Monday, April 21, 2014

3 ways to simplify your life without getting rid of anything

I don't even know where to begin with how to give you motivation to simplify your life but I know some people who do. The word minimalism has been floating around for a while now. I used to be really scared of it. I thought if you were a minimalist it was a competition of who could have the least amount of things. Who could live in the smallest box, who could drive the smallest car. 

But it's not!!!! Thanks to a blog called becoming minimalist I have realized that it is for families and that it is different for every family. I have enjoyed getting rid of things and realizing I don't need as many physical things. Sometimes though it's just too scary to take things to the thrift store. If you need a jump start to spring cleaning try getting rid of things that aren't things. 

Yup you heard me right. Here are 3 ways to simplify your life without leaving your house. 

1. Simplify Facebook. 

I know you check it only 3 times a day... But do you really need to know what your cousins, sisters, aunts, dog is doing? What about that kid you had one class with and never talked to but still keep around as a friend because you don't want to hurt their feelings but they post crazy things? 

Ya we all got crazy people we somehow ended up friends with on Facebook (hey I might even be one of them!) checking your Facebook is so much easier if you FOLLOW less people. See image below...
You can stop following people (ps I still follow becoming minimalist.) by following less people I spend less time on Facebook. My news feed is way smaller. 

How did I choose who to stop following? I simply opened up my Facebook and immediately noticed my news feed bogged down with things I didn't need to see. 

People I don't follow... 

People I don't actually know and post inappropriate things/weird things... ya...

The constant complainer. 

The every 10 minute updater 

I'm sure you thought of a few people to unfollow. 

The people I do follow:

Happy people. 

People who post recipes, news updates, interesting articles. 

People I actually know :) 

If you aren't sure who to stop following here is a song to help you out…
the best part is they can't see if you aren't following them anymore.




2. Simplify movies! 

Adam and I used to have a lot of movies. But guess what we realized? Everytime we want to watch a movie we never reach for our library of movies. It's usually a redbox or a Netflix. 

The movies we kept are kid movies for our children and classics. You know like nacho libre and princess bride. Now sorry I know I said things you didn't have to get rid of. But stop collecting movies. You'll thank me later. 



3. Simplify your phone. 

How many apps do you have? How many do you use? How many are you getting notifications for? 

I just shut off notifications for my emails. Life changing. Now I see my email when I want to get to it. That also works great for me because I eBay and I get seriously probably at least 20 emails a day (I've never actually counted) just for that and I'm a stay at home mom. Your email can wait. I read that after checking your email often or even texts it takes you 7 minutes to get fully back on task... How many times do you check it a day? 

Hopefully these were helpful. Again simplifying is totally changing my life. I'll do a post soon about getting rid of things. The castle of Hassell is thriving with less and feelin even richer! 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Ah spring!

Is it really march?!?? Time is passing by so quickly. I'm writing this at 3:00 in the morning because my babies don't want to sleep so if this doesn't make sense I'm sure I'll edit it sometime tomorrow. 

First off I had a makeover for my rocking chair... 

And here is the after. ..
There is a awesome lady close by who has a house and paints! Someday I'll have a house an be able to paint! But for the mean time I did not mind paying her to paint my chair. I got the cushions from target :)

Adam spent his "spring break" working on his CNA. He is going to be completely done with all the certifications this weekend. We feel so much better about PA school than we ever did about vet school. It's crazy how we were led to this path. 

This past weekend we also got to celebrate our March babies in the family! It was the only time we could all be together this month. It's amazing how everyone becoming adults does that. 
Happy birthday mom! 
And Garett! 
And Joslyn! 

During spring break we got to go to the park a lot. Although in bountiful it was pretty lonely Thayne liked to take pictures. He loves selfies. 

I am still decluttering and feel like someday the house will be just right to show off. I have come such a long way it's amazing. I love getting rid of things. 
So that's what we have been up to and hopefully I'll get to go to bed soon...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's and painting crafts

I've missed my blog. 
I always feel I don't have anything cool to write or anything to show.
These two babies keep me pretty busy.

Don't mind the iphone pictures...
this is our Valentine's day. Adam and I got to celebrate on Wednesday together. 
We aren't much of V-day people so grandma (and grandpa) bringing the cake was very exciting!


