Thursday, August 30, 2018

LIVING WITH LESS

I’m so busy. You’re so busy! There’s so much to do. Not enough time in the day. I might be able to come, but I cannot commit. [Legit screaming inside] We are all so busy, busy, crazy busy doing things and aren’t we just unfulfilled with our collective busyness … yours, theirs, ours. Why are we so busy?

Are we even doing what we really care about in our busyness and with who we love?! Or is it all about proving ourselves, piling it on, catching up, falling behind, and waking up tired to do it all over again – the proverbial rat race.

Friend, we deserve more for ourselves and the people and things we love.

I was going to give you five creative ways to end your busyness or a list of things to do so you can do less, but in the interest of keeping you less busy right away, let’s cut to the chase. Yes, there are things to do, but I know none of us want to be completely immersed (read: lost) in our busyness.

We want more time to read books, hug kids, take walks, see the world, heck - just see our neighborhood, give back, make art, pet puppies, watch paint dry, do nothing, and most of all, breathe.

I’m learning to live with less which is seemingly creating time and space to discover what really matters. I declutter and purge at least monthly, a trunk full of things that had been taking up space in my home without adding any value to our lives. By decluttering, and focusing on the best things instead of all the things, our home feels less stressful and more spacey.

If you are overwhelmed and under-inspired, I know how you feel. I’ve been there. I’ve worked too hard, spent too much, and slept too little. I spent much of my adult life tired, full, overwhelmed and sick. Society teaches us that more of everything will fill our proverbial voids, but I’m on to them and I’m here to tell you that it’s a lie. There is significant joy in less and in living a meaningful life.

Living more with less gives you space, time and love to remember who you are. Living with less clutter, busyness, and stress will help you make the room to do what you need to do. Simplifying my life gave me the space, time, and love to be more me, and the following practices led me back.

If you’re new here, I’m Mandi Roach and this lifestyle blog is my story and my way of encouraging you to be kind to yourself, lean in on your faith, love people, and live a meaningful life. I am a Christian and regardless of what you believe, you are welcome here. I will nudge you to discover the joy in owning/doing less, and then preach it back to me weekly. Too, I am a wife, a mother, a writer and photographer. I love yoga, reading, cooking, eating, and to be brutally honest, I love eating more than I do cooking. Hiking is my jam, and I still haven’t decided if I’m a mountain girl or a beach girl.

In 2016, I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. While it doesn’t define me or this blog, it certainly made a huge impact on my life. Sometimes I share the lessons a life changing diagnosis delivers, including living greener and toxin-free. The past few years have been an incredible journey of love, health, and simplicity, and I’m so grateful to be on this path.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

DARLING, YOU ARE MORE THAN THE SUM OF YOUR LIKES



I could give two hoots about the algorithm or trolls or monetizing. I can’t be bothered with making sure everyone see my posts or likes them or, even better, likes me. Or if my following is increasing/declining or if my filters are all in-sync or if my feed is maintaining the same look or theme or vibe. Blah. I don't have the energy for it. Because it means very little to me but this community is still my chorus.

Life feels fragile. My kids are growing at lightening speed, as I am -- so I just wanna document my ordinary here & write from my heart's riverbank & love the ones at my table well & invite you all in along the way. 



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

SAYING NO WON'T KILL YOU



I know you have a big heart and you spend a lot of your time helping everyone else, but I want to remind you about the power of saying "no". 

It's hard to say no, especially to the people you love, like your family and close friends. But do you know that learning to say "no" makes your "yes" even stronger?

When we say yes out of guilt we end up having a "weak yes" and often don't put our whole hearts into what we're doing. We sometimes even resent the people we've said yes to. But here's the thing - saying yes is a choice! We're not being taken advantage of - we're just sleeping in the bed we made with all our people-pleasing yeses.

But when you say no to things that are motivated by guilt or people pleasing it creates space...space for you to give your whole heart elsewhere.

It allows you to say yes to rest.

Yes to being present.

Yes to your spouse, your kids, your best friend, the person right in front of you.

So here's your challenge for the week: 

Next time someone asks you for something I you don't want to do it, say no. Just try it. See how it feels and what reaction you get. Trust me, you won't die. 

I believe in you, friend and that's why I want to encourage you in this. You have so much to give but you don't have to give it to everyone who asks, every time they ask. 

