide what task to focus on first because your emails blow up instantly, and you don't have a to-do list from the night before helping you prioritize.

So instead you allow yourself to be dominated by your inbox, and you go on Facebook (and Twitter, and Pinterest, and Instagram, and OH! I just got a Periscope notification!)... where you just become more overwhelmed and end up in a black hole that sucks your productive time away.

By the end of the day, you don't feel as if you've accomplished anything - yet, you feel totally burned out.

VIDEO simplicity creates wealth for entrepreneurial business creates wealth and ease

Let me give you the loving, gentle smackdown: you're overwhelmed with options and information leading to indecision and lack of control and focus.

The worst end result... this all erodes your trust in yourself because you've lost your ability to follow through on your promises or to prioritize your own well being.

Do Not Fear. This is 100% FIXABLE. It's time to simplify your business and your home life. SUPER essential if you're an entrepreneur because your time is money and you need to conserve your time and energy for what you love and what will produce income in your business.

WATCH this quick video all about the benefits of simplifying everything in your life and how we simplify at home and in my business. Grab your pen and take some notes, ladyboss!

I hope you get a lot out of the free video. I'd love to hear your feedback and additional ideas!

Join my Facebook Group and post your feedback there or in the comments section below.

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This Week In Italy (The Entrepreneur's Dream)

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This Week In Italy (The Entrepreneur's Dream)

Today, I am feeling so EXCITED and GRATEFUL. I'm so grateful to get to talk with a few of my clients today - some insanely inspiring women! Seriously, these ladies are killing it! And after that...

We finish packing for ItalY!!

My husband, tot (Finn) and I leave tomorrow for a 2-week trip in Italy, and I feel like I could just pinch myself! I can't wait to get there.

While I am so grateful to be able to begin an adventure to my favorite place again, there was a lot of prep involved in taking this vacation. One of the primary goals in starting my own coaching practice, was that I wanted to be more in control of my time and energy and to do something that would serve other women.

Taking care of myself and prioritizing my needs is essential to me, so I had to prep in order to fully take these two weeks "off". I believe deeply in self care and putting personal wellness as high priorities for anyone, not just entrepreneurs. How can you serve your clients best, or take care of your family, or be super efficient at work, if you aren't taking excellent care of yourself?

You can download my FREE guide below to read more about how I prepped everything in my business so that I could fully immerse myself in the heaps of pasta I'll be eating in just a few short days.

Now... back to daydreaming about sweet, sweet Italy! Here's what I'm looking forward to:

  1. Visiting Florence, and Naples/Sorrento/Pompei/Amalfi Coast area, AND Cinque Terre. All places I've never been before.
  2. Taking in some sweet, sweet architecture and eating leisurely outdoor meals at the cafes or on our balcony.
  3. Train rides from city to city through the Italian countryside during Fall. I can't wait to see those leaves changing!
  4. Reliving my memories of that time I was in Rome, and Sting showed up and decided to play a FREE concert near the Forum. Ticked off SEVERAL life goals in that one night alone. Visit the Forum for the first tiem. See Sting live in concert. Go to concert with my BFFs in a foreign country. 
  5. Less crowds. Traveling during the Fall helps to avoid the tourist season in many places.
  6. CARBS. I don't eat a ton of carbs, so I'm going to carb-load on some bolognese and arrabbiata pasta, and I'm not ashamed of it. Look for TONS of food pics on my Instagram, Facebook Page and maybe a Periscope or two starting Wednesday! I'm @alliehorner on IG and @allisonhorner on Periscope.
  7. Saying cheesy things like, "WHEN IN ROME!"... because we're literally going to be ringing in my 30th birthday IN ROME - my favorite city!
  8. Having some espresso so bold and smooth that it'll bring tears. Every parent's DREAM.
  9. Staying in AirBnbs. We rent our home out on AirBnb (WHY not have some passive income?), and I think the BEST way to experience a city like Rome is to live in a temporary apartment rather than a hotel. Plus, one of the families lives right next door and their nana is insisting on cooking for us so she can squish my little bambino's cheeks... and I honestly don't mind at all. I love that!
  10. Seeing my hubs and son experience the awe that is Italy for the first time ever. 
  11. SHOPPING. One of my biggest regrets from past trips was not shopping a little bit more. So I'm going to make that happen this time.
  12. Coming back to my 90 day group of aspiring entrepreneurs which is starting in October!

A photo of my own from Rome in 2011. (That's not me walking, BTW.)

Tell me: what else would you recommend we absolutely see or do, or where we should eat? 


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9 Ways To Get Your House In Order, And Let It Fuel Your Success!

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9 Ways To Get Your House In Order, And Let It Fuel Your Success!

Hello!