Thayne had to get frosting everywhere. He smeared it all over his little face and even put some on my nose. I made him this "big dada" heart on his tummy. 
The kids are growing up too fast. I have tried my hardest to enjoy the moments while I can.
Life gets chaotic but in all honesty I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love crafting but lately I have been decluttering and minimizing. 

Crafting=clutter + lots of I-might-need-that-for-something-I-saw-on-pinterest's

But I have to create. So I struck a compromise with myself. What if I do crafts that I already sort of have? Or get rid of ones I don't want anymore to finally make room for new ideas?

I'm doing it! 
I have taken pictures of our apartment but I keep changing it. 

For now this is my latest craft.


Painting! I need to be better at before and after pictures. Because my fridge looked ridiculous. Its amazing what frames can do. I will probably change it up again but for now this is what it looks like.

I saw this on pinterest and thought it was so cool I have Adam's schedule (I have to have it up I can't ever remember when his classes and labs are). I also decided I am in love with this blue right now so I brought it through out the living area.
Thayne and I painted this star and Lindsey helped me make the paint chip calender. I am in the process of moving these especially the calender so I will use it more because I decluttered and now that isn't my "command center" anymore. 


I also (with the help of Lindsey :) ) did this pinterest find. I love being able to display all my bracelets and necklaces. I want to make it more orderly I'll probably get rid of more things too. 
It's just two thrifted china plates and a candlestick holder. I don't even have it glued together :)

So for now I am trying to live a simplier life I read a great decluttering book, Clutterfree with Kids:Change your Thinking 

You can find it here on Amazon.

Every time I picked it up I had to quickly put it down because I wanted to get rid of things. It gave me some great momentum. Right now my goal is to get my kitchen minimized. What do I really need? If you think minimalism isn't for families this book will definitely change your mind. If you think minimalism is crazy this will change your mind. If you are scared to try it this will give you some strength. Our whole fam has some new friends (shout out to Taffee!). They are teaching us so much about simplier living and a clutter free life. They have 3 1/2 babies!!! and live in an apartment!!! I don't think I will ever be able to get rid of as much stuff as them however this book helped me realize that needs are an individual thing. And that I can choose my own level of minimalism if you will. 

So far I have gotten rid of toys lots and lots of toys and guess what? Thayne my 2 1/2 year old plays with toys better. He also reads more books BY HIMSELF. He and Joslyn both still have a ton of toys but getting rid of toys is actually much harder than I thought. 

I will have to tell you more about my journey in simplifying my life. I feel like I finally have some real momentum I don't want my stuff to own me. 




Saturday, January 11, 2014

I am beautiful

I am beautiful.
When was the last time you told yourself that?
Ummm… never?
Thats what I would have told you as well not very long ago. 

This is not an easy post to write looks are something very sensitive to me. 
Maybe you are sexy and you know it but for me looks are something I had 
to learn about.

Heres a little story about my beauty journey. 

Once upon a time there was a little girl who didn't have a care in the world.
She loved her overalls and cowgirl hat. She would wear them everyday if she could.
Then came along this mysterious journey called "middle school".
She thought it would be so fun to be out of elementary school.
What she found out was that "play time" was over. 
Hanging out was the cool thing to do. 
Short, shorts and bras were all new and weird.
Girls wore strange markings on their faces and boys seemed to notice them.
This girl rebelled she wore a white shirt and shorts probably everyday. 
She wore some sort of sports bra so she could fit in (although she definitely didn't need it)

Things were going great until this thing called Freshman year snuck up on her.
She was blasted by the world. All her friends called her a surf board. (flat)
She bought padding though she didn't like it. Her friends added strange markings to her eyes (that she actually didn't mind). But that was all she would allow.
They tried to get her to wear less clothing.
She stayed firm to staying modest. 

This little girl was not a little girl anymore she was a teenager. 
Which apparently means you have to be a woman 
(I would say lady but most teenagers are anything but ladies)
This girl realized quickly that being whistled at wasn't a compliment.
She realized this creatures making strange calls to her were of a different breed 
than her.
They hail from the land of Jerks-are-a-dime-a-dozen.
We will call these people simply "Jerks" 

But seriously…

These Jerks were college aged boys at SDSU. At 14 years old I knew Jerks would whistle at
any girl. They were hardly ever sober and I always wished they would just stay on campus.
I hated walking anywhere near their houses they lived in. 
It wasn't because this girl was doing anything particularly impressive to them. 
It was all simply because I was a girl. 
I didn't feel more beautiful by them "cat calling" at me. 
I knew that boys did that because they thought a girl was "hott"and I knew I wasn't because
boys my age didn't even know I existed.
What I did feel was degraded.

