#374: Creating Beauty with Order – An Interview with Artist Ruth Chou Simons of Gracelaced

#374: Creating Beauty with Order – An Interview with Artist Ruth Chou Simons of Gracelaced

If you long to have a life with more beauty and order in it, today’s podcast will help you on your journey. Kathi sits down with artist and author Ruth Chou Simons this week to discuss ways of creating beauty with order.  

Kathi and Ruth recognize that cluttery people often are the most creative and generous people, yet they are also plagued by perfectionism and self-doubt. Today’s episode offers powerful strategies for moving past those emotions that keep us stuck and towards beautiful order.

This episode will also introduce you to a tool that moves us towards creating beauty with order by providing space to:

  • Think about what matters most in your daily schedule.
  • Make small, doable steps towards your goals (no giant lists of panic-inducing check boxes here!)
  • Keep a record of past victories and/or future hope.
  • Take steps towards growing

Giveaway

And as a special treat we are giving away a trio of Ruth’s books! You could win a copy the GraceLaced 2020 12-Month Planner, Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship, and Beholding and Becoming: A Guided Companion.

Enter the giveaway here.

If you would like to purchase the GraceLaced 2020 12-Month Planner you can order it on AMAZON now.

 

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Meet Our Guest

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker. She shares her journey of God’s grace intersecting daily life with word and paintbrush through an online shop at GraceLaced.com and her Instagram community of more than a hundred thousand. Ruth and her husband, Troy, are grateful parents to six boys—their greatest adventure. Her first book, GraceLaced, won a 2018 Christian Book Award.

Find Ruth–her art and heart–at GraceLaced.com and at @gracelaced on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

How to Have All the Summer Fun Without Losing Your Sanity

How to Have All the Summer Fun Without Losing Your Sanity

It’s that time of year again! Summertime—the carefree days of pool splashing, popsicle eating and sleeping in.

At least for the kids.

Not so much for the parents, right?

Usually moms are the ones washing swimming suits, buying popsicles, and constantly wiping up puddles of water and dried grass from the floors. And what about the piles of sidewalk chalk and sandbox toys that have taken the place of backpacks and school books? It’s enough to make even the most patient mom long for that big yellow bus.

Let’s be honest. Getting the kids outside is a good thing, especially if their natural inclination is to sit around playing video games all day while eating junk food. But encouraging outdoor activity is also a lot more work than handing over the game controls.

With a little planning and prep, you can encourage your kids to go outside and create a system that will ultimately save time and energy for mom.

“Mom, I’m Hungry!”

Fueling up those hard-playing days often takes a lot of snacks. To ward off the question, “What can we eat?” you may want to consider labeled snack bins for both the pantry and the refrigerator. That way, mom-approved snacks will be ready for them to grab (and maybe even eat outside) without a lot of hassle.

When unloading groceries from the car, divvy up the snacks into appropriate bins. You may even want to label these according to house rules. (For example, when I was a kid, we were allowed one can of soda per day.) That way, when they’re hungry, they know what they can grab to eat without the same old “I told you — no more potato chips” argument.

Don’t forget to include some healthy treats for the freezer. I love these frozen ice pops, because you can feed an old favorite to your kids without guilt.

“I’m Bored!”

Fun Stations are bins filled with outdoor activities for kids based on their interests. They can easily be stored in the garage or the back patio. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes and other outdoor favorites can get messy and take up the entire house, if we let it. But a big bin you can grab and set outside enables them to choose which outdoor activities to indulge in without a lot of in and out.

Other Fun Stations that you may want to separate into their own bins (to contain water or sand messes):

Water toys

Sand toys

Balls

Sports activities

And the best part? All of that outdoor fun goes back into the bin for the night, ready for another sunshiny day.

Pro parent tip: periodically replace or add fun items to keep kids interested in their Fun Station bins throughout the summer.

“I can’t find my…”

During the summertime, when kids live at the swimming pool (or play nonstop with water toys in their friends’ backyards), moms can save their sanity by keeping a day’s supply of water gear in a dedicated swimming bag. You could include toiletries, a swimming suit, cover up, sunscreen, water bottle, swim passes, sunglasses, sun hat and beach towel.

If you take your kids hiking often, you can save a lot of time by having a hiking backpack ready to go whenever you are. Include a water bottle, small first aid kit, binoculars, compass, bug spray, and sunscreen. You may even want to include a book for identifying plants or birds. Summer is a break from school, but you never stop learning, right?

“I spilled glitter! And other things you never want to hear your kids say.”

Have you banned glitter from your home? Does the thought of cleaning up one more glue mess make your heart palpitate? (I can’t be the only one!)