When you're ready to start making a lasting, impactful career change, you need to start with some steps toward self-evolution. This is extremely crucial to making the right career change, and being totally ready for the new, wonderful direction your life will take.

Today, we’re going to start with getting your home in great shape. It's the part most people cringe at - especially you mamas out there. I know this is super hard; it was difficult for me to straighten up and organize when I was a Single Lady, and now I have a small destroyer (I mean, toddler), my wonderful husband AND a dog. I love them all! But I’ve had to find a way to simplify and beautify our home so that it works for all of us and so that our surroundings reflect who we are, and who we strive to be. 

So, we begin with my list of 9 WAYS TO GET YO’ HOUSE IN ORDER. 

With Love,

Allison

P.S. There is a free download below! Don't miss it because this is just the beginning! You'll want to stay tuned and sign up for my emails: my new program is launching very soon, and it's just for women like you who want to create serious career and self-evolution... and desire the support system to help them during their journey. 

1.  Simplification Cornerstone: Whatever You Bring In Must Elicit Joy

You may not know this about me, but I am a simplicity NUT. I didn’t use to be that way. I actually used to be quite the person of excess… as in excess stuff. Everywhere. I came from a mindset that shopping was a way to be happy and fulfilled (even though I always felt guilty about shopping for myself afterward), and I’m not going to totally argue with the fact that, yes, I still have some major shopping urges that get filled every once in a while. Hello! It’s almost FALL which means booties and sweaters! 

The problem here is that I would go on shopping sprees, buy things I thought I loved (but really didn’t), and after a while, those things wouldn’t bring the joy that they initially had. So then I would go shopping again, and this cycle would start over. Meanwhile, I was coming home and finding that I didn’t have room for these things that I thought I loved. And they would sit in the back of my closet after a bit. 

But, I digress. Now, the thing with accumulating a lot of stuff is that it can make life a little difficult, for many reasons. Having too much stuff can cause: 

  • Decision anxiety… I have so many options! What do I wear?! What do I cook for dinner?
  • Guilt… I bought four pairs of shoes and two of them have barely been worn, and now they’re sitting there unused by anyone. What a waste!
  • Anger… You spent HOW much on that Roomba when we have a perfectly great vacuum?!
  • Frustration with lack of space… How are we possibly going to fit that 62” TV in our living room? Our 40” barely fits on that wall!). 

And that’s just the beginning.

The Solution: Anything you purchase for yourself or your home must bring you joy. This is a cornerstone of Marie Kondo’s general philosophy. I’m sure you’ve heard all about her, but if you haven’t, watch this video. She is the guru of tidy!

This philosophy really came in handy for my family when we bought our first home in Denver. At the time, we were determined to live more simply. We bought one side of a 1900 duplex in Denver’s Historic Baker neighborhood - close enough to walk to everything around the neighborhood(train, parks, shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, library, book shops, etc), but enough space for the four of us to live happily (dog included), AND we have a backyard. WIN. However, the home is only 650 square feet and being a MUCH older home, there was ONE closet. So we did what any sane new parents would do, and we had our own Tiny House Nation/Marie Kondo-inspired purge of 2014. Which brings me to my next point… 

2.   The Great Purge of 2014: Get Rid Of Everything That Does NOT Bring Joy

During our purge, we evaluated every. single. thing. that we owned. This was a purge that took a lot of time for us, to be honest, and it is something that we continue to do when the seasons change. You don’t have to do it all in one weekend. 

Keeping around a lot of clutter and excess stuff makes it hard to focus on what you need to focus on: improving yourself and getting that job or making that career change that you really, really desire.

When we keep excess shit around from our past, we hold back from becoming who we are. That stuff takes up room for who we’re meant to be. It takes up space and keeps us stuck. Wouldn’t you rather free up space for the new you, and the things that elicit joy? 

Tip: start with things that you aren’t super attached to in the first place, and don't touch anything of your family's. They need to do the purge on their belongings on their own.

When we were faced with the reality of going from a 2000 sqft home to a 650 sqft home, we really evaluated furniture, lamps, clothing, kitchenware, old toiletries, junk drawers, linens, shoes, artwork, paper work/files… EVERYTHING. If you start with things you aren’t super attached to, it just gets easier to purge from there. By the time you get to mementos and things that have more meaning, it feels a little easier because you’re already groovin'. 

Best Part: donate or sell the items you’re parting with. Someone will love them and be grateful for them, and they’ll fulfill their purpose. One of the best ways we can express gratitude is to donate what we no longer need or want to people who do have a want and a need for it.

3.   Simplified Kitchen, Better Health

A major area that people neglect when they get their house in order, is to evaluate their FOOD. Food is another thing that you bring into your home (regularly!) What we eat affects our mood, body and energy. Having a ton of choices can also elicit some decision anxiety.

