For the past couple of years, I’ve been stretching (or rather shrinking) into minimalism with The Minimalists.
Their influence, impact and education changed the way I consume stuff + information and is becoming more of a lifestyle.
Before you skip or skim this post, let me tell you that on the road to becoming more of a minimalist does not mean I never buy anything I like. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t make lists for gifts for my birthday, our anniversary or at Christmas time. Because quality time + acts of service are my biggest love languages (more about this next week!), I tend to enjoy time with people doing things I enjoy; like girlfriends coming over in my small but open concept kitchen and baking yummy treats with me.
I know that not everyone is like me, but sweet soul tender, I’d like to encourage you to slow down a bit before you spend this holiday season. Take a moment and consider this mindset from the Minimalists:
Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. We focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps make that room.
Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which aren’t things at all.
If what you’re out in the streets or on your computer purchasing today (through Cyber Monday) really helps you create more of the things that really matter and is within the budget you’ve set to spend, then I say shop + spend merrily.
Here are 10 places we’ll be shopping from during this season and throughout the year. You’ll want to read through to the end though, because the last link has a discount that benefits you and me! You’re welcome.
Before I hop into great gifts and shopping for adults, let me share a few links about these sweet peeps:
FOR THE KIDS, NIECES + NEPHEWS + GRANDKIDDOS
Now on to you!
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Francis + Benedict exists to empower and equip skilled Togolese seamstresses by providing them with dignified and sustainable employment.
I have three skirts from this organization and enjoy their mission. Mister hooked me up with one skirt as a Christmas gift last year (yes, I helped him with narrow the choices and pick the right size for me). Of the clothes I own – not a lot, mind you – these skirts get the most compliments months and months after I’ve worn them. And I just enjoy pointing people back to the mission and work of Francis + Benedict.
Belong Magazine is a quarterly digital and print magazine celebrating the art and community of creativity, community and entrepreneurship. In all that we do, we desire for women to use their passions for a purpose, to inspire women to be authentic, to be life-giving and to encourage one another. We want women to know that they are enough, that they matter and that they have a place. They belong.
Or whatever magazine you know speaks to your friend or loved one; that helps them see other people doing some the things they have been called to do or that encourages them in their soul.
…created Mon Petit Four as a way to share French recipes and lifestyle tips that she gathered from her many trips to France. Today, Beeta enjoys inspiring her readers with fresh ideas on meals they can prepare at home, style tips, and home decor suggestions that incorporate the French elegance and sophistication she admires so much.
Y’all. The people in your life get excited about something. Do you know what it is?
For me, behind my relationship with Jesus and books comes France. That didn’t sound right – I love you Mister and Shorty and mom – but it’s true. I get excited about speaking and hearing the language, baking their baked goods and in general, the culture.
So the French pastry class will help me become more of the hobby baker I’d like while benefitting my hubby’s sweet tooth. I so enjoy learning and this website teaches me things, allows me to have experiences and to serve others.
And umm y’all. This class: French Baking Class for Beginners (which you have lifetime access to and can do from anywhere you have an internet connection, device and oven) is currently $9.99. NINE DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS!!! I’m just sayin’ if you haven’t gotten this for yourself or a baker in your life, you’re missing out on some delectable calories.
At The Giving Keys, we want to inspire the world to pay it forward, so we’ve built it into how we do business. Through our social impact employment model, every product you purchase supports job creation for people transitioning out of homelessness.
Every year for the past five years, I’ve chosen one word to focus on throughout the year. It often dictates my goals and action plan for the year. I’ve already had my words for 2019 come to me – yes two words next year! – and would be grateful to rock one or both words with a black matte key to help support their mission and share my word.
One of my favorite things about their keys is that when you believe you’ve grown in that word or that area and see someone else who you believe could benefit from that word, you give them your key, you pay it forward. I’ve been able to do this twice and both times, it’s been a powerful experience for me and the key recipient.
CULTIVATE + POWERSHEETS
With an ever-growing list of to-dos, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the tasks on your plate, and disappointed you’re not spending enough time doing the things you love and caring for the people you love.
We want to press the reset button! We believe your time can be spent intentionally, and that your to-do lists can be simplified by uncovering meaningful goals and taking action on them little by little. In doing this, we learn to celebrate progress, not perfection.
Cultivate What Matters was created to give you the community, resources, and encouragement to realize that you can make great things—big or small—happen!
I’ve read two of Casey’s books and done the Powersheets (Goal Planners) for the past 5 years. My friends, if you wonder how I get so much done or how I choose what I do + how I spend my time; the Powersheets have had a huge thing to do with it.