I was all too happy to move away from SDSU. 
I then moved to Idaho.
Boys started to notice me. Apparently modesty is common in Idaho. 
I bought some high heels and welcomed this new attention. 
I still only wore just eye makeup and still was pretty tom boy in every aspect of my life. I really only 
dressed nice for sunday. 

Then I took a fashion class.
All the magazines told me I should have a perfect hourglass shape (but still be skinny).
These magazines showed that I should wear nicer clothes to school.
Do my hair cute everyday (WHAT!?!?)
These magazines told me I should be taller 
that I should want to be popular.
Oh and that my nose was not up to par.

So I tried. I changed out my flip flops for high heels.
Wore my nicer clothes to school
hung out with girls who were worried about appearances.
I wore lots of makeup.
(don't worry if you went to high school with me and don't remember this phase it didn't last very long)
I also was self conscious about my nose.
I quickly realized this wasn't me and dropped the act sort of.

Oh dating…
you have to be cute enough to get guys to ask you out. 
So I tried to find a balance. 
But then I found another Jerk. They're everywhere girls!

This Jerk was sneaky.
He was handsome. He was very wanted and for some odd reason he took a fancy to me. 
(for you younger folks that means he liked me)
I was really surprised. I paintballed on the weekends, snowboarded, played video games. I didn't wear a lot of makeup and I definitely didn't do my hair all fancy.
Needless to say I was not his typical girl to like. 

I was flattered. I felt "pretty".
Then it started happening… 
he wanted me to change. 
"You should wear more makeup" 
so I did.
"You should stop singing"
so I did.
"You shouldn't say that"
so I didn't
"You shouldn't do this…or that"
so I didn't
Little by little the "prettiness" I had felt had gone away.
I felt like I had to keep up some act. 
FAKE
Luckily he told me he didn't want a girlfriend and we parted ways.

Thats when I learned there are different types of Jerks.

I should throw this out there that this young man is a great guy and I hope he has no idea what he did.
He didn't know I went years not being able to stand to look at myself in a mirror.
He didn't know that it would be years later that I would sing again.
He didn't know that I felt like a horrible person because I said something "wrong".

I once cut my beautiful long locks off to do a risky pixie cut.
I went in full of confidence. 
I came out excited about my new hair cut.
I went home and studied it in the mirror. 
I decided I didn't like it. I was self conscious about it. 

Then it happened,
 I got made fun of. 
Behind my back.
"looks like a boy" 
I found out about it and it hurt me really bad. 
(Girls are can be so mean)
I let what these girls were saying about me make me feel terrible about myself and my looks.

My hair grew back I left high school 
and 
actually cut my hair short again but this time 
I decided I liked it. Maybe people made fun of me for it again but I didn't care I liked it.

One thing that I had a hard time getting over and still hate is acne.
I missed school several times because my acne was so bad I couldn't bear to go out.
Countless tears were shed many nights wasted to feeling sorry for myself.
I felt people would laugh at me and make fun of me.
I didn't feel "pretty". 
I even had a 10 year old tell me I should try pro-activ. 
Of course I had already tried it!!! 
I couldn't help but cry. 
I think my acne is what got me the most. 
How could you be confident with a pizza face?

Luckily in college I became smarter.
I realized that society told us girls that our beauty is valued on whether boys think you are pretty.
(Or apparently what other girls think).
My wonderful mother told me I was beautiful everyday.
My reply was always "you have to tell me that you are my mom".
Something I didn't realize was that my mother knew that the rest of the world would be telling me I was ugly so someone had to tell me that I beautiful.

During college I slowly but surely became a lady. 
A lady that snowboarded, drove a Jeep, and still could beat your butt at ping pong.
Then I met a man.
A real gentleman.
He loved that I snowboarded. 
He loved that I didn't wear a lot of makeup.
He loved that I was good at ping pong and that he can't beat me…
(ok he would love to beat me at ping pong but he never will)
He loved everything about me.

He has taught me so much 
He taught me to not let acne limit me.
He taught me what true love is.
He taught me not to care what others think.
He taught me to love myself.