Summer is a great time for crafts outdoors. Create a bin with all the messy stuff that makes you sprout gray hairs whenever you see it out on your dining table. If you have a craft area designated outside, your kids can glue, glitter and paint to their heart’s content and all you need to do is supply a smock to protect their clothes. Or they can make gorgeous jewelry out of all of those maddeningly tiny beads and you won’t have to vacuum them out of the carpet.

It’s a win-win! Kids get to create staggering works of art in the great outdoors and mom has minimal mess.

Messy Marvin Strikes Again

Most of us have encountered the trail of soggy towels, goggles, and swimsuits through the house after a day at the pool. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent searching for missing items to (hopefully) load into the washing machine before they stunk of mold.

You can prevent the trail of tears (er…soggy swimming attire) by creating a hanging place for wet towels and suits. Whether it’s a bona fide clothes line in your back yard or some hooks near the entryway of your house, your kids will have a place to hang all the wet things, and you’ll save yourself time by not having to search through the house to find them.

A bin by the door for flip flops and other wet, messy shoes can prevent a lot of floor cleaning too. As a bonus, everyone will be able to get into the car at the appointed time without having to search for something to put on their feet.

Nature Calls

Spending time outside improves kids’ health and their imaginations. Summertime is the perfect opportunity for them to explore, dream and try new adventures. It gives them a chance to focus on what they were created for and seek their Creator.

In her new book, This Outside Life: Finding God in the Heart of Nature, Laurie Otsby Kehler encourages us all to seek connections with our Creator and other people. She says, “Why are we so afraid? Why do we settle for reading about, talking about, but not stepping into our own adventures of faith?” Laurie’s new book is perfect for summer reading. And with a little planning and prep for your kids, you’ll have more time to spend turning pages while sitting by the pool. And who knows? You might even have time for a water war or an outdoor finger-painting session with your little adventurers.

Comment below for the opportunity to win! We will be giving away one Grand Prize Package- A copy of This Outside Life, a Sling Backpack, compact binoculars, and a reusable water bottle. Five Runner Ups will win a copy of This Outside Life.

    

 

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

The One Thing Every Successful Woman (I’ve Ever Met) Does

I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. (And when I say lucky, I mean fortunate.)

I have a career I love, one with purpose and meaning and serves God in a way I was created for, people I love working with, and enough income to not stay up late at night worrying about how we are going to pay the bills (most nights, that is).

But let’s be clear… my life was not always this way.

I spent most of my twenties and thirties living paycheck to paycheck, in a job that had no potential, loving some of my coworkers but barely tolerating some of the people I worked with.

Some of that was just finding my place in the world – it’s what a lot of 20 and some 30-year-olds do. But part of it was not really believing I could be successful in what I wanted to do in my life. It was easier (and safer) to just do the day to day and survive instead of having a hope for a better, more successful future.

When did things finally begin to turn around for me? Was it a job promotion or a new opportunity?

No – it was a planner.

It was a simple, paper planner that, for the first time, I actually used to plan what I was going to accomplish instead of using it like a calendar.

I started to write down my dreams and started turning those into goals.

And this is what I’ve noticed with every successful woman I’ve ever worked with:

Most of them have great teams of people.

Most of them get up early to attack their day.

Most of them have supportive family and friends to encourage them.

But all of them take time away from their crazy, busy, jam-packed days to pull back and plan for what they want.

How to Pull Back and Plan

I call it Pull Back Planning because I have to be intentional about pulling back from my regular life and setting that time aside to plan for my day, my week, my month, my year, and yes, my whole life.

Each day, before I end work, I take a look at what is coming tomorrow to see what I need to plan for, pray for and do. I apply the same principle to my week, month and year.

I love what Dave Ramsey says about budgets: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It’s the same with a planner – a planner will help you tell your time where it goes instead of wondering where it went.

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

I love that verse. But we have to know what we are planning to do in order to pray about it and commit it to God.

I want to give my readers the opportunity to try this out.

My favorite planner this year is Valorie Burton’s The Successful Woman Planner. I love the motivating, clarifying quotes placed throughout the week-at-a-glance page layout, and that Valorie (one of the most successful women I know) has shared her wisdom throughout those pages. It is my go-to planner for 2019. 

In order to be entered to win a copy of Valorie’s planner and a $50 gift card to Office Max, simply comment below and tell us the next step to success you want to take.

Offer open to US residents only.

Deadline to enter: January 30, 2019.

A bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach who has served clients in over 40 states and eight countries, Valorie Burton has written nine books on personal development, including Successful Women Think Differently and Happy Women Live Better. She is the founder of The CaPP Institute, providing tools and training that build resilience, well-being, and productivity for life and work.