I enjoy the paper process, but mostly I appreciate the constant reminder that our focus is on “progress not perfection”. Already have my sheets for next year and will begin working on them in early December!
Now this one will be a new one for me this year, but hello! If you know me, then you know I’m often with a book in my cute Hobo bag, catching a few pages at a stoplight in traffic.
And while I use my library card regularly, it’s nice to be the first person to crack a copy of a book. Do you know what I mean? Not a book that someone else has already read in their bathtub, in their bathroom (eww, right?!? but come on, I know you’ve done it too) or even while eating their curry dish that I can still smell in the pages of that 642 page novel I can’t put down.
With my self-imposed book challenge for the year – see the details on my book love blog page – I don’t think it’s cheating for me to ask for the gift as long as I don’t purchase it myself. My son asked what I’d like for Christmas, I sent him the link; it’s the only thing I asked for. I’ll keep you posted.
After making hats and baby items for friends and family, I was encouraged to take it a step further. I have to thank my Dad, who also has an Etsy shop, for helping me get started. And to all my friend who keep up the support. It brings me joy to hear from happy customers when they receive their handmade items, and they are so pleased. I work hard on every item I create to make sure “it is just right”.
I so enjoy knowing this Etsy shop owner. She’s a brilliant mind, a funny woman and a great friend. You’ll see lots of photos of Green Bay Packers gear, but breathe Texans, she can make other teams’ patterns; she fiesty though so you gotta come correct. Ha! I kid, her customer service and attention to detail will blow you away.
My desired project has not been started yet because I really don’t know what of hers I want most – but to my sorority sisters, can’t you just imagine lovely, matching blankets with a kite woven into it?
Welcome to The Cactus Rose! I am very excited to finally be opening this shop. What started as a hobby in my garage, I found a love for woodworking and being creative. I have combined these two loves by starting The Cactus Rose where I specialize in creating personalized home decor and gifts. I love taking an idea and turning that into a reality. Thanks for stopping by my shop, and I hope to make something special for you!
We just got a stunning custom-made high topped table for our living space (apartment home tour post coming soon!) which now leaves a space on our wall. I saw this young lady’s new shop and reached out.
Other than the math she required (the hardest part!) she was quick to respond and is whipping up some decor to help finish our space to complement our minimalist theme.
She also does custom tree ornaments y’all. Click over on Insta or Facebook and let her serve you.
I’m no longer a distributor, but still very much a consumer.
And want to encourage you, if you’re still using chemicals to clean your home you really will want to consider Young Living as an alternative to what’s easy to grab at your local drugstore or even Target.
As my hands begin to wrinkle from years and years of harsh chemicals and cleaning (well and age), I realize the damage that can be happening inside of my body too.
I won’t get preachy, but will tell you that it’s worth checking out. And if you don’t have a distributor or someone that can help you navigate the process, I have a woman who will love you up with answers and information but without pressure.
And so I started Beautycounter, a company devoted to progress. Here you’ll find a wealth of empowering information about ways we can all make the world healthier, along with safer products you can trust. Because we all deserve better. Our vision is bold; real answers are never timid. Help us put truth back in beauty.
I have tried so many cosmetics companies but became ready to make the change when I learned about Beauty Counter’s impact on the beauty industry – at the law changing level – as well as making products that are safe and more considerate of brown skinned women and all of our shades.
Their packaging is simplistic and attentive to our environment – which Mister supports! – and my consultant is just a gem.
Shop here for yourself, your man or your mama and get their top sellers for a discounted price. Also know, that using this link helps me get some goodies at a discounted price too!
And last, but not least…
I know this woman who is adamant about self-care and tending to one’s soul. It’s me!
No matter how your holidays go, there will be some wear and tear and a bit of stress. And at the end of it all, I want you to have some intentional time to reflect and recover.
For everyone who submits an inquiry between now and the 5th of December, you will receive a 10% discount off of whatever soul care retreat you choose. You can read all about it here.
You’re doing all the work for everyone else, do not believe for one moment that there shouldn’t be something of value for you.
No matter how you prepare for or shop for the Christmas holiday, I believe you can find something in here that will last beyond the unwrapped tornado on Christmas Day.
And a heads’ up friends, as we move into prime Christmas time, I’ll be dialing back the blog posts to almost none in December. While I’ll continue writing and drafting for the new year, December is a needed time for me to reflect on the past year and prepare, pray and plan for the new one.
It’s not goodbye for 2018 just yet though – I’ll be back next week with some posts and some ideas about how to do more than survive December and the holiday season.
Happy hearted, gratitude-filled shopping soul tenders!