Why is this so important?
Because how can we love others if we can't love ourselves?
How can we forgive others if we can't forgive ourselves?
How can we find beauty in others if we can't find beauty within ourselves?

I now can look at myself in the mirror and love myself for who I am.
I have acne scars on my face that may never disappear.
I have one eye brow that raises up and I can't raise the other one.
I have wrinkles forming and I am learning to embrace them.
I have stretch marks once glowing purple are now fading and becoming apart of who I am.
I have a body shape that is not the "ideal".
I am 5'4.
I have a nose that is definitely unique. 

I love my flaws it means I'm real.
It means I'm living.
It means I'm trying new things.
There is more to life than looks 
I don't let looks define me.




I am beautiful.

Not because people tell me I am. 
But because I am beautiful to me.

I want to share this video because I think she is beautiful. 
Not because she is beautiful in the way the world looks at beauty but because 
she is real, she accepts herself. 
She is confident and strong. 
She is also my same age. 
I give you Lizzie Velasquez.
If you haven't watched this video please watch it! 


This same society that has made us want to become things we are not has also taught us if we 
love ourselves and think we beautiful we must be conceited. 
I am most definitely not conceited in fact
I will be the first one to point out everything I have wrong.
I am saying to feel comfortable with yourself kind of beauty. 
To not be embarrassed of yourself.

How I look doesn't define me. 
I'm grateful for a husband who can love the real natural me. 
And doesn't expect me to be super fake.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 
Tell yourself you are beautiful find beauty in others. 

Lets stop chasing this "ideal" of beauty we have in our heads that is all wrong. 

Don't be afraid of mirrors or pictures of yourself because you aren't perfect.
Because your perception of beauty is in a magazine.
Be comfortable with you and others will learn to be comfortable with you too.
And will begin to see your beauty.

You are Beautiful!





Monday, January 6, 2014

Bye bye 2013

2013 was a crazy year.

We managed to be in Logan the whole year and plan on being in our same apartment for at least another 6 months. (That's when our lease is up). I'm hoping to not have to move for a little while. 

Somehow we survive every month with Adam working a good job for a student. Adam has a vet school interview on the 21st of this month. Although he is now thinking he would like to go to PA school. (He would make a lot more money and have less school debt and be done with school faster. ) He is so smart and hard working I know he can do whatever he sets his mind to. 



Thayne is 2 1/2 and is a riot. He is pretty well behaved but definitely can get into some mischief. He loves trains, boats, tractors, cars. If you think it's because we programmed him that way you are dead wrong. He has grown up around dolls and stuffed animals and even had a thing for tangled for awhile but that ship has sailed. His fav movie right now is excuse me 2 (despicable me 2). He is excellent at singing and dancing. He knows almost the whole alphabet and could careless about his bed. (He likes to sleep on the floor next to me right now)

Joslyn is the toughest little gal I know. She loves anything Thayne is into and is a crawling machine. She likes to stand but not taking steps (which I don't mind). She loves smiling and laughing. She is 9 months old but already her little personality is shining through. 

As for me I'm pretty boring. I still love the same stuff. I am in a yw presidency at the moment and enjoy my girls so much. Adam and I made a goal to ski at least once a month in the winter and so far so good. We have been twice. Although we might even get to go twice this month. We want to take thayne at least once too. I'm thinking about getting my personal trainer certificate in April  so I can work a little too. 


I think that's about it for us! Here's to 2014. Come see us in Logan! 

My New Years resolutions

I know I'm tardy to the party.

New year has come and gone. But I made some new year resolutions that will actually be doable and hopefully life changing in baby steps. Because that's how we grow. Think if your five year old told you "my New Years resolution is to learn calculus this year". Could they do it? Maybe but highly unlikely. Maybe counting to 100 would be a better New Years resolution. Best would be if there was a plan in that resolution. Learn to count to 10 one month, 20 the next, 30, and so on. Until they had counting to 100 down. Seems totally doable and easy right? (Hopefully you can already count to 100)
In adult terms don't do something that involves being amazing from scratch or quitting cold turkey. 

These are the ones I am working on in baby steps.

Instead of yelling at my child. I will step away and yell into a pillow. I found this one on a news article and I really liked it. It would be easy to say I will never yell again. Sure. Maybe for some of you that's easy I know myself too well. I will yell I just have a plan for yelling. 

