5 Steps to Simplify Your Life & Home

"Many of our decisions to add things we think we need in our home or will enjoy in life are the cause of additional clutter and stress. It’s become almost second nature in our culture to think we are going to enhance our life with something new when inadvertently we have made it more complicated.” —Make Room for What You Love book, Melissa Michaels

“Many of our decisions to add things we think we need in our home or will enjoy in life are the cause of additional clutter and stress. It’s become almost second nature in our culture to think we are going to enhance our life with something new when inadvertently we have made it more complicated.”

Make Room for What You Love, Melissa Michaels

Clutter is a Stealer of joy

Clutter threatens to suck the life right out of us, doesn’t it?

How can we start to simplify our home and begin to take our life back? Today I’m sharing 5 Steps to a Simplified Home, an excerpt from my brand new book, Make Room For What You Love (which is releasing at bookstores TOMORROW!) over at >> The Decluttered Home. <<

Click the following link to read the book excerpt! >>The Decluttered Home.

Also, May 1 on my Instagram (theinspiredroom) you’ll find a fun giveaway for 20 signed copies of Make Room for What You Love, sponsored by Uncle Bob’s Storage (The Decluttered Home), signed and mailed to you from me! <3

Follow me on Instagram (theinspiredroom) to find the giveaway starting tomorrow, May 1-15, and be sure to check out the specific giveaway details on my post today by clicking here >> giveaway rules.

Make Room for What You Love - The Inspired Room - Giveaway

{Inspired By} Outdoor Daybeds

Hanging Outdoor Daybed - BHGBHG

I‘ve been in an outdoor daybed sort of mood lately. Not sure what that means, exactly, but I guess it at least means I must be in the mood to get comfy and take a nap outside? Actually, that really sounds good to me.

Today I am sharing just a few images of outdoor daybeds, two hanging and one not, that have inspired me to dream about making my outdoor space extra cozy with a daybed!

Outdoor Daybed BHGBHG

Outdoor Daybed Porch Swing - Design by Cortney Bishop - Coastal LivingCoastal Living / Cortney Bishop

On a related note (as I shared on Instagram and might even show you live on Snapchat!) I am delighted to have recently discovered that there are lilac trees/bushes in our yard! One is an ombré purple lilac (basically probably two trees twisted together) and the other is a white lilac.

Lilacs - The Inspired Room blog

Lilacs

Both smell divine. I wish these were scratch and sniff, but trust me on it. A nap on a daybed near a lilac tree would be a spring dream. Unless you are allergic to lilacs, then maybe not. Fortunately, I don’t have allergies, so I’d love it!

Happy Thursday!

Finding More Hours In The Day {Meal Planning}

The Inspired Room - Blue Apron Recipes

This post was prepared in partnership with Blue Apron

The past few weeks have been a little crazy around our house! Between being book writing and book launching seasons, all the house projects I have going on and church stuff we are involved with, our family has been in one of those extra busy times. Those come along now and then (or a lot) for most of us who have a lot on our plate and if we want to stay sane, we have to get really good at juggling if we want to try to find some sense of “balance.”

I wrote a lot in my new book about how I have learned ways to create a more peaceful home and how I attempt calm the chaos of life. The good news is, I know it IS possible to juggle a lot and not feel totally frazzled at all times.

Juggling the plates well doesn’t mean you live a life of domestic bliss or that everything will be easy peasy, because perfect doesn’t really exist. You just have to know what to trim out so you can focus your energy on what really matters to you. That’s my thing. I am learning and training myself to be pretty deliberate about where I spend my time and how I can do what I really love in life and not feel like I’m dropping too many balls.

Blue Apron Fresh Ingredients - The Inspired Room

One of the areas I try to streamline as much as possible now is time spent on meal prep and shopping. We stick to our basic tried and true recipes that we can prepare easily and we know what to shop for, so we can buy mostly fresh produce and meats to keep our meals healthy and simple. I try to simplify our activities and schedules as much as possible because I want to have the maximum amount of time with our family. I just hate to waste any of it by being disorganized. Time is precious and how we spend it matters!

Panko Crusted Chicken from Blue Apron

Yet, I find that when we are extra busy and we dropped the ball on a plan for those days, we end up going out to eat more than I wish we did. Because it is easier. And we are hungry. And no one thought about dinner for that night until everyone is starving and crabby.

Usually my teen son is the first one to venture out to the kitchen and notes that no one is making dinner! Ha. He can cook for himself, but as a teen boy he’s always hungry and looking forward to the next meal. That’s something that matters to me, that we have family meal times and no one is eating on their own all the time.

Blue Apron Recipe Instructions Card

Those super busy days come every single week at our house, I’ll be honest, so they shouldn’t be a surprise. Yet if we treat them like a surprise, we will realize too late that we are hungry and we have to go out, or we will eat eggs again. Those situations happen because I didn’t plan for an in-between option. That is, planning on something for dinner that would be in between eating eggs again and going out.

Ingredients - Blue Apron

I learned years ago that if I wanted to save time and money, I absolutely had to plan for in-between options. In my dreams I would prepare food in advance for busy days and always be on top of my shopping game, but in reality with my schedule I’m not always able to set aside time for that, nor do I love shopping and cooking enough to make it a big priority every week. But if I plan for easy in-between options, it always saves the day and saves us money in the end because we didn’t have to go to a restaurant in order to eat well at home. And we didn’t have to resort to take out!

Blue Apron - by The Inspired Room
Meal services are the best invention. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried Blue Apron, but I love it because they deliver farm-fresh quality ingredients for a wonderful meal right to your door in a refrigerated box! You get to enjoy a delicious meal that you still prepare fresh at home, but all the indecision is out of the way so you can get right to preparing.

Blue Apron - Dining Room - The Inspired Room blog

It’s easy! Everything you need is ready to go, the recipe cards tell you exactly what to do and within a short period of time and just a little preparation, you are sitting at the table with your family eating something yummy for your tummy. I love getting to try a new recipe too. The meals are all delicious and I always come away with a new favorite recipe I never would have tried on my own.

Blue Apron Recipe - The Inspired Room Dining Room

Ordering even just one meal a week can be the perfect in-between option so you have a plan for for your busiest day, or even give you a day or two off every week of wondering or shopping for what you’ll eat for dinner and stressing out that you have no idea and no time to deal with it.

You can order just what you need with a two-person meal or a family plan. Each meal takes under 40 minutes to prepare. Check out their yummy chef-designed recipes here!

Best of all, you can give yourself a break! Sound heavenly? It is! Blue Apron nights could even be your favorite night of the week and something to look forward to (in addition to binge watching Fixer Upper, of course).

Want to try it for yourself? 

  • The first 50 readers to sign up will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order!

  • Just click here to get started! There is no commitment and you can cancel the service at any time.

What are your tips for finding more hours in the day?

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