Your fellow recovering yes woman,
Mandi





Friday, August 10, 2018

30A FAMILY VACATION


There are few places on earth, that I hold in my heart & think about on a daily basis.  One of those places happens to be 30A which is a stretch of 35 MPH road, hugging Blue Mountain, Santa Rosa, Rosemary, Watercolor and Seaside beaches. Our family has roots here now, seeing that we just completed our second annual trip. We are pretty much experts, right?! Okay, okay. Maybe not quite yet, but our kids call it “the new house” and a few folks have asked for our recommendations, so I thought I would package them up in a cute little blog post. Ready? Here we go…
We booked our rental about six months ahead of our trip so that we had our pick of best houses and best availability. Before our first trip last year, I actually thought we would go somewhere a little closer and a little cheaper, like the gulf in Alabama (which we also love and adore). But after researching 30A, we decided that a few extra dollars and a few more hours on the road were probably worth it. We were right. While I can sometimes tolerate the touristy destinations (I love a good t-shirt), we deeply desire a different kind of escape -- one that truly feels serene and relaxing, and that’s exactly what 30A is.

The tree-lined paths throughout area offer some escape from the Florida heat and the consistent coastal architecture provides a beautiful view everywhere you look. Everything new looks established – like it’s been there forever, but it still feels crisp and clean. It’s a small town, allowing you to walk or bike anywhere you want to go. And if you want a little more Florida-flare in your vacation, just wander down to Seacrest or a little farther to Seaside. Families in particular flock to Seaside, an 80-acre, unincorporated beach town, where all activities are clustered in this pristine walking community, filled with gorgeous pastel cottages and brick-lined streets. You might remember the picket-fence yards and idyllic pastel colored homes from the movie, “The Truman Show.” It’s that, but a lot more. Must-dos include the famous shaved ice stand in an airstream: Frost Bites, dinner at Bud & Alley’s waterfront restaurant and rooftop bar, and Modica Market. There’s plenty of shopping, outdoor patios, art, and of course the white-sand beach.


One of my favorite aspects of this place is that are no chain restaurants whatsoever; no Starbucks, no McDonalds, nothing but hard working, independent entrepreneurs & restaurateurs in this small iconic town. In the heart of the town is an outdoor amphitheater, which is a whole separate, wonderful asset that Seaside has to offer.  Outdoor concerts playing jazz music, outdoor movie nights, and my kids’ personal favorite a “free for all, play with all” night underneath the stars & lights of Seaside.  It’s where your kids will play with other kids from other states & unite you all as part of the wonderful Seaside community.
As for food in the area, aside from picking up a few things from the local grocery, we ate out about half the time. The biggest drawback to this, of course, was the expense. When you travel to the 30A area, be prepared to spend about twice what you normally do on a meal. The other drawback (and I hate to admit this) is that we didn’t really love most of the meals on our trip. We’re not fancy. We’re not even very picky. But for some reason, most of the food we’ve had in 30A was average. Despite some real doozies, I suggest Cowgirl Kitchen, Basmati’s Asian Cuisine, Great Southern CafĂ©.



Overall, the best fun was found at the beach or swimming pool. You really don’t need much more than that, but alas here are a few things that I recommend:

You have to let your kids’ experience Pecan Jacks at least once on the trip. It’s packed to the brim of every candy you can imagine and is good for an ice cream pit-stop.



If you’re in Seaside, don’t miss Modica Market, a favorite of mine jam-packed from floor to ceiling with everything you might need: groceries, grab-n-go food, local beer on tap, and 32 oz. mimosas to go! If I'm in town, you can probably find me at the Art of Simple, picking up a new seashell for my decor back home in Texas, or filling my nostalgic hunger for vinyl at Central Square Records. Every one of our family vacations morph into sugar tours, sometimes we eat ice cream twice a day. I know, I know, but it’s vacation! Anyway, be sure to b-line to Heavenly’s Shortcakes & Ice Cream or Frost Bites. With a cute little row of permanent food trucks lining the street, Seaside has a lot of cheaper food options.

On your way back from Seaside, swing by Goat Feathers in Seagrove. The “steamed and seasoned” shrimp by the pound is amazing.
We are already plotting our return back next year. Even though it’s a 10-hour trip (12 hours with stops) in the car, it’s worth every “are we there yet.” I would love to hear if you have any tips or recommendations for me. If so, leave them in the comments below.





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