She has been a regular contributor on CNN, HLN, and the Today show, where she gives practical career and life advice. She has also been featured in and on The Dr. Oz Show, NPR, Oprah Radio, Ebony, Essence, “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and hundreds of others. Valorie’s corporate clientele includes multi-million dollar businesses such as Accenture, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Deloitte, General Mills, McDonalds Corp., and many more.

Join 25,000 subscribers to her weekly e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com and visit her company site at www.cappinstitute.com.

www.valorieburton.com

 

When You Don’t Know Where to Start: Handling a Whole House Clutter Makeover Like a Pro

When You Don’t Know Where to Start: Handling a Whole House Clutter Makeover Like a Pro

When You Don’t Know Where to Start: Handling a Whole House Clutter Makeover Like a Pro

house makeover

Tackling the whole house at once? Oh that can feel so overwhelming. Whether it’s a move you are excited for or one that is out of necessity, you don’t want to move the clutter with you. Today we talk about how to strategically get rid of what you don’t need to box up and move. If you aren’t moving but you have just had it with the clutter messing up every room? Well this one is for you too.

You don’t have to feel held hostage by your clutter one more day and you definitely don’t have to move it to your new place.

BONUS Episode #316b- Organizing Genius: How to be Creative and Organized at the Same Time

BONUS Episode #316b- Organizing Genius: How to be Creative and Organized at the Same Time

Those of us who are the most creative also are usually the ones who have the hardest time finding our tools to get our genius on. In this bonus episode of Clutter Free Academy, join Kathi as she chats with author of Simple Organizing Melissa Michaels as she discusses the key to being organized and creative at the same time (it really is possible)!

Melissa is the New York Times Best Selling author and super blogger at The Inspired Room. She has dedicated much of her time to making sure that we can live with order and structure, but still have a house that reflects who you are.

In this info-filled interview, you will learn how to
• make the most of the space you have
• understanding when to display what you love and when to contain the clutter
• stop feeling overwhelmed by your stuff

I’m thrilled to have Melissa on the podcast – so buckle up those kiddos, grab your phone and let’s dive in.

Insider Info

Want to be entered to win the Harvest House Simple Organizing Grand Prize pack? You’ll win everything you see below including a copy of every Melissa Michaels’ books!

Head over to the blog and enter to win!

Free Organizing Challenge

Participate in Harvest House’ free organizing challenge hosted at https://go.harvesthousepublishers.com/simpleorganizing.

This four-week challenge goes through: 1. The entryway, 2. The kitchen, 3. Office and creative spaces, and 4. Kid’s rooms. Each week includes organizing tips for that space, and then a practical DIY (weekend project) to tackle. The whole challenge is focused on organizing beautifully. Who doesn’t want that?

Meet Our Guest

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels, Creator of the award-winning blog The Inspired Room, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Love The Home You Have, Make Room for What You Love, The Inspired Room coffee table book, and Simple Decorating.

Learn more at https://theinspiredroom.net/

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:
• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:
• Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
• Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

Special thanks to Melissa for joining me this week. Next week you’ll want to come back because we have Ruth Chou Simons of Gracelaced joining the podcast!

Eps: #316: Simple Organizing with Melissa Michaels of the Inspired Room

Eps: #316: Simple Organizing with Melissa Michaels of the Inspired Room

If you long to be organized, but also want a space that is cute and cozy, this is the podcast for you. Listen in for all the tips and tricks that will help you create the space you love to live in.

Melissa is the New York Times Best Selling author and super blogger at The Inspired Room. She has dedicated much of her time to making sure that we can live with order and and structure, but still have a house that reflects who you are.

In this info-filled interview, you will learn how to
• make the most of the space you have
• understanding when to display what you love and when to contain the clutter
• stop feeling overwhelmed by your stuff

I’m thrilled to have Melissa on the podcast – so buckle up those kiddos, grab your phone and let’s dive in.

A HUGE GIVEAWAY FROM HARVEST HOUSE!

Want to be entered to win the Harvest House Simple Organizing Grand Prize pack? You’ll win everything you see below including a copy of every Melissa Michaels’ books!

Head over to the blog and enter to win!

Meet Our Guest

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels, Creator of the award-winning blog The Inspired Room, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Love The Home You Have, Make Room for What You Love, The Inspired Room coffee table book, and Simple Decorating.

Learn more at https://theinspiredroom.net/

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:
• Leave a note in the comment section below.
• Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:
• Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
• Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe now.

Special thanks to Melissa Michaels for joining me this week. Come back on Thursday for a special BONUS episode!

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