Eating more raw vegetables. A common New Years resolution is to say I will eat healthy this year. Ok what does that mean? I have already eat mostly whole grains and I avoid junk food. But this is something I want to work on. 

Be on Facebook less. I haven't quite figured out what that means yet. I want to make it so I only check it twice a day. To help me do this I have decided that every time I check Facebook I have to read two pages out of the scriptures. I have been on there less I believe. It will definitely take some getting used to. I made this one my big challenge. Because I think if I am on FB less I will also be on Pinterest less. I made this list of what was important to me.
Guess what isn't on there? Facebook! I am not saying Facebook is bad or we shouldn't ever check it out. But if it isn't in my top ten things that are important to me shouldn't I give it less time? Think how many push ups you could get done if you exchanged exercise time and Facebook time. 

That's all I have so far. 3 big things. I think I can do it :) 
What resolutions did you make? 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The most important Christmas gift

Well one thing you should know about me is that I wasn't allowed to wrap gifts when I was younger. Not because my mother was afraid I would tell the reciever what they were getting, 
but because I was horrible at wrapping. 
Even when I was in high school and ok even as an adult. 
Finally I think I am decent enough to wrap my children's gift. 

This year though I wrapped the most important gift I will ever wrap. 
I carefully wrapped the gift and used heavy duty shipping tape to insure that this wrapped gift 
will stand the test of time. 
I wanted beautiful paper and a beautiful tag (although I'm sure the tag will go missing as soon as its under the tree).
Even with a missing tag this gift will be one that everyone will know who it is for. 
So who is this gift for? 
Why is it the most important gift?


Here is my present…


The first thing my two year old noticed about the box was the hole. 
He peeked inside… "all gone!" He shouted.
I told him it is all gone until we fill it. 

This special carefully wrapped box is empty yet it the most important present under the tree.
You see my mom started a tradition in our family of having a present like this under the tree and 
each Christmas we write on a sticky note what we are
giving the Savior for His birthday.
Some years we gave him multiple things, some years my mom had to beg us to write just one thing.
We always gave Him something. 
I remember one year writing I will try not to hit Garett or Lauren for a week. 
Apparently that was a really hard thing to do. 
We always did realistic gifts. 
That was key to the success of giving a gift to Jesus every year. 

To do this tradition simply write what you plan to give to Jesus on His birthday. 
You can choose to write your name on it or not.
On Christmas Day you can read them and ponder how well you "gave" your gift.
Or you can choose to have a smaller hole and keep the gifts to yourselves but write down in 
your journals how well the gift was completed. 
I preferred to read them and not have our names on them. 
(Although it can be obvious whose was whose)

Some examples of gifts:

Visiting lonely elderly
Having a family over for dinner
Changing a habit
Making a habit
Give a physical gift to someone
Be nicer to someone at school/work
Have meaningful conversation with a stranger and get to know them

There are many gifts to give the Savior. 
He isn't here in the flesh at this time on the Earth.
He needs us to do His work. 
So this year i decided it is time for us to have our own gift to Jesus 
under our tree. 
I don't think this is a tradition you can start too early or late. 
If my 2 year old can wonder and ask about an "empty box" then I'm sure your children, spouse, room mates, ect. can wonder about it too. 

I have read many things about Christmas as pertaining how to keep the true meaning of the season. 
I very much enjoyed this blog post here about Mr. Claus 
It is how we are choosing to present Santa. 
I believe that Santa should not take over Christmas but should be used as a tool
in teaching our children about giving. Of course my little man is going to get excited over gifts 
rather than the little baby Jesus. However as he gets older he can understand the true meaning.
It is up to Adam and I to make sure we live our lives in such a way that he can know baby Jesus
is so much more than just a little baby. 
 But for now I will let him wonder about the box that we fill with papers. 



I am grateful for my Savior. I hope when people see me they know I have been touched by 
His light. I hope to share that light with others. 
I know he died for me, I know he died for you. 
But He also lives for me, He also lives for you! 
He may not walk among us but I believe someday He will come again. 
I plan on growing, learning, and becoming more like Him.
I challenge you to do some kind of variation of this tradition. It has helped us stay focused on Christ. 
I love my Savior very much and want to wish 
Him a happy birthday! 

Merry Christmas!