If you’re doing all of this wonderful work on your mental and emotional health, why wouldn’t you want to improve your physical health, too?

Purge food that’s been sitting around that does not elicit joy or won’t make you feel good. Get rid of the food that makes you feel really awful after you eat it. C’mon… you know what it is. For me, I love inhaling a bag of Ruffles in one sitting. I always, without fail, feel awful afterward. Bloated for two days, sluggish, and it always ruins my workout to get cramps or feel dehydrated, which is how chips with a ton of salt and no nutritional value will make you feel. 

Here’s the fun part of this, the things that are beautiful, natural, make you feel good, the things you want visible so you’re more likely to pick them to eat, can be displayed. In fact, display them beautifully if you can, in a lovely bowl that you love on your counter or table. Get some fruits and veggies that can sit out without spoiling. Add some color to the room with them. And, bonus, every time you get a craving for something, you’ve got some SIMPLE, healthier choices that will help your mind, body and energy right in front of you. 

Donate the food you’re parting with to a homeless shelter. Someone out there needs it.

4.   Organize Your Life

I will admit, this isn’t my forte! It’s important, nonetheless. Now that you have more space for the things you have left, you can relish the ability to see everything you need easily with a quickly opened door or drawer. Marie Kondo has some amazing tips for folding in her book, and I also love reading tips in ApartmentTherapy.com. Here are some of my favorites:

My favorite series, Harry Potter, displayed on our mantle proudly.

My favorite series, Harry Potter, displayed on our mantle proudly.

  • Use the travel fold (or roll, rather) to make clothing easier to see in your drawers
  • Fold socks one inside another so there's always a pair
  • Only keep and fold linens and sheets that match your decor and make you feel good. Use this amazing tip for folding your fitted sheets by Martha Stewart. 
  • Hang the clothing you love in your closet by color and sleeve/pant length. 
  • Organize your fridge so that the things you want to eat more of (healthy, whole foods) are visible.
  • Color coordinate books, or organize them by series or author in different areas.

Organize things that you desire to keep that make you feel great. By the way, you can actually display some of your clothing or shoes which really comes in handy if you don't have a closet, like us. (see below!)

5.   Bring the Outdoors In

The IKEA PAX wardrobes I painted and added hardware to, and one of our favorite plants. 

The IKEA PAX wardrobes I painted and added hardware to, and one of our favorite plants. 

This one is super simple, but it will make all the difference. You’ve purged your belongings to only include items that fill you with joy. You’ve committed to only bringing in things that will bring joy to your home. Now, commit yourself to bringing in one more thing that will be sure to elicit joy when chosen wisely. 

Adopt some plants. There should be at least one beautiful, green or colorful LIVING thing in each room of your home. Select plants that make you feel alive, ones that you’d be proud to display in your home and that you’ll lovingly care for.

Plants are wonderful for mental health. They clean the air in your home. They liven up any room and can make guests feel more comfortable.

6.   Display Your Joy-Inducing Items

This is my FAVORITE part. You’ve done the purge and committed to respecting your home enough to only keep things that bring joy. Now you can select how to display those things.

Display artwork that makes you happy. Hang jewelry on display that makes you feel beautiful or holds sentimental value. Even a blouse or favorite scarf hanging in the right spot can add some color. 

Some of my joysperation is photos of my fam and mementos from our travels. Some photos are in antique frames, and other items in collages. I also love to read, and there are many of our favorite books displayed in our home in various places. 

The books I didn’t love or couldn’t bring myself to read past a few chapters were donated to the Denver Library and Goodwill. Someone, somewhere will love them and find them inspiring.

7.   Create a Vision Board And Hang It Up

Being in a growth mindset is so much easier if you have a Vision Board to center your focus. The purpose of a Vision Board is to bring your desires to life. 

This is a FUN activity! You'll want my free guide with 10 Tips to Create Your Vision Board (which you can download and keep right by your side during the fun!)

Create your board as if it’s a piece of art that deserves a place in your home. Hang it somewhere in plain sight as a constant reminder of what you desire and who you strive to be, what you strive to accomplish. The items and visuals on this board should always bring joy and inspiration to you, and show you who you are becoming.

What will your board entail? Where will it go? 

8.  Create A Simple, Lovely Outdoor Space

There is something calming about being outside. My favorite time of day is super early in the morning - like 5am. Everything is quiet but the birds are waking up. There is this calm feeling in the air. Your favorite time could be any time during the day or later during sunset. It’s really up to you.

I used to love to sit on my back porch early in the morning with my coffee, but my biggest regret is not creating a space that was more inviting. My deck is in plain sunlight all morning and for most of the day, so it’s really difficult to go out there in the summer without having a heat stroke or burning your feet. If I could do it again, I would put up an umbrella, or better, built the treelike I’ve wanted to build for shade, and get the table and chairs or floor pillows. 

 

9.  Claiming Your Time (And Sanity)

One of the best things I ever did for myself was to hire someone to come and clean house for us once a week. I used Handy (GREAT App!!!) to book people who could come whenever I needed help with house cleaning, laundry, cleaning out the fridge, etc. 

There was an incredibly important reason to do this: I wanted to have a successful career and to be the best person, mom and wife that I could. I felt, personally, that I couldn’t be that person if I was spending valuable time cleaning that I could have spent with my family or on my budding business. 

You don’t have to break the bank. Get someone to help you get a few hours back in your day, even if it’s every once in a while. I promise, you won’t regret it… and it kind of makes you feel a little bit more successful, doesn’t it? 

 

Did you love the tips in this post? What would you add to it?

 

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5 Things That Helped Us Pare Down

We live in a small home, and there are three of us (my husband, our 16 month old little boy) and our dog.

When we made the move from 1800 sq ft of space to 650 sq ft, we realized very quickly that we needed to pare down. STAT. Daunting... yes. Impossible... no. Compartmentalizing is key in these instances.

But, clearing clutter (literally) can help you be less overwhelmed and happier. Plus, there's less to clean up and worry about, meaning you free up more time to do what you really want to do.

1. Don't mix alcohol with The Purge. Trust me, I love a good glass of wine, especially during stressful moments. Decluttering and moving are stressful events. I HATE packing, but this is no the time to be drunk. Stay strong and get through the paring down process without the vino! You'll get sentimental, lazy, and - dare I say, weepy? You can always celebrate a job well done afterward.

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2. Take your time. I'm not the type of person who does or will ever feel good about just tossing a bunch of things all in one go. It gives me anxiety. I took the approach of instead, purging some things and then waiting a few months after we moved in to have another dedicated Declutter Day. A few months after that, repeat. I need to do things in small phases. It helps to avoid a major freak out.

Source: http://katerivonstealsnewlife.blogspot.com/2014/10/humpday-confessions-10-1-im-not.html

Source: http://katerivonstealsnewlife.blogspot.com/2014/10/humpday-confessions-10-1-im-not.html

3. Admit your weaknesses. I have major love affairs with books; in fact, buying books from Goodwill or thrift shops is one of my majorly favorite forms of therapy. When I read a book, a really good one, I'm stuck drifting through the storyline for days. I imagine all of the events happening to me. There is nothing like the smell of an old book, the feel of the crinkled pages, the sight of someone else's name etched into the inside cover. Who owned this copy of Summerland or Tales Told in Holland or The Dovekeepers?  (By the way, The Dovekeepers will make you cry your face off.) How many times did they read them? What were their favorite parts? Or did they hate them? Books are one of those items that I unabashedly bring into my home and don't get rid of. Ever. Which brings me to my next point...

My dream library!!

4. Find ways to creatively display the things you love. Living in a small house can give you urges to fold into a super clean, modern feel. Easy to clean up. Easy to organize. Easy to live in... But, if there is nothing left of you in your home, then is it worth living there? I don't feel right without some personalization, which is why we have several shelves of books creatively displayed. It has to be done. These characters, after all, have been a part of me, and I of them, at some point. And, when we host AirBnb guests, I like thinking that they can snuggle up with a book when they return from their outings at night. There are plenty of choices for them here. One woman even asked if she could take a book with her that she'd started and would send it back as soon as she was done reading it. I obliged!

All I'm saying is, personalize your space. Use colors you love. Momentos that mean a lot to you. Display your photos, ticket stubs, whatever! Your home is not really your home without you in it.

5. Reuse, recycle, donate, sell... and feel good about it! I don't know about you, but I feel better knowing that those cerulean suede peep-toe heels I bought and wore just once five years ago (seriously, back when I lived in Chicago) are now on someone's lovely feet, living a better life somewhere. They're strolling around downtown Denver, I'm sure, getting way more use than I got out of them. And a lovely lady (...or lad - no judgement here!) is getting proper use out of them, for free. There are plenty of people who are happy to buy gently used items and plenty of services will donate your belongings to those in need. See? Don't you feel better about getting rid of those things you were holding on to for so long?

6. Bring in the big guns... AKA your husband/pragmatic friend/mom/dog. When you feel like you literally can't get rid of anything, this person will ask you the hard questions. Yes, you'll hate them briefly, but they'll help you get started with the purge, at the very least.

What tips do you have for paring down your belongings to live in a small space?

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